Average geek takes drugs and dreams his way through a confusing game. Pretentious, condescending tone, as if the author is trying to teach you something very profound. The competent implementation and writing is not enough to make this game less irritating.I have to make use of the standard disclaimer here: although I didn't like it (and arguably I didn't get it), most players consider Blue Chairs a modern classic, and this game got close to winning the 2004 IF Comp. So it's a game that deserves to played. At the very worst, you'll be as disappointed as I was.
Prepuberal Prince of Denmark wannabe peels the deep implementation layers of his parents' home. Exceptional atmosphere, flourishing prose and dark, dark humor abound.Gamlet is a missed chance for a classic. It's deeply unsettling and funny at the same time, but the effect is somewhat spoiled by the ending sequence. The ending itself is mildly interesting, mainly because it reveals a lot about the game's author - which probably wasn't the intention of the author itself.
A number of funny and pretty smooth mini-games tied by a loose narrative about a young arcade gamer. Geeky humor transpires throughout.
A fascinating mess-up of some IF conventions, this (very short) experiment is only partly successful. But somehow, the game manages to keep the thrust of its catchy opening line. Pleasantly subdued humor, decent puzzles.
A clever and funny time-travel puzzle game where you play a scientist trying to save the world from her own invention. Coherent setting and puzzles and a genuine sense of urgency make this one lift off. A bit confusing at times, but ultimately deeply rewarding.
IF Comp 2004 seemed to be filled with games about astronauts awakening from cryogenic sleep. This one is really good, though. It's a funny take on Infocom's classics, with the same gentle humor and fiendish puzzles of its
models. Great sidekick.
A short, nearly puzzleless, anti-war familiar drama. Very competent use of the medium and an interesting story. Too rhetorical and deliberate to be genuinely moving, but it gets close. It deserves to be played multiple times.
A short, light-hearted fantasy adventure about a squire on a mission to kill a dragon. The humour is not always spot-on, but a couple of clever puzzles make up for it. One of the puzzles is a bit guess-the-nounish, though.
A sci-fi story about meeting an alien culture. It can't seem to decide wether it's partly serious or not. It feature a sidekick with its own emotional reactions. I missed a essential item, and I was stuck without a walkthrough.
A single large one-room puzzle about a very complicated machine, with some impressive parser tricks. Too focused on implementation and technology and not enough on being actually fun. Amusing ending sequence.
A girl must deal with the daily grind of her own private zoo. Very confusing. It's actually a clever joke, but I couldn't get it until I read the walkthrough. Native English speakers will probably appreciate it.
An interesting MUD simulation mixed with traditional IF. The exciting premise is let down by repetitive gameplay, and the "undo" command makes it all a bit pointless. Refreshingly different, but seriously flawed.
Hopelessly cliched "astronaut with amnesia" stuff. Interesting enough at first, but it dries up after the first half. The lost identity theme adds nothing to anything, and that last puzzle could have used some trimming.
Ye Olde Puzzle-Fest, with decent implementation spotted by some obvious bugs. From the generic fantasy-starting-in-a-house setting onwards, everything feels a bit oh-hum. Never actively bad, though.
A very well-crafted Sci-Fi narrative implemented with maniacal attention to details. Very good (if verbose) writing, clean graphics and an involving and deeply human story almost push it up into four-stars territory. But sorry, I couldn't stand the puzzles.
Well-written social satire with Gourmet-style "lateral thinking" puzzles. The cheesy opening scene gives way to a very solid, enjoyable game. Intelligent writing, strong characters. The humour is a bit hit-and-miss.
A comedic mistery with a well characterized NPC and not much more. Clumsy, uncertain use of the medium. The puzzles are decent at best, but the two protagonists save it from being quickly forgotten.
A Kafkian story about a man imprisoned for unknown reasons. It becomes less and less interesting as it goes, but the philosophic undertones are clever and sometimes funny. Largely based on a difficult puzzle that doesn't really fit in IF format.
A fantasy story on the side of goblins. I wanted to play this a tad more, but the lack of a walkthrough and an hunger-sleep puzzle convinced me to quit. If I'm about to die from lack of sleep, why can't I use the beds?
Japanese schoolgirls against the robot dictators. The English prose feels strange, but maybe it's just me. Many situations feel a bit random, and the game has hints but lacks a walkthrough. The B-movie robot descriptions are funny, though.
A curious short story about a tourist lost in Santa Fe and looking for his group. Simple, with retro-style puzzles. Ultimately too insubstantial to be satisfying. At least it doesn't make promises that it can't keep.
An earnest attempt at a mistery/action story. Very rough around the edges, with lots of edges. The "unexpected twist" in the end can be seen approaching from miles ahead.
A messy alien abduction story with a bunch of puzzles that range from the interesting to the totally pointless. Nothing to write home about.
An interesting "create" command lures you into fantasy B-games hell. Missing item desciptions and increasingly random story elements make this one involutarily humorous. It can be completed by using ESP or a walkthrough.
A short and very bland whodunit, where you don't really care about who did it. It feels like a series of in-jokes between the author and her acquaintances. The setting, a small private airport, is original, and it kept me playing.
A satirical game about the current Iraqi war. Pointless puzzles, confusing map and very peculiar humour. Wait a minute... That is humour, isn't it?
Zany fantasy game where the author jumps here and there trying to make it all feel part of a theme. Some of the long monologues are so bad, they deserve cult status (or maybe the author is very young?). Everything, including the "light" theme, is all over the place.
Short, underimplemented game about a guy escaping from somewhere. It's sci-fi, but it could be just about anything. Pointless and juvenile in its approach to story and character.
Sci-fi with neither the sci nor most of the fi. Some robots, some uninspiring locations, a generally sloppy feeling. The author's hints are as subtle as a slap in your face, but the puzzles felt too difficult anyway.
"Astronaut in peril" plots were all the fashion in the 2004 IF Comp. This one is another point against home-brewed parsers. The real-time technology never really comes through, while the bugs and parser limitations do. The prose and puzzles don't really help.
The author's note: "Don't understand the point that this game is getting at? Thats ok, I don't either, and I wrote it!". Yeah, it's one of those. You're "in someone else's mind", wandering around without a clue nor a walkthrough.
Short BASIC game about a ninja who must do something to someone, but ends up moving between two or three underdescribed locations and winning the game for no apparent reason. Probably contains less words than this review. Extremely buggy.
Superhero parody involving a talking parrot and lots of comedic characters. Let down by quirky parsing, overly sparse implementation and verbose prose. The humor didn't quite work for me.