Reviews by Sean Callahan

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1-8 of 8

My Great Return, by K1ngkill3r35
Well, that's a minute I'll never get back., January 6, 2015

I pulled this game up at random, decided to give it a try despite its low rating, and the first thing I noticed was the godawful link color -- medium pink on a medium blue background. Instant eyestrain.

The second thing I noticed was the writing, which defies description. I'll just give you a sample:

(Spoiler - click to show)"It all started when Kory appeared in your life, he seemed normal but you soon learned he was persistent on ruining your life. Kory started to take multiple things from your life and soon he completely took everything from you leaving you nothing but your clothes because that would be weird if he took your clothes."

Then I started feeling my way through the choices, which didn't take long -- one of the "wrong" choices just links back to the "right" choice, the others are all instakills, and restarting after an instakill only takes a few seconds because the game is only four pages deep...

...and then it stops, practically in mid-sentence. I'll save you a minute and spoil the ending:

(Spoiler - click to show)You don't get revenge on Kory. You don't make a "Great Return." You don't see "The Void," or use the magic doodad you're shopping for, or learn what it does, or find out what a magic shop is doing in a "sci-fi" game in the first place.


Little Bird, by Socks Meanie (as Dick Dawson)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
"You try to remain inconspicuous as you lean down towards the bird.", January 5, 2015

You hear a twitter, and next thing you know you're smuggling a bluebird out of a hotel lobby in a surreal police state.

The game's best thing (besides the over-the-top nonsensical situations you find yourself in) is its replayability -- there are 17 endings, and the sidebar helpfully tracks them for you while subtly prompting you to collect them all. This could have been annoying if done poorly, but the endings have undo-to-checkpoint links that make exploring late-game choices easier.

It's loosely based on a song by Hexes and Ohs (and has a music-video link in the sidebar), but familiarity with the song isn't even remotely necessary.

And President Bastard is an excellent name for a villain.

Rider In The Mist, by Roy Mathur

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Style, but not much substance., January 2, 2015

If you like dark, bloody sword-and-sorcery, you might enjoy the writing style. The story, though, is underwhelming and uncompelling.

Structurally, the game's choices either make no difference or lead you to a dead end and restarting from the sidebar. The goal is to feel your way through those dead ends, over repeated restarts and playthroughs, to (Spoiler - click to show)the mystery fourth character and his short, choiceless vignette. Each playthrough was mercifully short, but this still became tedious.

I suppose that's one way to convey multiple POVs, but still.

The Girl in the Haunted House, by Amanda Lange
Eek! (restart) (...) Eek!, January 1, 2015

This game's best feature is its replayability. Each plot possiblility is pretty short -- just long enough to build up to a good scare -- but there are a lot of them. I've replayed it seven or eight times now, and I'm still not sure I've seen everything.

Shade, by Andrew Plotkin

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Hmmm... huh?... ho hum., December 31, 2014

Very well written -- moody, evocative, and not too heavy-handed -- but I found steadily declining pleasure in it, especially once I got to the (Spoiler - click to show)fiddle-with-every-damn-object-until-something-happens section. Eventually the puzzle-solving part of my brain checked out and went on vacation somewhere, leaving me to go look for a walkthrough.

It didn't help that I saw the plot twist coming from the minute I saw (Spoiler - click to show)sand.

Z-Life, by Julian Arnold

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting, I guess, December 27, 2014

Not to my taste, really, but I can't hold my taste against it. It works perfectly well, and some people might enjoy watching it.

Beneath the Surface, by finefin

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Trippy but ultimately flawed, December 27, 2014

It's well-written, partly because it's adapting a short story by Robert Sheckley. It's a chore to play, though, and I didn't finish it.

(Spoiler - click to show)The game follows the short story's plot exactly, and that's its sole "puzzle" -- you have to make the same choices the character in the story made. Guess wrong in the wrong place, and you automatically restart and have to remember all the choices and click through however many dozens of pages to get back to where you were, and try another answer for another chance to get closer to the end...

From reading the story afterward on Gutenberg, I see that I got close to the end, and that the auto-restart is thematically appropriate, but holy hell was it annoying after the first half a dozen times.

Fallout Shelter, by Molly Geene (as Amadeo Voss)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Too short, December 27, 2014

Very, very short and very, very simple. I enjoyed it for the couple of minutes it lasted, but it ended before it could build up any substance, momentum, or mood.

1-8 of 8