Reviews by AKheon

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I Hunger, by David Yates

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A bitter late night snack, September 25, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: horror, choice-based, twine

I Hunger is a choice-based horror game by David Yates, published in 2015. You play as a mysterious God-like being who observes humans from inside a volcano and regularly demands sacrifices... or else!

The gameplay consists of making a choice of what sacrifice you desire each cycle. There are four different types of sacrifices, and your choice (Spoiler - click to show)impacts how the nearby human society will develop. Your role is a bit like natural selection; the humans will adapt in response to your cruel demands. There are also multiple endings, and the way you reach them makes sense in the context of the gameplay. If you (Spoiler - click to show)only demand one single thing over and over again, it usually results in a bad ending. For instance, demanding gold over and over again causes resources to deplete and the remaining humans will simply choose to escape your wrath. Playing smart on the other hand allows humanity to prosper, which lets you prolong the cycle of sacrifices indefinitely.

The writing is in first-person and it has a detached and grandiose style, as you would expect from some ageless being that expects worship. The tone of the game is not scary, per se, but it is fairly dark. The main character is an amoral glutton without real redeeming qualities, but the humans at his whim are also cast in a somewhat bad light as they (Spoiler - click to show)will rob and enslave people from nearby regions to placate your needs without having to sacrifice their own kin. However, it's also true that moderate expansionism can lead to one of the happier ending paths with humanity flourishing in long term. It seems that regular moral judgments become harder when you're dealing with a massive time scale, like in this story.

The level of polish is generally good, but I did notice one typo and one missing message: (Spoiler - click to show)you get a blank screen after you observe humans if demanding knowledge is your first sacrifice.

I Hunger features a thought-provoking concept and a compact, mostly functional execution. It's a very short game, but the multiple endings add a bit of replay value to it. It could be worth spending some 15 minutes with if you wish to step into the shoes of a mildly genocidal God.


Blind Date from Hell, by rook

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Still a better love story than... ah, never mind, September 24, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: twine, choice-based, horror, adult

Blind Date from Hell is a choice-based horror game by rook, published in 2017. The first part of the game is about going on a blind date, the second is about (Spoiler - click to show)getting violently murdered and/or raped in somewhat unlikely fantasy circumstances; the scenarios involve, among other things, black magic, shapeshifting and tentacles.

The game is conceptually pretty one-note. But... should I really be surprised? The game does market itself as an adult IF; even the introduction says it's for "getting-off purposes".

For what it's worth, the writing is proficient and descriptive. The game manages to create a contrast between the romantic start and the later half where the "from Hell" part of the title comes into play. There is also a fairly wide variety of grotesque or sadistic situations you can end up in. Considering all this, I believe Blind Date from Hell is a success in its own terms, at least.

As a casual horror fan possessing a particularly morbid curiosity, I can appreciate the game for its sheer shock value. But shock value alone doesn't necessarily get you very far. It's the same deal as with many extreme metal bands that believe that 230 bpm speed and harrowing screaming is a meaningful end in itself. Even if well-executed, it's mostly a cheap thrill if there's nothing beyond it.

And I may have missed the point already by starting to criticize the depth of an adult IF.

Anyway, if your interest was piqued by anything I wrote above, you already know whether you should try out Blind Date from Hell. It's simply a... very specialized affair...


Saint City Sinners, by dgallagher

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Film noir absurdities, August 21, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: choice-based, Twine, comedy, IF Comp 2019

Saint City Sinners is a choice-based comedy IF by dgallagher, published in 2019. It's essentially a 50's film noir detective story, only exaggerated to absurdist comedy degrees.

The main character is a gritty vigilante detective with a dark past who has even named his own fists Truth and Justice. He proclaims himself to be "the only barrier between innocence and corruption" in Saint City. He's here to kick ass and ponder gloomy analogies about crime, and he's not about to run out of those analogies any time soon.

The humor is the best part of the game. Nonsensical and often comically serious, the jokes keep on coming at a very rapid pace. Fortunately more of it is hit than miss, at least personally.

The story is fairly short - you could reasonably get through it in under 20 minutes, although it does have extra branching paths and things to discover if you want to go around clicking all the options. You can even have the main character (Spoiler - click to show)go back to school, momentarily turning the game into a college simulator. Just don't try shooting the dean with a harpoon...

The game uses some light jazz music in the background to really get you in the film noir mood. It's a nice addition that complements the game's idea quite well.

Unfortunately, Saint City Sinners is not without its flaws. It could have used some more polish, as there is the occasional typo, and one of the prompts to return to last checkpoint instead sends you to a screen that says "Double-click this passage to edit it". It's slightly immersion breaking.

Overall, it's a fun and short romp. I would generally recommend it for anyone who likes this type of comedy.



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