Reviews by jakomo

parsercomp2021

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Snowhaven, by Tristin Grizel Dean

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Cabin in the woods, July 3, 2021
by jakomo
Related reviews: parsercomp2021

A beautiful audio-visual experience, with a haunting piano tune accompanying fantastic monochrome woodcut-style illustrations (some even animated). I played the "emotional" story (there are three to choose from), in which you cook a recipe in anticipation of your sibling's visit to your log cabin, dealing with the loss of a loved one in fragments through the process. Snowhaven builds a superb wilderness atmosphere while providing a thoughtful study of the player-character. It's let down by at least one bug that blocks progress: it's impossible to get the carrots from the storage locker, and typing HELP tells you that you can use the HINT command, but doing so gives you "This game doesn't use 'hints'". Presumably there is a way to catch the meat for the stew but I couldn't find any bait, or any clues about how to acquire the bait? I look forward to returning to this after the promised "major updates".


Black Knife Dungeon, by Arthur DiBianca

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
The sleep of reading produces monsters, July 3, 2021
by jakomo
Related reviews: parsercomp2021

A standard old-school text-based RPG where you run through a dungeon, fighting or evading monsters, until your HP falls perilously low, then you go home to heal and use the gold you looted to upgrade your equipment, then back into the dungeon to do it all again. But, like all Arthur DiBianca games, there is a devious spin on proceedings: in this case, a set of overlapping, escalating textual "puzzles" that requires careful reading of the location and monster descriptions to optimise each run. The game is thoroughly addictive: I had two full pages scrawled with notes, even without the extended post-game challenges. There is some heavy randomisation that makes things unnecessarily grindy at times, but the humour (especially the easy-to-miss bestiary entries) will keep you going.


Waiting for the Day Train, by Dee Cooke

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Whistle-stop, July 3, 2021
by jakomo
Related reviews: parsercomp2021

A short "magical-realist" text adventure using the Adventuron engine: navigate the simple puzzles in the woods to get to the train on time. A very smooth, frictionless experience to play through, aided by soothing background music and the game's unique selling point: real photographs instead of drawn illustrations. A lot of the lore remains a mystery: who you are, what you're running from, and where you intend to go, are left to the player's imagination. I scored 23, but the game neglects to tell you what that's out of, so it's unclear if I saw everything.



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