Reviews by Felix Pleșoianu

French IFComp 2008

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Les lettres volées, by Eric Forgeot

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Lettres Volées as played during the French IFComp 2008, March 19, 2011
by Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania)
Related reviews: French IFComp 2008

Lettres Volées ("Stolen Letters") is the kind of game you can't write much about without giving spoilers. Let's just say it's a game in which you're not moving in space but in time. That's very rare in IF, despite the fact that time tracking is well-supported by Inform, at the very least.

Essentially, we're talking about a one-room game where descriptions change constantly. As time passes, you remember more relevant information about the surrounding objects, and you're offered more things to do with them. As a nice touch, the location itself is only described indirectly, through said objects. Artistically speaking, this works very well. Lettres volées does a great job of setting a mood and making an indirectly-discovered world come to life.

On the minus side, what I'm supposed to do in the game is despicable. I had to turn to the solution to even realize what was expected of me, and I still don't understand why I should be interested in doing it. And what's with all the waiting? I know there's a reason for it, but the third or fourth time it's no longer funny. Either I'm not on the author's wavelength, or else Lettres... needs a lot more clues. And I mean in-game, not in the hint system!

I could not reach the end in time for the voting deadline, (or afterwards, for that matter) but I hope to return to it someday, if only to see what other surprises the game has in store.


Brume, by Rémi Verschelde (Akien)

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Brume as played in the French IFComp 2008, March 19, 2011
by Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania)
Related reviews: French IFComp 2008

While the English interactive fiction community regards long, elaborate works as an ideal, French authors seem to prefer small but well-made games (Ekphrasis being the exception that strengthens the rule). Brume is an escape-the-locked-room puzzle, very simple, but almost flawless. Except for a couple of unimplemented objects and an overwrought blurb, I have no complaint.

The game is made to convey a particular mood, and it does so with a carefully designed environment and short, well-written descriptions. The timed mood messages and occasional sudden deaths (they're undoable...) help, too. The puzzles are very basic, which is just the way I like them, but since the game is so small, more red herrings would not have been out of place. The author has clearly mastered the basics of text adventure authoring. I recommend just a little more ambition next time.



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