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Reviews by MathBrush

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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
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Fracture, by Ralfe Rich

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short but vivid one-verb game, November 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This game is directly modeled on Lime Ergot and Toby's Nose, where the main action is found by examining something over and over again, including things mentioned in the description.

It's more rough than those two, with some typos and less direction for the player, but the worldbuilding was intriguing to me and the descriptiveness well-done.

It's a brief game, but I played through it twice and feel there's still more for me to discover.

Ebony & Ivory's Halloween Party, by M. Nite Chamberlain

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Monster party shenanigans, November 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is a short, styled twine game about having a party with monsters and you having to find some gourds.

It has a world-model, various characters that can interact with each other, and some items.

Everything's just small. There's very little of interest in the conversational options that don't advance the story, and only a few options do anything.

But this was made in 4 hours, and I'm honestly impressed at how much they packed in in that time. And some of the characters are described very well (especially Orlok and Lycan).

Death Plays Battleship, by Nerd Date Night

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short and straightforward game about battling death, November 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is pretty good for a 4-hour-or-less game. You meet death in some sort of spiritual limbo, and you get the chance to redeem your soul through playing chess.

Instead of placing ships on a grid, your position is pre-selected and your guesses come from a menu. I won the first time I played, but I don't know if it was rigged to always win or if it was just random chance.

There are some interesting thoughts on the freedom of the soul, but I feel like the whole thing could use some more fresh takes. But that's hard to do in 4 hours, so I'm overall pretty happy with this game.

Cabin in the Forest, by willitchio

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short choicescript game with elaborate character creation, November 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is an interesting short game. You have to create a character to run through a short horror story.

But the narrator, Pallas, wants your creation to be incredibly detailed. While each choice has narrow options (as commented on by the narrator), there are many options to be had before the impending disaster.

I liked it. Near the middle, I started clicking fast through several similar/repetitive options, but I think that's part of the experience.

The game overall seems well polished for something made in less than 4 hours. The emotional moments didn't 100% land for me, but it was good overall.

Check Please!, by balt77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A tiny tale of terror told in a totally typical timeline, November 13, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This game is essentially a small snippet of a horror story told over 4-6 pages. Like the blurb suggests, it's 175 words.

It's completely linear, but I think the interactivity actually works for it here, as it paces the story well and allows for surprise more than would be feasible in a static format.

My rating system is designed to accomodate micro games, so I'm giving it stars for emotional impact, interactivity and descriptiveness but not for polish (there are typos which, in a 175 word game, should really be easy to fix using grammarly or something similar) or replayability. Even with the typos fixed, I would still give 3 stars, as the interactivity is only okay, not great. But fun little game.

A Very Dangerous Criminal, by C.C. Hill

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A gory Choicescript game made for Ectocomp, November 9, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is a Choicescript game made for the Grand Guignol division of Ectocomp. It's a bloody and violent game about a confrontation in a forest.

I think that every game has different elements that contribute to the overall strength of it. Here's my take on five elements I usually look at in games:

-Polish. This is where the game struggles the most. There are numerous typos and misstatements scattered throughout the text. As an author, and especially as a Choicescript author, I am no stranger to making a ton of typos (I think I had to fix 'its' vs 'it's' 1000 times in my Choicescript game). But websites like grammarly can really help out here, which is what I use, or asking people to look over the text.

+Descriptiveness. This is the game's strongest point. The writing is detailed and vivid. For me, I found it violent and gory in an unpleasant way, but it was only unpleasant because it was so detailed.

-Interactivity: I personally like Choicescript best when it lets you customize who are you in detail or lets you plan out strategies. In this game, choices can be completely arbitrary (like 'go left, go right, go straight') or represent a forced choice where all options are essentially the same (that's not always bad, but in this case you get the same forced choice over and over again).

+Emotional impact: I felt disturbed by the game, which is not an emotion I like or seek out but which succeeds in its goal.

-Would I play again? Due to the content and the polish, I wouldn't do so right now.

Contains strong profanity and gore.

La noche del protector, by Cobra626

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A gripping supernatural tale about the Spanish Civil War, November 4, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
I went back and forth on this story. At first, I thought it was one of the best stories I've read in a long time, but I think the second half isn't quite as good as the first, and there were a few minor errors (like an uncapitalized 'la' at the beginning of a sentence).

This game is set in the 1936 Spanish Civil War, and you're ordered to bombard a city that is supposedly harboring refugees. Chaos ensues, as well as supernatural shenanigans.

The characterization was amazingly good, and the detail made me feel like I was there. For me, the realistic parts were the strongest, while the supernatural elements, while polished and well-done, were less compelling to me. Definitely felt happy to read this.

De lo que aconteciů a Kanwa Tathimizu, by Ruber Eaglenest

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A poetic and imaginative Texture game about Japanese spirits, November 3, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This game was entered in Ectocomp 2020.

This is a Texture game, and it presented a double language barrier to me, as it is in Spanish and contains numerous Japanese words as well. So I may have missed out on some of the nuances, but I found it charming and well-written.

The story is about a scholar who is seeking inspiration for a story and so engages in Japanese calligraphy. There are several objects around that can serve as inspiration, each inspiring a sort of reverie or dream that always ends up disturbed by a yokai or Japanese spirit.

I laughed at some parts of it, and was intrigued by others. Parts reminded me of Alice and Wonderland. The multimedia use was lovely. Definitely worth checking out for a chill, relaxing time.

Stand Up / Stay Silent, by Y Ceffyl Gwyn

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Discrimination on Mars, October 20, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is a short game with two choices, each one being Ďsupport protestorsí vs Ďdonít support protestorsí (with a middle-of-the-road option in some playthroughs).

You play as someone on Mars who is in a relationship with someone who is either marginalized or very socially active.

I believe that all people are equal before God and I believe that racism is abhorrent. I believer that I am a beneficiary of a system that benefits white people over other races, and that change is necessary and requires personal effort from privileged peoples to stop practices that harm other races and foster those that strengthen them.

But i donít believe the choice structure in this game is an effective way to communicate any of those messages.

As a final note, the game was polished and well-written.

+Polish: The game is thoroughly polished.
+Descriptiveness: It was well-written.
-Interactivity: See my thoughts above.
+Emotional impact: It certainly got a reaction out of me.
-Would I play again? I don't plan on it.

Sonder Snippets, by Sana

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short contemplative Twine game, October 19, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is a game seemingly designed to be inscrutable. The prose is dense and hard to comprehend, and the structure in the opening sequence is a series of almost randomly highlighted words that lead to musings on those words or the reason you selected them.

Overall, Iím not quite sure if the author succeeded in their goal. Was it contemplation about our place in the universe and its effects? Was it poetry? Was it a meditation on life? Iím not really sure.

And what effect did the Thief have on others? Make them believe only the Thief mattered/existed? Iím not sure what that means.

+Polish: I didn't see any errors.
-Descriptiveness: I found the text vague and imprecise.
-Interactivity: In the first section, it's hard to know what to pick; in the latter portion, there's only one thing to pick.
-Emotional impact: This game didn't land for me.
+Would I play again? I might take it for another spin in the future to get more impressions.


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