Ratings and Reviews by MathBrush

View this member's profile

Show reviews only | ratings only
View this member's reviews by tag: 15-30 minutes 2-10 hours about 1 hour about 2 hours IF Comp 2015 Infocom less than 15 minutes more than 10 hours Spring Thing 2016
1-10 of 3173 | Next | Show All


Read This First, by Jessica Creane

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A small circular game, July 13, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game seems to be one giant loop. It's a pretty amusing representation of the frustration of starting a new board game and trying to get everything set up.

It's just a small bit of game, so there's not too much to say. If there were some explanation that was missing, that could make it more interesting, or if there were some hidden code, but the twine file doesn't show any interesting hidden material.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

Goofy, by Ricardo Dague

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A small custom parser java game about exploring an abandoned building, July 13, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is one IFComp game I was never able to play due to its use of an outdated Java platform that you have to pay to download.

I was able to decompile its files and port it to Inform (which I've added as a link here).

It's a small game, with only a few puzzles. You're exploring an abandoned building after trying to grab some loose change. The biggest puzzle is finding a mouse running around a maze. The logic of the maze is pretty frustrating: (Spoiler - click to show)You have to predict where the mouse will go and get a number to light up beneath it. Randomly, the mouse will go check the key. If it was happy before and had the right number lit up, it will push it out, otherwise it won't.

So, pretty small and kind of frustrating, but the java code was really neat to work with.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

The Cross of Fire, by Matthew Carey

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Sherlock Holmes becomes an action hero, July 13, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game has been on my 'to play' list for several years. It was one of the earliest Spring Thing games, in fact one of 4 games in the first year that Spring Thing had more than one entrant.

I've made a Sherlock Holmes parser game before and for me it was really hard to keep it from being 'type exactly what sherlock did in the story to progress'. I don't think I really succeeded.

And I don't think this game does either, although it had different goals than mine. It begins with an extended sequence of giving yourself cocaine, and then becomes a 'guess the next part of the book' sequence, with large chunks of text directly from the book (just like I did).

But after some point, it becomes very different. Sherlock burns with anger; an assassin is sent after him. And Sherlock decides to (Spoiler - click to show)blow up a ship.

I don't think this game is really possible without a walkthrough. The help menu gives many detailed ways to talk to people but you actually have to do very different things (like (Spoiler - click to show)hire willis instead of using ASK ABOUT or TALK TO or TELL.

It was a wild story in the end, but it makes a lot more sense than the original story, which was one of the duller Sherlock Holmes stories.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

All Through the Night, by Daniel "Bosch" Saults

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short and effective creepypasta, July 11, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I was looking back at my 'wishlist' and this game had been on there the longest, for most of a decade if I recall. I thought I'd finally get around to it.

This is a short ADRIFT game with music and some real time effects. The idea is that you are at home watching a nature documentary alone at night when you see something out your window that unnerves you.

I'm giving this game a 5-star rating because I thought through my five criteria and how they applied.

+Polished: I didn't encounter any major difficulties with the parser; WATCH TV didn't work, but that was it. The music definitely added to the overall feel.
+Descriptive: gruesomely so.
+Interactivity: There are 4 endings, and reaching most of them felt pretty natural. The game felt pretty realistic.
+Emotional impact: I was creeped out. I kept turning down the music.
+Would I play again? Yeah, probably.

If you download the adrift 5 runner, and get virus warnings, try one of the other versions of it (e.g. runner+development, just runner, etc.), usually one works.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

Zugzwang, by Vanessa Jygon, Eleanor Jimmy

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fantasy chess battles in miniature, July 10, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

**Zugzwang** by Vanessa Jygon, Eleanor Jimmy

This game was compact and fun. It feature a plus-sign shaped map. Movement is N/E/S/W, but instead of having to return to the middle square, the direction you type takes you directly to that quadrant of the map.

This is a chess-based powerup game. You are a pawn, and all your enemies represent chess characters as well. You learn attacks from each enemy, and can try those attacks on other enemies.

The descriptions were well-done and interesting. The combat was fun at first, but I eventually began flinging everything I had at the enemies, as I had difficulty seeing the logic behind which attacks worked and didn't realized at first that order matters.

This games has a secret, it's (Spoiler - click to show)connected to another game in the 2024 Parsercomp. Regarding that:

(Spoiler - click to show)The game is made by the authors of 19 Once. Both games have very similar mechanics and can be solved in a similar way. After beating 19 Once, you can unlock a special command for Zugzwang, and vice versa. The special commentary for Zugzwang makes it much better, giving you that vibe of a friend group that likes each other but has a tenuous hold, with some being grating or weird but you stick with them for now.

