Reviews by Audiart

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The Bibliophile, by Marshal Tenner Winter

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
One star for the setting, one for the cat., February 10, 2018
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

Right away I thought, this game is for me. The bookstore, the proprieter, the cat. I felt like I was really the protagonist. Yes, a nice big, juicy, literary game. I walked all over the store getting ready to dive into something big, exploring everything, looking for stuff to pick up, petting the cat, trying to read books, or anticipate the direction the game would take.

However, none of this yielded any result (except petting the cat.) It turns out that almost none of the locations or objects in the game are necessary. I got tired walking through the unimplemented rooms, and felt frustrated by the feeling of constantly following a red herring. All that the player must do is following directions given you by an NPC (go upstairs and look for this, go downstairs and bring me that.)

Conclusion: Great setting, no puzzles. For a game called Bibliophile, there is astonishingly little to do with anything literary. On the contrary, as another reviewer mentioned, I was truly thrown off by the bad language of the librarian - not only unwelcome but contextually inappropriate. For me this game was exhausting but not rewarding. As it turns out, the best part happened in the first two minutes: naming the cat.

Bell Park, Youth Detective, by Brendan Patrick Hennessy

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Very Well Written CYOA with Great Title Character, May 10, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

I enjoyed the humorous yet mature writing style, and the titular character much more than the game itself. The only real puzzle is figuring out the solution to the crime, by interviewing all of the suspects. Ultimately the main character is so likable and funny that going through every dialogue option was buckets of fun. You will find yourself going "back" to check all of the options.

The character of Bell Park is one of the most well-developed teen characters I've ever seen in IF. Although in general I despise twine games, I think the format really worked for this game. It would have probably been less interesting as a short story, for example, because part of the fun was going through all of the different dialogue options.

I would recommend this game to people who don't like Twine format in general, because "Bell Park, Youth Detective" really plays more like a Choose Your Own Adventure book than the typical moody avant-gardism infesting the genre.

Buck the Past, by Andrew Schultz

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Unintuitive puzzles detract from a few clever moments, May 9, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

I found this game a lot denser than other Ned Yompus games. It is almost a sequel to Shuffling Around in format and gameplay. The main sequence is exploring the environment to figure out what the wordplay is, then adapting your command to that scene.

Ultimately I found the solutions increasingly illogical and farfetched and ended up resorting to the walkthrough constantly. Even while following the author's walkthrough directly, the solutions just stopped making any sense to me pretty early into the game.

Since Buck the Past has essentially no plot or character development, everything boils down to whether or not the wordplay makes sense and is funny. In most cases, the solutions are so unintuitive that it is hard to enjoy the more clever moments.

I enjoyed Shuffling Around quite a bit, but Buck the Past, while based with a good premise, was ultimately too untamed and illogical for me to complete.

Enlightened Master, by Ben Kidwell and Maevele Straw

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Unique game with surprise ending is ultimately too frustrating, May 9, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

This game was not for me. I found the intro monotonous and the second part of the game was incredibly frustrating to interact with. I liked where the philosophy was heading but I was fighting the "controls" too hard to enjoy it. However the uniqueness of the game and the surprise element make it worth going over to see it's your bag.

Bobby and Bonnie, by Xavid

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Logical, Light Fairy Tale Romp, May 9, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

Bobby and Bonnie was more challenging than I expected, but never frustrating. You play a rabbit in a magical setting which although sparsely implemented more than made up for it in imagination. An intersting narration device: the narrator is your sibling, so they speak in the second person, like most parser games, but they are also right there next to you.

This game would be great for older kids but they might need some help with a few of the puzzles. The built in hints but they are not that helpful. There are a few stumper moments but the solutions are logical and can be derived from experimentation and exploration. Also required is some familiarity with Peter Paul and Mary.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective", by C. E. Forman, Matt Barringer, Graeme Cree, and Stuart Moore

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Even worse than Detective, March 10, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

Not only is Detective virtually unplayable on its own, but the commentary so annoying that it actually detracted from the original game, making it even more unplayable than it already is. The intro is so tedious and unfunny as to be truly unbearable. The in-game jokes and asides are so obvious that they do not need to be said, and like much humour, it is much funnier to leave the obvious unsaid.

The original game is worth playing just for its infuriating unplayability, and at least has the excuse that it was made by a kid who put a minimal amount of work into this under-implemented and poorly constructed game. MST3k:Detective, on the other hand, is made by competent adults with obvious coding experience, so there is no excuse for it being as awful as it is.

If you feel like getting a kick out of playing Detective, just play the original and shake your head in wonder at its badness while inserting your own frustrated exclamations in the necessary places. You will have a much better laugh if you experience Detective firsthand and run the commentary in your own mind.

2604, by Admiral Jota

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Highly replayable and polished puzzler, March 9, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

Admiral Jota delivers again in what is easily the best game in this set of SpeedIF. While remaining true to the theme of the comp, 2604 is in no way lacking for having been made under a time constraint.

2604 has a lot of replay value and indeed encourages you to do so, as there are some nice subtleties in the timed events that clue you into what is really going on. The replay is painless and allows one to watch the timed events more closely. In fact, I would recommend NOT reading the theme before playing (as I did) because it is much more fun to figure out what is going on by yourself.

The solution is simple but satisfying and echoes the old-school method of trying to get at an obvious solution by puzzling out sparse rooms and a few well-hidden objects.

It is almost a pity that 2604 is associated with the otherwise pretty rotten collection of SpeedIF games in this theme, because it stands so brilliantly on its own. A must-play quickie.

Three More Visitors , by Paul Stanley

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful writing and attention to detail., March 7, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

The quality of the writing is what elevates this game to another tier among 'quickie' games. Even without comparing it to other SpeedIF (which is not known for its prose) Three More Visitors is quite solid and enjoyable. It is just the right length and not too difficult, nor too simple. The premise of the story itself makes for a perfect IF scenario: to review an unpleasant future and then go back to the present to prevent it. Three More Visitors is really impressive for its beauty, simplicity, and the ability to connect the player empathetically to the plot and characters so quickly.

A Freak Accident Leaves Seattle Pantsless III: Endgame, by Admiral Jota

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Best entry in Pantsless quintet, March 7, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

Certainly the best entry in a contest of only five games revolving around the the theme of removing ones pants and finding ones sock (in Seattle.) Other entries were either too idiotic to be fun, or too logical to be funny. Admiral Jota's game remains zany despite its logical solution. The humor is elevated to a level beyond the absurd and is actually quite funny at times.

A Freak Accident Leaves Seattle Pantsless, by Christopher Huang

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Logical game with a simple puzzle, March 7, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

One of the more coherent in a series of Pantsless in Seattle in-joke games, this game delivers its punchline while also allowing you to intuitively solve a simple yet corny puzzle. This game is more playable, yet somehow duller due to its logical nature, than the other entries.

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