Reviews by Something Moving Under The Bed

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View this member's reviews by tag: aging characters childhood creepy creepypasta eerie folklore horror love mystery novel original poignant scary spooky surreal symbolism
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Fog Lights and Foul Deeds, by Tom Sykes
Take a narrowboat through fallen Victoriana dealing with encounters on the way, December 11, 2017

A succinctly written but atmospheric story, where you must make decisions to survive a boat journey in a fallen world. The very limited resources work well to create tension (despite options being somewhat limited over a short story duration), keeping the journey gripping.

The setting is obscure, but unlike some stories is not overreliant on this to the point of being obtuse; here it works to remain intriguing.

Rib Lake, by Craig Morrow
Well-written linear tale with occasional options, December 9, 2017

A well-written and characterised story, which is mostly linear with a few choices.

I found the build-up and scene-setting chapters actually much more engaging, giving a real sense of the people and especially the place. It was almost a disappointment in comparison to this when the story got to its main focus and quickly ended.
There is some problem with stories where you can select from multiple endings, which can cause them all to feel somehow less 'tangible' and lack the same closure.

The Legend of Blackbrook Village, by OurJud
Tantalisingly compelling but tragically broken, December 3, 2017

This one is a real shame - It has a lovely style & interface, including great sound & other effects to enhance the atmosphere (though the sound volumes seem to differ a lot). The writing is good (despite some spelling errors) and the story seemed genuinely intriguing leaving me really keen to see what was going to happen...

I like the way the author doesn't feel it necessary to describe *everything* in room descriptions, just the impression pertinent to the story.
Although, it could do with more descriptions of objects that can be examined, to make immersion richer.
The author has attempted to get away from using n-e-s-w directions, though oddly only for indoor locations.

Sadly though, from a technical point of view it has some game-breaking errors; In some places the directions seem to break leaving you in weird 'non-locations' or unable to progress. Some players couldn't even progress past the car at the beginning; I tried both browser and downloaded versions, and from the comments upon several sites couldn't find anyone who had been able to progress further than the village garden.

Less seriously, there are some errors where you can answer the same phonecall twice or 'open' doors already caved in; error messages appear for some unexpected commands and it reacts very badly to commands like 'look in'. It is also VERY picky about which verbs work for things you can do- For a sheet over an object you cant 'take' 'pick up' 'look under' 'move' or 'lift' the sheet - though you can 'remove' it! The same goes for other situations.
Some room descriptions are different the second time you enter, with different directions available, which the game doesn't respond to... whether this is an intentional part of the eventual storyline is impossible to tell.

Clearly a lot of time was put into what seems like a really engaging story; but as it stands it's a tragic testament to the importance of error-testing after all the hard work... Here's hoping some day a version comes out that can be experienced fully.

The Third Hour , by Aleta Overton
Short ghosthunting game- much presentation, but not complex., January 5, 2017

Lots of presentation touches and a brief writing style. (While the presentation's a nice idea, all the extra bits overwhelm the story a little).

The author clearly made effort to include some ghosthunting terminology (which is clarified in the game)- But the story really needed proofreading/spellchecking, which is very distracting in a minimalist story like this. Some good ideas, but it feels like it needed to develop further and it becomes more cliched as it continues.

Options which kill you can be fairly random, and the choices of restart point are pretty confusing...
If you play I'd recommend the downloadable version, as I got no sound in the online one.

Morning Rituals, by Lucas J.W. Johnson, Devin Vibert
Finally a game combining my love of creepy tales and coffee, January 4, 2017

A short and simple tale, varying depending on your actions. Strong presentation helps the interesting concept to work a lot, and as your actions repeat the changes build up nicely.
Not overly complex, but well-crafted for a short experience.

Psychomanteum, by Hanon Ondricek

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short, but original&effective minimalist tale, January 2, 2017

This author really knows how to use minimalism to create an atmosphere of the eerie & the liminal...
A short piece with a novel concept, it features a limited environment but a very well implemented one, used to heighten the tension. Effectively written, and with several endings depending on what is done.

To The Wolves, by Els White

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A girl who escapes to the forest and the wolves, December 20, 2016

The story actually branches a fair bit, though some branches are much harder to find, and there's a lot of scope in different things you can try, as some of the achievements show. I played several times to try different options & didn't encounter any missing paragraphs or errors on my playthroughs...

I found the story quite tight, with every event contributing to the greater storyline; and there are a number of ways the finale can play out.

The Dead: A Story, by John Leo
Thoughtful and touching, December 19, 2016

A simple setup that turns out to be a surprisingly thoughtful and touching story, as long as you don't mind stories in mysterious cultures you won't fully understand; rewards attention to detail.

