Reviews by tggdan3

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Basic Train-ing, by bpsp

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
CROWNing moment of AWESOME!, December 3, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

Okay, the stuff that makes this game AWESOME is hard to talk about without giving things away.

At some point in the game you will control various characters. The narration tone switches with characters very well! The various characters are needed to complete the task. As you learn what's going on, (and complete the game) the reality is fantastic, and the realization is brought on slowly, shown to you rather than told to you, another great storytelling piece. (Spoiler - click to show) You are toys that trade a magical crown to become animate, neither is aware of the others actions

I rated this game 4 stars. Some bugs and a VERY annoying guess the verb made it miss 5 stars. (Spoiler - click to show) You need to use a grappling hook to flip a switch. You can't THROW HOOK AT/TO SWITCH or PUT HOOK ON SWITCH or HOOK SWITCH... you need to OPEN SWITCH WITH HOOK. I had to go to the walkthrough to figure this out which really angered me considering I knew what to do.

Some minor nitpicks, it's awesome when you switch characters the first time and read how they react to the change in atmosphere, I only wish that change in atmosphere was reflected each time the atmosphere changed (Spoiler - click to show) such as when the train stops, reverses, or when other characters break doors, etc Also there are 2 doors that you cannot see through, so you better remember what was described when you first opened them, since there's no way to get that description again, which is unfortunate. Also UNLOCK and CUT seem to by synonyms, and often times you have to OPEN objects with unlikely "keys", which could have been better hinted/described. And the puzzle where you have to get a mirror is GENIUS!

The ending is priceless and ties the whole thing together, though in a way, (Spoiler - click to show)sad, considering the ultimate fate of the "player"s.

I'm really excited for other people to try this game, it's an excellent use of switching characters and an environment that you are forced to discover as you progress.

The game isn't long (27 moves in the walkthrough, though it took me over 100, partially due to that annoying guess the verb), but it's really well written. Some implementation caused it to not get 5 stars. Hopefully a revised edition comes out soon!


CASK, by Harry M. Hardjono

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
up and climb are two different words. I didn't have time to accomodate both, December 2, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

This is an actual note from the walkthrough. I'm glad he cared so much.

You are locked in a room by your employer for some reason. You must escape. All is fine except that everything is drastically underimplemted and buggy.

Here are just a few of the nightmares you'll find.
>cut drum with saw
Which do you mean, the hole in the drum, the drum cover or the big wooden drum?
>enter wooden drum
But you're already on the old wooden chair
(You need to enter the drum. The idea is get on the chair and type UP. Climb chair and enter drum do not work. :( )

>enter hole
You can't, since the hole in the drum is in the way

>x drum
Which do you mean, the hole in the drum, the drum cover or the big wooden drum?
>cover
What do you want to cover?

>pull wire
Nothing obvious happens.
>get wire
You reach for the wire, to no avail! The wire is too high!

Going beyond this:

You need to fix a machine with some wire. You need to turn ON the switch to disable power to the machine. (Oops- not turn OFF the switch?).

The game starts out reasonable but then gets worse, with keys hidden in rats (which print in the room description but not the item descripton, and apparantly you HAVE TO put the rat on a chair to discover this), and that horrible drum which DESPERATELY needs an instance of DOES THE PLAYER MEAN ENTERING THE BIG WOODEN DRUM: IT IS LIKELY.

The story is almost nonexistant, and upon freeing yourself from the wine cellar your employers have trapped you in for no reason you need to contend with a charging elephant. Yep.

This game is possible, but you better know the "official" verb usages for things, since synonyms are not used, and use the walkthrough. (It's nice that in the walkthrough he aknowledges known errors then says he doesn't feel like fixing them, hence the title of my review.)

Hopefully the next game would be better, but his next game already got some pretty bad reviews and low ratings, so I'm not too hopeful. This game could have been good- it just needed a little testing, and if he couldn't figure out how to solve known bugs, he might have wanted to AT LEAST have the game prompt you on the RIGHT way to do things... (or gone to the forum and asked someone).


Big Red Button, by Mister Nose

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Everlasting Edition?, December 2, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

Reading the previous review, apparantly you push the big red button and die.

Nope.

The everlasting edition is just what it sounds like- it has no end.

So there's a room with no description and an item with no real implementation. (They forgot to even make it fixed in place, since I was able to take the Big Red Button). Yes, capitalized each word too. Well what can you do?

I guess this is what I get for selecting: 10 random games produced this year.


The End of Earth, and you are a victim/survivor of this incident at least, depending on which way you look at it., by NOM3RCY

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Very Very Frustrating, December 1, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

You have 7 turns to solve this game. On Turn 7 you die. This is common in his other games as well.

First off, this is a game. That is refreshing. Aliens are going to attack and burn the world and maybe you can survive.

There are some typos (thr fire can burn anything), and the game is minimally implemented. (All default responses to examining things). Exits are not listed in any way, which is frustrating regarding the low turn count. I have to undo after every turn just so I don't waste that precious minute.

