In this spirit, I offer comments on many of the contest games. As I
played the games, I jotted down impressions as they came to me. Many of
these impressions consist of no more than a sentence or two. Please note
that the impressions are not necessarily indicative of my final opinion or
ranking of a game. If any author is interested in my more in-depth
analysis of his/her game, he/she is welcome to email me about it.
In many of my comments, I mention the Huh-meter. The Huh-meter is a
device devised my Michael Self which measures the "huh-ness" of a puzzle.
If a puzzle makes no sense to me even after I've solved it, the Huh-meter
gives an accordingly high reading.
One final warning: as with Neil's and Chris' comments, don't read these
until your votes are finalized.
Kissing the Buddha's Feet: Oh, no, another college game. I like how one
of the NPCs follows me around, offering comments on EVERYTHING. There is
a _lot_ going on; distracting at times.
Tapestry [original version]: Quote boxes. Long sentences that ramble on.
Quote boxes threaten to become this year's use of footnotes. Interesting
story; almost no interaction.
Curse of Eldor: Cliched topic. Misspellings. Lackluster writing. I
can't use "verbose"?!? And where's the archivist the walkthrough tells me
Sir Ramic Hobbs & the Oriental Wok: Very funny narrator. Many pings from
the Huh-meter. I'm playing "guess the verb" in some cases.
The Meteor, the Stone, and a Long Glass of Sherbet: Reminds me in an
offhanded way of Kipling. Interesting idea. It feels too long for the
2-hr limit--I'm having to resort to hints early on. A few pings from the
Huh-meter, especially with regards to the culvert puzzle.
Phlegm: Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre. The puzzles score high on the
Huh-meter, but the whole thing is maniacally fun. The fact that nothing
is making sense makes sense to me.
Punkirita Quest One Liquid: Bad misspellings, hackneyed plot (save the
Omniverse from the evil mage). "Geod" for geode and wurse. I'm having
severe problems following the plot.
Piece of Mind: Some misspellings. An interesting feeling, controlling an
actor: it adds to a sense of detatchment. The game is pegging the
Huh-meter, although it gets bonus points for the +5 stone of copy
Wearing the Claw: _Another_ "save your village from the evil magician"
game. Tight game, very linear, but reasonable given the time constraint.
Fear: Interesting premise. Horror. Many of the puzzles trigger the
Huh-meter. I'm not making the connections the author obviously wants me
to--I don't follow how the different fears connect.
Of Forms Unknown: Allegorical; manipulate forms. Is this inspired by "So
Far?" [Ed. note: I discovered later that it was.] Amazingly nasty bug
kills the endgame. It's not capturing my imagination. It feels as dry as
the geometric forms which inhabit it.
In the End: Hm, a _story_ story. I notice that life doesn't save, but it
does keep score and count turns. Nice exploration/simulation, but I'm
unconvinced about the ending. I'm not involved enough to _believe_ what
I'm obviously supposed to do.
Ralph: I'm a dog. No, really, I'm a dog! Clever, clever. Brief fun,
Rippled Flesh: Stephen King's name is misspelled in the first quote box, a
bad sign. Indeed, the misspellings and grammar mistakes are overwhelming
my desire to continue.
Stephen Granade | "It takes character to withstand the
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | rigors of indolence."
Duke University, Physics Dept | -- from _The Madness of King George_