Destination Unknown, by Mark Mihalko
Too rushed and eventually falls apart..., December 19, 2016

Some of the descriptions on the ship are good, but the story's too rushed to be able to build up any tension. As it goes on it starts to fall apart more, as though the author made it up as they went- some things aren't resolved, the story abruptly changes direction, and it finally just suddenly ends... and the characters' reactions aren't that believable.

There are some multiple choices that randomly kill you out of the blue with some weird unrelated occurrence.

Heretic Dreams, by Hannah Powell-Smith
Stolen power, December 15, 2016

A short game where you're forced to make tough decisions, though you may not understand the implications of some of them at the time. Though short, the writing means it's impossible not to get emotionally invested in the outcome for the characters involved- and there are multiple endings.

Pale, by Ally Vordan

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Unfinished, September 2, 2016

The story has an interesting start and setting, and seems like it might be leading in some intriguing directions- but it's completely unfinished.

It's meant to eventually have two characters to choose between, but even with the one character available now it terminates after a bit in an 'insert paragraph here' placeholder; I tried the story twice using different options and both ended up this way after a while.
It's an interesting premise, although lacking in logic a bit in some places- everyone in the town seems unwaveringly convinced you're a murderer just by you being the first one to discover a body...

Don't Look Twice, by GriffEn
Bitesized, but nice mechanics, August 20, 2016

Very short and simple (though with some replayability).
A minimalist approach with nice mechanics, and a creepy atmosphere, but very bitesized.

Relic, by Caelyn Sandel
Unfamiliar setting, ambiguous story, August 20, 2016

A short linear story, set in a very different alternate world/time -So containing nouns that don't exist in ours whose meanings you must infer.
Well written, but much of what exactly happened remains unknown (some very deliberately made obscure), which is surprising given that it's based around a very novel subject.

Silver & Gold, by rosencrantz

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fantastic concept, tantalizing glimpse., August 20, 2016

Such an awesome idea! Although extremely tantalizingly short.
A story split into two different *simultaneous* & opposing narratives -it works a little better when the two unfold individually at the start than when they synchronize later.

It'll take a couple of playthroughs to absorb all of the interesting story tidbits going on, and with so many ideas it seems almost like a teaser for something bigger. But really shows what can be done with an interesting concept like this.

Blue Chairs, by Chris Klimas

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful story, much left ambiguous, March 16, 2016

I loved it - it develops into something not at all what you'd expect from the beginning, becoming a beautifully poignant tale with great writing- it gets a bit flabby in the middle (Spoiler - click to show)around the maze section as the story doesn't really develop there, and some might not even realise how far it goes, with some of the early possible endings.
I agonised over whether it was a 4/5 star piece- there are a couple of puzzles you'll need to use the hint system for-
But it has some really wonderful insightful and affecting writing- was surprised how young the author was when he wrote this, from the supporting documentation! Really beautiful, although much is still left very ambiguous.

the uncle who works for nintendo, by michael lutz
An eerie tale of childhood rumours and beliefs, March 10, 2016

The title may not sound an obvious one for an eerie and evocative tale, but it's a really resonant & archetypal one.

Taking you back to an age of childhood sleepovers, perspectives and rumours, you begin immersed in simple, mundane decisions and tasks... The beauty of the game is its iconic simplicity, not overcomplicating itself as the magic of its underlying and original story creeps into the fore.

I've always found that eerie stories with a childhood setting well-told can really effectively regress you to a mindset when things that might be unbelieveable now seemed all-too credible, of the schoolyard lore and the folklore of youth.

It's short to run through once, but you've barely uncovered any of it by then - you'll keep coming back to discover the others endings.

A simple, iconic and really original eerie tale.

Following Me, by Tia Orisney
Harrowing and scary, but not heartless , March 10, 2016

Great, tense writing that maintains throughout the story, despite it being quite lengthy. Many horrors fall down when it comes to characterisation, but the characters here are likeable, relatable and competent, and you come to really invest in what happens to them...

Everything is impressively thought out and with a vivid level of detail and ongoing consistency - It might require a stronger warning that 'intended for mature audiences' though - it's genuinely pretty harrowing!

Really draws the reader in, often for much longer than they intended to be reading... for a pretty exhausting experience.

Some have criticised the degree of interactivity, but this tends to vary between IFs - And I felt the act of having to decide how to proceed next made me *feel* tense and as if everything hinged upon the next decision... with characters I had really come to care about hanging in the balance.

Really well written original horror experiences can be hard to find!

All Through the Night, by Daniel "Bosch" Saults

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short but perfectly formed, January 22, 2016

I really enjoyed this story- it's a small neat package, but all the better for it.
Really flexible, and well implemented, it reacts correctly to a variety of things you might try to do... And most importantly, it has some really descriptive creepy ideas ;)
Didn't feel linear/constrained, and was a real experience especially on the first playthrough.
A couple of minor guess-the-verb issues, but otherwise great.

Only managed to find endings A, B & C myself, no idea how you get D etc- I'd be interested to know all outcomes!

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