Reviews by Danielle
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I liked the sense of mystery introduced in this piece--coming in from the rain, Estelle, just nosing around someone else's life.
The introductory section struck me as a little purple-prosey, but by the end, the writing either improved (injecting a lot of atmosphere without any cheesiness) or I stopped noticing any flourishy bits.
Here's where I'm lost: even though the author states that this is an interactive story, and more about your interpretation than puzzles...I didn't really feel like I got all the stuff I needed to construct my own background.
In particular, (Spoiler - click to show)I couldn't even tell if I was real or not. Some little bits made me think that hey--maybe I'm a figment of this gal's imagination or a separate personality?--but other evidence seems to point to the idea that I'm real and abusive. Or maybe I killed the houseowner in the first scene??. And I couldn't quite figure out how Estelle fit into all this. And I really WANTED to know.
It's pretty well-implemented, and there's a couple of interesting things to do (like (Spoiler - click to show)replacing the dry flowers in the bathroom with the roses...which I might have dyed with hair dye??), and overall, you'll enjoy snooping around someone else's house for an evening.
But the interpretive aspect of the work/work's meaning just didn't do it for me.
Gris et Jaune was the first IFComp 2010 game I played, due to the writeup over at JayisGames.com. In effect, they said: "We'd hate to spoil even the beginning for you. Just play."
So I did. And I think you'll enjoy it best that way, too, so I'll keep my comments brief.
The beginning grabbed me in a way that I haven't experienced since parts of ANCHORHEAD.
I've never seen this setting before in IF. It begs the question: why hasn't someone set a piece here before?
There's a lot going on emotionally. More than you'd expect from a work featuring (Spoiler - click to show)a zombie.
That said, I'm not sure how much of that emotion was conveyed clearly. I had a lot of questions about a certain character (Spoiler - click to show)--Mama John-- and how things fit together between some characters. (After emailing the author--whom I found very congenial--about it, it sounds like we may see some changes in the post-comp edition; hopefully the emotional links will become more clear.)
Gris et Jaune isn't perfect. But there is something very special about it. Play it. You'll feel the heart that went into it.
The night before I played this, my church had a speaker who was, at the time, Bishop (a pastor) to a number of kids who lived through the Columbine shooting. He recounted two of the survivors' stories. Those stories were on my mind while I played this.
The game calls itself "An Interactive Anecdote"--and I feel that's an accurate assessment. The way it's told, the details it leaves out, and its emotional inconclusiveness (in parts) gives this work a feeling of exploring a memory. Some moments are crystallized; they always happen the same way. Other moments are nebulous and change each time you revisit.
I can't say that I know what this piece is saying. I'm not even sure I liked it, or "got" it. But it was interesting, and maybe you'll get more out of it than I did.
I'm not one who tries to "outguess the author" when I read mystery novels or watch movies. I enjoy the ride. So maybe I'm not the target audience for this piece.
CUFF contains a really fun play idea--I just had a hard time getting it going. The first playthrough, I threw the wrong guy in jail (sorry!). The second time, after I thought I'd exhausted the number of items I could examine, I hit a wall. Almost none of the descriptions repeat themselves more than once, so I reached for the walkthrough.
I don't think I would have solved the crime without it. Even after the walkthrough, I didn't quite catch the thread of logic. But I also feel this way after reading some mystery novels, so it could just be the way my head works.
Definitely play this one--the writing is a plum, perfectly in-genre--just know it takes a very careful eye to untangle the real mystery.
HUMMINGBIRD is fun superhero adventure that does a good job of taking a visually cool superpower, translating that power to text, and still making you feel cool while using it.
The author purposely designed some moments to reward you for mastery of the superpower, and those moments really pay off.
I felt like the second part of the game needed a more direction. I had a hard time figuring out what I had to do, and one idea I thought was a fun and valid solution to a problem wasn't even in the ballpark of what the author had in mind--(Spoiler - click to show)I really wanted to drop those curtains on the goons!!
As a result, I played most of the endgame with the Hint guide out.
Afterwards I wanted to replay the FRENETIC FIVE series, so I'd say if you're a fan of superheroes, and also superhero parodies, you'll enjoy your own flight with the Hummingbird.
OK, so really it's more of a programming test. You get home, you have to do some things, then shut down your house for the night before you go to bed.
Now, I haven't programmed my own IF game, but I've dabbled in it a few times and, you know, I've got to give Anonymous credit for finishing and releasing this thing.
It's competent. The parser replies aren't *too* snarky, there are "reminder" texts that occur to help keep you on-track and towards your goal. There's even a cute hamster.
My main complaint was that, in order to solve (Spoiler - click to show)"taking out the trash", you had to go to a section that is (to my memory) never mentioned in any other room's description. I mean, I searched for that (Spoiler - click to show)trash can for over 20 minutes, and I don't even think there are 5 rooms in the entire house. It was a very annoying problem that could have been fixed with just one line of description.
So it's probably not a game most need to play.
But I still want to give the author kudos. Kudos for producing this. You did it! You finished a whole game.
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