Ratings and Reviews by thecanvasrose

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Fašade, by Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Ever used "Cleverbot"? This is that, but it's IF., October 21, 2019

This is a responsive AI chatbot with a built-in plotline. If you've ever used Cleverbot or ELIZA, this is one of those, but it's made with the purpose of telling an interactive story. Gameplay resembles "Galatea" and other conversational IF.


My Very Own Train Station, by Niklas Gl°sen
A Superb Philosophical Short Deserving of Attention, October 20, 2019

This short only offers the player a handful of choices, but that doesn't negate the fact that it has excellent writing and visuals. It presents sort of an unusual take on IF, but I personally loved it very much! It took me off guard initially and I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but throw your expectations out the door and give "My Very Own Train Station" a whirl. It's deserving of attention and praise.

What was my only critique against this game was that it is easy to quickly reach an ending and that to get another one, you have to start over again and again - I wasn't sure how I felt about this recursive quality during play. However, I came to feel that this trait really fits the game, a day or so later, and now I can't help but wonder if it's intentional.

The mundane repetitiveness of the story, how thoroughly the player is willing to read through all of it and the main character's primary dilemma of escaping a rigid environment tie together to the game's overarching ideas and themes. "My Very Own Train Station" was carefully made. Well made. Be careful to give it good time and thought.


Love, Prestige & Spookiness, by Elizabeth Smyth, Pedro Alves, D'Ack Games, Maria Vittoria Patti, Ed Roberts, Alan Wills, Anita G. Zadeh, Aria Zadeh
A short demonstrating what IF can look like when built solely with Unity, October 20, 2019

I played "Love, Prestige & Spookiness" after looking for games by Elizabeth Smyth ("Bogeyman"). Here, Smyth has worked with several other game creators on an IF short built entirely with Unity. I've played other strong IF implemented with Unity alongside other programs (most often Twine), but here, Unity stands alone. I don't think that "Love, Prestige & Spookiness" is the best IF I've seen built with Unity (I've recently discovered Niklas Glosen's Unity/Twine IF, which is stronger in this regard), but it does demonstrate what an IF game built WHOLLY through Unity can look like and how such an approach may be able to change the shape of IF in new ways. This game takes a kind of point and click approach to an open ended IF story where the player can visit varied rooms (faintly evocative of a parser) and then make choices via hyperlink (evocative of Twine). The overall flavor of this game is new. However, the story is very short. While it plays out some interesting ideas, it doesn't push them very far and feels lacking as a whole, as a result. Overall, I think that this game is noteworthy as an experimental piece, but as a playable game, it falters a little bit.

(Be sure to play the game on a computer with a mouse or keypad which allows you to use a scrolling function.)


Bogeyman, by Elizabeth Smyth
thecanvasrose's Rating:

ZOINKS!, by Elizabeth Smyth
thecanvasrose's Rating:

Poppet, by Bitter Karella
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Secluded, by Niklas Gl°sen
thecanvasrose's Rating:

The Horrible Pyramid, by Ryan Veeder

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Yeah, it's a Fun Short, October 7, 2019

This would be a very solid pick for people new to IF, but otherwise, I wouldn't call this one particularly memorable. It is fun and well built. I enjoyed it on the first go, but I wasn't wowed by it. I'll never play it again. I prefer Veeder's bigger games, and if I were to introduce someone to his work, I'm not sure I'd start with this one unless they were totally unfamiliar with IF.


One Eye Open, by Caelyn Sandel (as Colin Sandel) and Carolyn VanEseltine
My Favorite Parser Game, October 7, 2019

Yes, "One Eye Open" is over the top, but it's just so well fleshed out (heh heh, "fleshed out") and engaging that I cannot help but absolutely adore it. That and I'm already sort of a sucker for horror games anyways. This game has great replay value, the story runs near cinematically (that is, no matter what choices I made, the story felt cohesive), the dark humor is on point and it plays a variety of tropes to clever and original ends. 10 out of 10 from me.


American Election, by Greg Buchanan

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Worthy of XYZZY nomination, when the time comes., September 13, 2019

I'm currently a little short on time to write a review at the moment - I'll come back to his later to write one.



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