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Reviews by Caleb Wilson

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1-5 of 5

Leadlight Gamma, by Wade Clarke

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Suspiriesque, April 16, 2015
by Caleb Wilson (Illinois)
I played the original Leadlight for a only a few minutes; I don't really like playing games on an emulator. (Why? I don't know.) But the premise of the game -- Dario Argento meets Crowther and Woods -- was always interesting to me. I'm also really happy to see more people selling IF as if, hmm, their work is actually worth something!

This version of Leadlight is sort of an interesting hybrid: the two-word parser and simple gameplay are faithful to the original, while the presentation is slick and modern (for IF), with a map, a music player and, after you've won, unlockable content.

The story is, I would say, heavily inspired by the movie Suspiria, though the terse writing style gives it its own flavor. (Spoiler - click to show)There are both puzzles and "secrets" (the latter being mostly non-essential interactions that provide flavor, backstory, or a bit of fun) which, after I figured out the two-word idiom of the game, came mostly pretty easily -- I was stumped for a few days at the very end, then sat down and figured it out in a rush. There are also "death traps," which are sometimes hard or impossible to see coming; you can automatically undo from these deaths but it will cost you points at the end, so they are basically there to give the player a reason to play again and try for a perfect score. You will probably have to get in the right mood to enjoy the old-school feel of the whole thing -- I did, and did. The old-school text adventure vibe helps make the horrific content more palatable: I wouldn't really want to play this as a 3d graphical game, or probably even as a more lushly written text game.

The extra features: the map was a nice inclusion. The landscape is more sprawling than your average piece of IF these days, and it comes in handy. I didn't figure out how to use the music player until the very end, but it was a cool addition. I also liked the save-slot feature.

I hope this sells well.

Nautilisia, by Ryan Veeder

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Tasty vignette, February 15, 2015
by Caleb Wilson (Illinois)
Great voice and pacing. (Amusingly, the game mentions its own pacing.) I also really like the shape of the map.

interesting coat, by malachy_o

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Miniature absurd epic, November 24, 2014
by Caleb Wilson (Illinois)
(This is the first of a trilogy, and this review goes for all of them.) These are short pieces, dadaist ramblings as written in fragmented language that almost approaches doge-speak, but with enough method to the weirdness to suggest at least the possibility of something slightly more structured than pure absurdity. (They're still pretty absurd, though.) There is a high ratio of striking and memorable passages and phrases to forgettable ones. (My favorite location is (Spoiler - click to show)the Library Pit. Hmm, yeah, that's not really a spoiler... I like the ending with the dead bus driver, too (in game three).) I found them pretty charming.

Skulljhabit, by Porpentine
Grinding Atmosphere, June 5, 2014
by Caleb Wilson (Illinois)
The setting is fantastic (and mentioning Ligotti in the blurb is a sure way to catch my attention). The story moves forward in tiny, inching steps, constantly having to pause for a rest, and at first even large apparently "game-changing" moves (Spoiler - click to show)simply don't. After a certain point (Spoiler - click to show)the locale does in fact change, showing that the cycle of grim work can be broken, but there's always another cycle to get trapped in beyond the first cycle; maybe shoveling skulls forever isn't the worst job in the world after all.

(This didn't work quite right for me with firefox--after about 2/3 of the way through the links stopped working. It was fine with safari, though. I don't know why. It is definitely worth finding a browser that lets you see the whole thing.)

Silk Noil, by Heal Butcher
Vivid microfantasy, May 2, 2014
by Caleb Wilson (Illinois)
Too minimal to really satisfy as a game, but I really love the invention of the setting--this orange and blue silk world might be the most intriguing and memorable setting I've seen in IF. It left me wanting more.

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