This game must have as many authors as it has unique responses (and I do wonder if that was the point?)
Anyway — it made me laugh a couple of times, and it didn't annoy me, and that's good enough for three stars in my book. I don't think you need to play Aisle first; but if you like this game, you'll definitely like Aisle.
This is a very short game, solvable in a handful of moves, which takes place in roughly the same universe as Savoir-Faire (which is rather longer and more involved).
There are several ways to solve most of the puzzles, and a number of possible endings. Some endings are acceptable (you survive) and some unacceptable (you don't), but some "acceptable" endings are better than others. It's worth noting that the end message doesn't differentiate between the different acceptable endings; so if you felt dissatisfied with the way things turned out, it's worth having another go even if the game tells you you've won. (Replay is quite rewarding in general.)
I thought that the optimal way of dealing with the book seemed a little unfair and slightly implausible, but in general I thought the puzzles were quite fair.
I did like the way that even though the game is timed, things like looking and examining didn't take up time; a nice way of making the player hurry up without penalising exploration.
Excellently sarcastic NPC, and quite a reasonable backstory for such a short game. It's hard to believe this was actually speed IF.
Very short game – well, it is a Speed IF entry, after all. Reasonably amusing, no glitches that I noticed, only one typo. Possibly more fun if you're familiar with New Orleans.
I've not played much Speed IF, so take my rating with a pinch of salt.
Bronze is a very user-friendly and fairly entertaining take on Beauty and the Beast. I was never once frustrated by syntax or by tedious tasks, and I really enjoyed the way that the backstory was revealed as my wanderings through the castle triggered memories and reflections of the time my character had spent there before the events of the game.
You may find that you need to draw a map, though the layout's not incredibly complicated. (You can't really get lost, thanks to the very useful "go to" syntax, which will take you back to any room you've already visited, but I found that the map helped me keep track of where I had and hadn't explored.)
The only thing I didn't like was that with at least one of the multiple endings, I felt that I'd been "cut off" from continuing, simply because of the order that I solved the final puzzles in.
Although I really like the premise of this, and I had a fair bit of sympathy/empathy for Galatea-the-character, I don't feel I really enjoyed the game, despite around twenty replays. It may be my playing style, but I found it very easy to fall into repetitive dead-ends, and I never managed to find an ending that I thought was really satisfying.
I very much don't want this review to put anyone else off playing Galatea, though; the time spent on playing is a worthwhile gamble.
I approached Floatpoint as a story, rather than a puzzle or a game, and it met all my expectations and more. I'm fairly sure that even if I'd been reading it as a linear, fixed narrative, I'd still have enjoyed it; but the fact that I could influence the ending (towards what I felt was the right thing to do) gave it an extra dimension.
For context, I'm a great fan of short stories, and of the kind of science fiction that focuses on how the snazzy futuristic situations affect the people who find themselves in them. Floatpoint hit all my buttons. I just wish my memory was less vivid, so I could play it again sooner and try for a different goal!
(I should also note that in contrast to Valzi's review as of 27 October 2007, I didn't encounter any bugs.)