Very fun concept.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

The English Restaurant, by Eric Zinda

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A full-sentence parser that struggles with simple commands, July 9, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I've played a lot of Perplexity games over the years (well, I can remember 2 or 3). But something seems to have gone wrong with the programming. It's designed to accept full sentences, but even really basic stuff isn't understood. My start was like this:


Youíre going to a restaurant with your son, Johnny, who is vegetarian and too scared to order by himself. Get a table and buy lunch for both of you. You have 20 dollars in cash.
Host: Hello! How can I help you today?
?:hello! I would like a table for two
Hello!
Host: Perfect! Please come right this way. The host shows you to a wooden table with a checkered tablecloth. A minute goes by, then your waiter arrives.
Waiter: Hi there!
Waiter: What can I get you?
?:hello! let me order for my son
Hello!
I don't know the words: let and I don't know the way you used: order
Waiter: What can I get you?
?:let me ask my son
I don't know the words: let, ask
Waiter: What can I get you?
?:johnny, what would you like to eat?
I don't know the words: johnny,
Waiter: What can I get you?
?:i would like a hamburger
I don't know the words: hamburger
Waiter: What can I get you?


I got through the whole game, but the whole thing was like this. The most basic words related to restaurants weren't understood:


?:i eat the food
I don't know the words: eat
Waiter: What can I get you?


I know the Perplexity engine is capable of some sophisticated worldbuilding, so I really don't know what happened here.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

19 Once, by Yvonne Jeagon, Larissa Jemmy

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short conversation puzzle game, July 9, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

I saw spoilers already on this games secret, but I've only played this game for now so I'll judge it on its own.

It's a fun parser game that reappropriates directions N/E/S/W to be the initials of your friends. Directional movement corresponds to visiting your friends and talking to them.

Your goal is to convince your 4 19-yr old friends to come together, to be reunited again. Each friend you talk to can bring up different topics. Mentioning those topics to others can provoke new topics.

I had fun with this, and convinced 2/4 friends and had a third ready to go. But I couldn't logic out how to help the 4th one, so I just threw everything I had at them repeatedly until I solved it.

Neat idea!

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

Project Postmortem, by Gamefic

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Brief investigation game, July 9, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

Gamefic! I remember a Gamefic game in my first IFComp, Second Story, I remember the parser being better than many custom systems.

This game is pretty small, but it shows the relative usefulness of the parser system. There are a small cluster of rooms in an academic area. Your job is to investigate the death of a beloved professor. But in the middle of your investigation, everything changes.

This game is very minimal. Descriptions are bare-bones. Each room has one object of interest in it, except for one room with 2 or 3. I solved the game by just trying the only available actions.

The parser is pretty good. I didnít really encounter any trouble. Some fancy future options might be pronoun recognition and cycling through past commands when pushing Ďupí, but the save and undo system worked well.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

PARANOIA, by Charm Cochran

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A nervewracking game, July 8, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game is pretty different from most other parser games.

In it, you are part of a yes-no experiment. You are placed in a room with several background items like walls, a table, a chair, etc.

You are told that the lights will go out and assistants will change the room (or not). When the lights go back on, you have to compare the room to the original room for any differences.

The game really keeps you on your toes. UNDO is forbidden, but I did use SAVE and RESTORE after a while, but tried my best on each level. It was wild to check everything in the room with every sense (I copy and pasted Touch it. Taste it. Smell it. listen to it. and used it a lot).

Sometimes the differences are obviously apparent, and sometimes not. I was always paranoid something very tiny would change (like the taste of a button). Twice I was fooled by something small; there is at least one thing that has two similar responses that are slightly different but don't count as 'different' to the game.

The ending was anticlimactic. I wonder if I missed something? But the game did make me genuinely agitated; it is named well.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

The Mysterious Cave, by Ragi
A brief Adventuron game that could be tuned up into something pretty cool, July 8, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This is a brief Adventuron game with some fun graphics that seem custom-made and a few rooms.

I was able to complete it very quickly. There were only a few rooms, and each room only had one way to go forward. There was one puzzle which I solved by using the pictures, as the text didnít seem to provide many clues.

There were several errors. The game started by saying that some settings were not configured, and the first page has a big typo in capital letters. The puzzle solution also acted a bit weird, like it was reacting to keywords rather than commands. The very ending didnít make sense to me the way it was written.

Overall, it feels more like a programming exercise than a full game, but this is exactly what a good game can look like early on in the process before itís fully developed, so I would tell this author this isnít really bad, just needs more work.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 


1-10 of 3173 | Next | Show All