I wasn't able to figure out the survival ending (if there is one). This is mainly due to the under-implementation of things. (Spoiler - click to show) There's a rock you can't take. Some experimentation reveals that it's a supporter, though you can't climb on it or hide under it. Treetops are described but don't "exist", nor can you climb trees. You're in your house with a bolted up door- presumably done by you to hide from the aliens, in fact, you refuse to open it for fear of ruining your snowball's chance in hell, however you will break the window and climb out it without a fuss.

The concept here was good, but the author really should have done one of two things: 1) greatly increased the turn count- otherwise we are expected to guess the author's mind on how we are supposed to solve this puzzle, or 2) have certain actions take no time (such as going in a direction that doesn't exist, or examining things). Every item needs a description, even if mundane. There's a rod. How big is it? How strong is it? Is it a lightning rod, a ladder rung, a sceptre, or a car (hot rod)? There's a sturdy rock. How big is it? Is it a boulder? A pebble? The size of a basket ball? A big boulder I might try to lift with the rod (lift is not a verb i recognise), a small rock I might try to hit like a baseball up at the aliens in hopes of knocking down their ship (there are no aliens here).

I'm glad the author has tried this- it's definately a departure from the "look I made a room" things he tried before and has gone into game territory. The next step is finding the beta testing website and having others test the game- all this could have been fixed before release.

The big problem is that the concept was good, but the lack of implementation and the RIDICULOUSLY low turn count did not allow for any experimentation to FIND the solution.


Crawler's Delight, by A. Troll

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Well, it's AIF I guess, November 30, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

Trying to write an AIF review is difficult- because AIF is really two different things: It's adult entertainment, and it's (supposed to be) a story or game.

I suppose commenting on the plot of an AIF would be like commenting on the acting of a Cinemax after hours movie. The plot has you, the adventurer, having been captured by the goblin queen and chained to a wall- apparantly after having eaten a magical equivelant of viagra.

The writing is what it is- it's fairly well written, considering the subject matter.

The implementation however was the biggest nightmare I've seen in an IF game in a while. Perhaps this is common in AIF, I'm not as familiar with the genre, but it seems like there should be more to the game than just hitting Z to bypass a cutscene.

There are 2 npcs to converse with: the goblin queen and the elf maid. If you try to talk to them in any way (ask goblin for [something], tell goblin about [something], etc) the game prompts you: For conversation ask [character] about [something]. This however does not work. You are supposed to ask the elf maid to do something to you (you can probably guess what), though it doesn't respond to the standard IF commands.

Let's say for the sake of euphamsim, that the proposed action is HUG ME.
The following do not work:
>HUG MAID
>MAID, HUG ME
>ASK MAID FOR HUG
>ASK MAID ABOUT HUG
(or any substutions of elf or her name for maid)
instead you need:
>HUG ME

After solving that horrible guess the verb puzzle (which is after about 30 turns of waiting, trying futily to escape, which must be done to trigger the next cutscene, and wetting yourself) you get to move on to an even more annoying puzzle:

The elf maid, gone, but having freed you, leaves you alone in the room with a sole exit- an exit which does not exist, and your pile of treasure, which mostly does not exist. The only items that respond (GUESS THE NOUN!) are a book and a figurine. The figurine is used as a prop in certain actions, and the book contains the list of commands that you can use on the goblin queen- who then shows up. Very nice addition, even though it breaks all memisis, considering the game is drastically underimplemented.

AIF aside, you should be able to look at things, and if you can't move or perform actions, NPCs should respond to things you're asking them to do, even if it doesn't work. What's more, I got more than one error message to the same command.
>GOBLIN, FREE ME
The goblin isn't about to talk to you.
I don't recognise that verb.

Further, talking to the elf maid elicits this response:
Elf: We aren't allowed to talk to the prisoners
(even though she is talking to you before hand and if you wait she will talk further).

So how do you rate AIF? On the quality of the interactivity, or the writing itself. I give the implementation 0 stars, and the writing 2, for a total of 2. I don't have much to compare it to. Perhaps it would have been better as an erotic short story or something, consdierting all the WAITING you have to do to move the cutscenes.


Burn the Koran and Die, by Poster

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Good point, awkward medium, November 30, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

So yeah... you're in front of the holy books of the major religions. And you can burn them.

You're pretty sure if you burn the koran you will die (damn titles which are also walk throughs). And yes, if you burn the others you will not die.

The muslim issue in media was better depicted by south park, where comedy central would refuse to picture mohammed, even acting innocently, but would show jesus and bush crapping on the amercian flag, buddah snorting coke, and jesus looking up internet porn. The idea is that you can do or say whatever you want regarding any religion and recive minor guff for it, but picture mohammed, bad mouth muslims, or burn the koran, and radical muslims will come out of the woodwork to murder you.

