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Reviews by Simon Deimel

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How to say Goodbye in a Pandemic, by MajicKat

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A short reading matter, May 19, 2020
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
This short project in Twine offers some thoughts on losing a loved one during the current crisis. The text is accompanied by graphics and sound effects. The ideas are considerately executed, but unfortunately there is no real interactivity to make it feel like an actual game. The project at hand only takes some minutes to finish, so is worth a try anyway.

The Legend of Wooley Swamp, by Molly Geene (as Elizabeth Jones)
Not a game, July 20, 2017
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
This is a collection of articles on Wooley Swamp. I did not know the corresponding song when I started playing (or let's say reading), but checked the lyrics after clicking through and as far I can see, the main article summarizes the lyrical content of the song and there are some additional lines containing some creepypasta. So all we get is a number of text dumps that do not require any decisions. This kind of presentation is not very compelling -- it might have been a better idea to let the player be a part of the plot.
It is not the worst to read, but not recommendable for people who want a playing experience. There is no interactivity in selecting and reading some articles and most certainly not a game.

The Seers Catalogue, by Sean Michaels

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Above average, June 30, 2017
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
The Seers Catalogue is a Twine game of medium length with graphic elements and suitable sound effects. The game has a great atmosphere and the player is drawn into strange events. It starts with a weird magazine that you can actually browse in. There are articles and something is going to draw your attention: The request for an accomplice...

The interactive story is mostly linear. There are some choices every now and then, but I am not sure if they change much about the outcome of the story. The game is focused on the atmosphere.

There are minor flaws like the fact that some choices are not highlighted enough in the colour schemes, but this is something you can get over easily. Recommendable for everyone who likes a story with surreal elements.

Collision, by Daniel Burchinal

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Incomplete, June 29, 2017
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
What we have here is merely the introduction to an interactive science fiction story about a stranded space traveller, limited to some choices and some dead ends. At the time at which I am writing this review, the game (or rather introduction to a game) was posted one and a half years ago without being continued, so I may assume that the author has lost interest in this project, or there are other reasons for abandoning it. I do not mind unfinished games being online, but there should be more than some screens of text.
Nevertheless the beginning is really not that bad. The writing is decent and the way the choices are given reminds me of the old fighting fantasy game books that I loved a lot when I was younger. It is a pity that this game will probably remain unfinished. It is not a game in its current state.

Would You Survive A Bear Attack?, by ClickHole

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A brief experience, June 27, 2017
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
I would probably classify this interactive story as a vignette as it is about one situation that you have to deal with -- the attack of a bear. The prose is sparse, there are some visual elements and not much else.
But still I found this little piece quite entertaining. Exploring the different branches was interesting enough to replay it a few times, and the choices branched off in amusing situations. Recommendable for everyone who can spare five minutes.

Nevermore, by destinygod
Almost 4 stars, January 28, 2015
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
It is a nice story in the tradition of Edgar Allen Poe, featuring motives of his works and mixing them up with the visual works of Vincent van Gogh (both of which are characters in the play). The story has some branches, and it is worth to experience every possibility. Unfortunately the main branch seems to relate to an element which, depending on the choices before, may not have taken place, so there is an illogic moment. But nevermind. The prose is skilled and reminiscent of Poe. The dreamlike atmosphere is well put in scene.
I recommend this to friends of Edgar Allen Poe's works -- if you are familiar with his works, you will rediscover his tone and trains of thought.

Minimalism Textual Adventure, by Skywilly

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Minimalism in a good way, May 3, 2014
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
A minimalistic CYOA game that consists of nothing more than colored squares displaying room names, objects or incidents that take place, followed by keywords as choices. It should be mentioned that both elements are written in English and in French.

The lack of narrative elements is something I usually do not find appealing, but to my surprise it was different here: Being confronted with nothing else than single words I felt motivated to think about them, and a narrative of my own came up in my mind. The game manages to tell a story without existing prose, and despite its sparse style I got the feeling that there was a plot, at least for me. The style of the game inspires the readers' fantasy, encourages them to make up parts of the story for themselves.

Principally this piece of work is recommendable for everyone who does not feel offended by the lack of words (some people may consider it to be a sign of laziness, but it can also be a stylistic device). Especially recommendable for people who like something different and experimental.

Fish Bowl, by Ethan Rupp and Joshua Rupp

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A fine sci-fi story with horror elements and a touch of the surreal, March 15, 2014
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
The game FISH BOWL is about a beach comber who awakes one day to find a peculiar fish bowl in his shack near the beach, unable to remember where it has come from and why it is there; this makes the fish bowl a central object and the player is likely to get the idea that there is something to be done about it.

The game is segmented into two parts, the first of which mainly deals with the fish bowl, the second concerning the search for the truth about the situation. Amnesia is a subject of the first part and resolved in the second, which justifies the use of this trope. The change between illusion and reality is nicely arranged and conveys a surreal feeling. The storyline is sinister and dismal; I felt absorbed into it.

It is a quite short game and positively worth playing; the necessary actions can easily be found and there are hints given. I am not good with puzzles, but found out what to do without resorting to a description of the solution. I may recommend this interactive fiction to people with the same preference; also to beginners who want to check out a tight sci-fi narration without running the risk of a headache.

NecroKnight, by Chace Jones
Missing implemetations, March 1, 2014
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
According to the description, this was made for a friend of the author.
The adult elements consist of a laptop described as displaying adult material, the existence of a dildo (which cannot be taken, and using it results in an error message) and references to playing with oneself. The implementions are shallow, typical examples:
>lie on bed
You can't lie on it.
>switch on TV
You can't turn it on.
There are sudden deaths when the house is left, resulting in falling out of a window or being hit by a meteor.
I could not find anything like a story. I originally wanted to state that the game has the quality of a SpeedIF entry, but due to the lack of story elements it is not more than a programming exercise.
It may be funny among friends, but not suitable for a general audience.

Little Blue Men, by Michael S. Gentry

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Metaphorical, March 1, 2014
by Simon Deimel (Germany)
Blue men is a game about an office worker who discovers that not everything is as it seems. I am not an office worker, but I think I would have similar thoughts about it as the protagonist.

The story is very intriguing, the character descriptions leave no doubt about the protagonist's true feelings. He (we can postulate that the protagonist is male) is obviously on the edge -- there are repeated comments how annoying his co-workers and his boss are. The game can bee seen as a metaphor for the wish to break away from the daily grind. The players even have the choice whether they accept their fate of being trapped in their position as office workers.

I was not sure about the rating -- I wanted to give four stars, but finally gave three. The reason is that the game is quite difficult and mistakes can very easily take place, and then the player has to repeat the previous actions when he realizes that what he did was not the series of actions that will lead to the desired ending. So every player is advised to save the game position frequently and keep various save files to prevent trouble. About the endings: the author states in a postscript that there is no real winning ending -- the player has to decide if the reached ending is satisfactory or not, and that is true: When I reached the final ending (it announces that the player has reached the ending which is considered to be the best), I wondered if I would not have preferred something different. But the author offers some thoughts on it in the postscript, so we get an insight in what he was thinking.

The prose is great, even if it contains some profanity (I tend to dislike strong expressions in written texts). It was still acceptable.

I would rather not recommend this game to beginners; it is quite tough, the puzzles are above average and some things may appear confusing. I can heartily recommend it to advanced players though.

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