Reviews by lobespear

IF Comp 2008

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View this member's reviews by tag: H. P. Lovecraft Commonplace Book Project IF Comp 2008 spring thing 2008
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1-4 of 4

Violet, by Jeremy Freese

11 of 46 people found the following review helpful:
Annoying, December 12, 2008
by lobespear
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008

Hey look, I've got a super-hot, rich, clever, jet-setting Australian girlfriend! She's so cool I even think in her voice! And she loves to play charming tricks on me, like (Spoiler - click to show)writing me a letter to tell me I'm dumped... but it's just a "joke"! Hahaha! Sure you do, Mr Freese, sure you do. You don't live in your mother's basement, alone, programming videogames in your spare time, not at all! ;)

To be fair, this isn't the only game in this comp that suffers from the "imaginary super-girlfriend" problem: RIVERSIDE did too, but it managed to redeem itself by turning out to be a giant rib on exactly *that* type of game. VIOLET is just *that* type of game. Meaning a constant smug, condescending, "aren't-I-amusing" tone, lamebrained "whimsical" humour (it's zombie day! ZOMG how hilarious), and a ridiculous over-extended Babelfish-style puzzle (trying to block distractions while writing an essay) where you are constantly one step away from the solution. Freese's very solid implementation is let down by the awful writing and characterization. Less whimsy next time round please!

wHen mAchines aTtack, by Mark Jones

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Look past the obvious problems, there is a solid game here, November 14, 2008
by lobespear
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008

A meaty effort... lots to read, lots to do. Some evocative writing, a compelling story filled with intrigue, interesting characters and lots of twists and turns. In the world of pulp novels and trashy sci-fi, it would be described as a "page turner". Overcomes some very poor vocabulary, buggy disambiguation, and the "mother of all cut scenes" (one character's dialogue runs for at least twelve turns!) to deliver a nice, solid game that neatly balances puzzles and story. Well worth a play.

The Lucubrator, by Ricardo Dague

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
The IF equivalent of "Dragon's Lair", October 28, 2008
by lobespear
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008

You wake up dead, in a hospital. You know, like Planescape Torment, but without the talking skull. Can you find out what happened to you? Or will you just go on a bloody rampage?

It's a solid premise, a solid idea, and a solid piece of short fiction. But not *interactive* fiction. I imagine the author taking their pre-written text and, every few lines, inserting "Can you guess what happened next?" and a command prompt. Of course you can't guess, you can't read the author's mind, but this is exactly what is expected of you. Totally unclued actions have to be guessed and entered with the exact syntax at exactly the right moment (one move early and its "violence is not the answer to ths one" - even though it specifically *is* the answer).

Despite this, it's actually a compelling tale with an unusual, interesting ending, so I'd recommend you play it, but with walkthru in hand. Much like the old laserdisc arcade game Dragon's Lair where you had to bash buttons to make the story progress, it's an entertaining romp, so long as you're not actually *playing* it.

Buried In Shoes, by Kazuki Mishima

4 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
Awful preachy pretentiousness - avoid!, October 28, 2008
by lobespear
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008

Just the most obvious, heavy-handed, "nazis were bad" point-making possible. Embarrassingly naff. To complement the pompous, pretentious tone, we have a ridiculously sparse implementation, with barely any description beyond the surface-level.

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