I'd like to say that the author is just being racist- but after the aformentioned south park episodes, even with the anti-christian imagry, it was muslims making the death threats, and the network only censored mohammad based words and images, so maybe the author has a point here.

As far as the medium, it's interactive fiction. There isn't much to do here except find out that buring the koran is deadly, and it's not so bad burning the rest. The game makes it point, but doesn't bring it home as far as the religious hypocracy- it's there, but perhaps just too subtly.

Truth be told I was considering something like this myself (more along the lines of picturing mohammad), so I'm glad the author chose to do this- I just wonder if IF was the right medium for it, or if he could have taken it farther.


To Hell in a Hamper, by J. J. Guest

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fantastic Bit of IF Fun, November 30, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

One of IF's adventure tropes is kleptomania. The adventurer grabs everything he can from treasures to matches because you never know when it will be useless. 2HiH subverts this by forcing you to part an adventurer with all his gear. And, like most IF games, the guy is holding far more than he should everbe able to.

Luckily, you're stronger than him.

The writing is done very well, and I only saw a few errors, though there are some things that broke disbelief a bit, such as certain objects (if thrown away too early) which come back to you after having been thrown from the balloon.

Still, definately a fun and humerous game worth your time. My only regreat is that it's TADS- not playable online and I had to download in interpreter just to play this game.


Taunting Donut, by Kalev Tait

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Good for a quick play or learning IF, November 29, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

First of all, I found few implementation errors, and only a few spelling errors. This makes the game easier- there were no guess the verbs, and many nouns were implemented. There were a items that didn't work like I thought they should (the bed is full of nails you can't hammer with your hammer).

As far as the puzzle, they're fairly straightforward and obvious, though some actions that might have worked weren't implemented. (Spoiler - click to show) You can't reach the donut from your bed, but can't turn your bed on it's side and climb it either. You also have to contend with a string tied around the donut. If you can't break the string, you'd think you can just eat around it or break the donut or something.

There were some side references that were cute (the fountain didn't have what I crave!), and the writing style was very informal, which made the game a little more fun.

The game took about 30 moves for me to solve, so it wasn't difficult, but for a beginning player, that would be great to introduce people to IF. For the more experienced, some easter eggs would have been nice. (Such as allowing you to think about "them" or something.) All in all, it's a good game and complete.


The Dog/House, by Byron Alexander Campbell

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
The Dreadful truth is, this is not a dream, November 24, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

The title of this review is the default response to >WAKE UP. It's also the response this game gives. Okay, okay, the description of the game was dream-like, so that doesn't mean it's a dream.

>F***
Real adventurers don't use such language.

Am I an adventurer, or was this response never updated?

The reason I question this, is because you start in a dog house (with a dog in it). This gave me the impression that I was a dog. (Especially since I seem to want to get at that bone behind the sleeping mastiff).

Am I a dog? The game does not say so. (>X ME... As good-looking as ever!) The default responses imply no. I found one response that mentions fingers, so maybe I'm not a dog. However, leaving the doghouse is futile- I can see a swirl of leaves and eventually I am forced back into the doghouse.


One one hand, the writing is provocative, the leaves in particular. (They swirl around, getting me lost when I try going somewhere which is not north. However, perhaps UP and DOWN should have gotten different responses, as I suppose trying to enter the solid floor would not have failed only because of a swirl of leaves around me).

The game includes no hint/help/about file, which makes it difficult to see what to do. The only objects to be interacted with are the sleeping dog and the bone behind it. The bone you can't get, and the game warns about waking the dog (and ">LET SLEEPING DOG LIE" does nothing either!). Certainly "Violence isn't the answer to this one.". The tagline of exploration seems misleading, as there isn't much area to explore here. If I'm a human, why do I want a bone or to be in a doghouse? I'm pretty sure I'm not a dog too.

The game tells you that there is unfinished buisness in the dog house, though most interactions with the dog yield the same (or a default) response, there is no inventory, and many verbs you might think exist do not. (Don't expect to whistle or call to the dog).

With very little implementation here, I got frustrated after a while, and gave up. The writing here implies that the author put some effort into this, and it might be a simple guess-the-verb issue: including hints or a walkthrough could clear that up. Maybe it is supposed to be a dream. Maybe there's nothing to do here after all.


A Walk in the Park, by Anonymous

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Very Very Short, November 24, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

This is a short game with one puzzle: You want to walk your dog, but a tree is in your way.

The game can be solved in one move, and that move is probably the very move you would make in real life, so it's hard to call this a puzzle, any more so than encountering a closed, unlocked door is a puzzle, but this is what you have.

The objects are implemented, and there are a few things you can try that don't work, which is nice. This is definately a minimalist game, but it at least what it does, it does well.

The greatest blessing to this game is Parchment- the ability to play it online, since the effort of downloading it and downloading an interpreter would take longer than playing the game. With online capability, this is one of many short and sweet games that you can have fun playing in a few minutes.



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