Reviews by MathBrush

15-30 minutes

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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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Barry Basic and the Quick Escape, by Dee Cooke

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A compact game with reasonable puzzles and interesting characters, May 4, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game pulls off a difficult feat: there are 3 characters you can play as and you can swap between them at will. That's fairly difficult to pull off, but the game does well.

Puzzles are reasonable, as intended for a 'tutorial'-type game. The story is kind of random, but the characters are well-defined, have distinct personalities and see and interact with the world in different ways.

Your friend ends up locked in a strange compound after a tour and needs help escaping. You have to go and save him!

Overall, I didn't feel a real emotional investment in this game, but it was pleasant, one of the smoothest to play out of this game jam.


The Blue Lettuce, by Caleb Wilson

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Cute inform/vorple kids game about eating magical plants, May 3, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I beta tested this game.

In this vorple/inform game with illustrations of plants, you play as a young creature eager to eat every magical plant you can get your hands on.

As per the text adventure literacy jam rules, you are expected to only use 2-word inputs and have simple language.

Caleb is a great author, and this game shares features with his earlier work, Starry Seeksorrow. It is intended for kids, but I enjoyed the puzzles, and I especially appreciated that solving them all is not necessary for winning. When I beta tested, I missed a couple the first time around.

Somewhere between the time I tested and the time it got put up on itch, the vorple framework seemed to get weird (maybe from itch interactions?), so that each image only shows up halfway until more text appears underneath it (such as when hitting enter).

It's a simple game, but I'm giving it a 5 as I found it polished, descriptive, enjoyed the interactivity, felt an enjoyable emotional impact, and would play again (and did play again!)


Sentient Beings, by Tristin Grizel Dean

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A very solid graphical treasure hunt game that requires careful attention, May 1, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I found this at first to be one of the best games in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam, and one of the better games released this year, but I got a bit worn out by the end.

The game handles the narrator/pc split of parser games well by having you, the player, command a robot. The robot goes around measuring scientific things like light levels and oxygen percentages, and collecting specimens which are hid all over.

The graphics are great, the puzzles are interesting, I really like this game. But I got a bit overwhelmed. There are so many different specimens to find, I got kind of worn out by the end. Perhaps if I had approached this over a longer period of time and played with another, it would have been perfect.


Please do not the cat, by bubez

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Creative, short adventuron game about dealing with an unexpected cat, April 30, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game has a cute theme: you wake up with a strange cat on your chest and must deal with it.

The name of the game changes: it starts with 'don't wake the cat' and goes on to other names, each hinting at the required action.

There aren't pictures, but I found the puzzles fun, as I had to think outside of the box a few times. Unfortunately, there were a few times I knew the solution but didn't know how to word it (especially with the front door). Overall, love the idea but could use a few tweaks here and there. If you like cute pet games, though, definitely check it out.


Sandcastle Master, by EldritchRenaissanceCake

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fun bite-sized exploration game with graphics and sound, April 30, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

Someone's been talking on the IF forums recently about games that don't have involved puzzles or deep narratives, and I think this is a good example of how to make a successful game without worrying too much about these things.

This is a small adventuron game with a compact, 3x3 map. There is pleasant music, pixel art with lots of abstract triangular textures, reactive NPCs, a variety in types of interaction, and some fun responses to player actions.

It's a simple game, designed for the text adventure literacy project, and I think it's done really way. I don't think it has much in the way of replay value, but other than that it is a rewarding and fun short game.


The Rotten Wooden Room, by Cat Galaxy Studio

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A collection of random genres and puzzles with some fun parts, April 30, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This was part of the Text Adventure Literacy Jam. It starts off in a creepy, horror-type room, then moves into more fantasy or abstraction.

Each room has generally forgiving puzzles, and overall I generally enjoyed the atmosphere. However, there was no real connection between anything, and there were a few odd bugs (for instance, a door in one room affected passage between two other rooms in what seems like a buggy way).

I don't think a game has to have a coherent narrative to be fun, and a game doesn't have to have clever puzzles to be fun, but I feel like this game could use something more than it has now before it is entirely enjoyable.


Adventures Extraordinaire, by ElefantinoDesign

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A detective game that could use some more bug fixes, April 28, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a game for the text adventure literacy project. It has some nice art and is written in adventuron.

I struggled a lot with this one. To begin with, LOOK doesn't work, but only LOOK AROUND does. Since LOOK usually works with adventuron, I can only assume the author intentionally disabled it.

There is a strict inventory limit of four items, although almost all items in the game are pretty small.

Many commands that should work are not recognized. The game has a helpful tutorial mode, but many of its suggestions do not work. There is a walkthrough provided on the game page, but much of the walkthrough is incorrect.

At one point, following the walkthrough, I forgot something, so I tried to get back to the office, but locked myself out of victory with all items inside the castle. I was frustrated, but replayed to the end.

There is a second day available, but the first story was complete, and as the second day has less bugfixes, I'd rather not play it until it's more tuned-up.

The game does, though, have some fun art.


Reflections, by Tristin Grizel Dean

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Find 5 reflections in a cozy puzzle game, April 28, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game is part of the Text Adventure Literacy Jam.

You are tasked with finding 5 reflections of yourself. There is a helpful tutorial that's optional.

There are about 10 locations, and the game has some graphics that add quite a bit to the charm of the game, and to its utility, with the map.

The puzzles are fairly simple but hard enough to be rewarding.

I had a few hiccups here and there. The game wouldn't recognize commands like X RED, only X RED CRYSTAL. Overall, I found the game charming and with a few fun surprises.


The Manor on top of the Hill, by Kalyen

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A straightforward mysterious mansion game, April 26, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This Adventuron game was designed for the Text Adventure Literacy Project, and it seems designed to be safe and simple. Only two-word commands are used.

It has a fairly large map with around 20 locations (?) and a few puzzles, including a combination safe, keys, and examining puzzles. The idea is that you are exploring an old mansion and discovering its secrets.

There aren't a lot of surprises here, except perhaps the ending. There is a light puzzle that was kind of interesting, though.


Project Arcmör, by Donald Conrad and Peter M.J. Gross

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Sci-fi exploration with a map, April 22, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I beta tested this game.

This is a Twine game with great multimedia. You are exploring a derelict space craft under the auspices of an evil capitalist organization. Something is following you.

There is a map on the lefthand side, different uses of text coloring and some impressive animated pixel art.

Gameplay consists of moving around the map, picking up items (you can hold one at a time except for a few special items) and learning more about the spaceship.


I find the writing funny and the art well-done. The map and the sense of movement makes this at times a fairly difficult puzzle game.

One thing I could have wished was for more items with easily apparent uses. Other than that, this is a fun, funny, replayable game.



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