Reviews by Matt W

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Coloratura, by Lynnea Glasser

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Brilliant Ab-Horror Gem, February 25, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)

Beautiful little narrative with a completely unconventional perspective. Other than the standard direction commands, look, and examine, there are almost no other "typical" IF verbs used in this game at all. But instead of being arcane or confusing, the game skillfully eases the reader into the protagonist's abilities, desires, and perspective through subtle emphasis and gated puzzles that don't feel at all like puzzles. The narrative can be played through in a little over an hour, but it's a great hour - spare, but evocative prose, a well realized setting, and a PC that's among the best I've played in any setting.


Spider and Web, by Andrew Plotkin

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Perfect, stripped down execution of the concept, February 25, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)

Spider and Web is the perfect distillation of an IF story that is designed entirely around a particular conceit. I'd say there's no way this story could be told in another medium, but (Spoiler - click to show) The Usual Suspects has a very similar structure, though it involves the viewer as dupe rather than Spider and Web's very clever involvement of the reader as the creator of the deception. I enjoyed Spider and Web very much; it's a reasonably short, well contained experience that shouldn't be missed by anyone interested in how interactivity can work in novel ways.


Counterfeit Monkey, by Emily Short

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Great Game! - Recommendation: Don't Play Hard Mode, February 23, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)

Really enjoyable puzzle game. The characters, setting, conceit and UI are all unique. The writing is excellent: humorous and delightful. I don't want to elaborate on the many many other reviews of this great game. I just have a couple of points:

1) Most of the puzzles have multiple solutions. Normally, I wouldn't like this, as it makes puzzles feel 'sloppy', but it works really well within the word-manipulation conceit. I mean, of course when you can reify text, there are many things that can happen and many solutions to potential problems.
2) The game offers the option to play in hard mode, which eliminates some (easier) puzzle solutions and changes how you have to approach a few situations. I recommend NOT playing on hard mode. The breadth of available options are a strength of this game, and I think hard mode fails on the side of sacrificing content for challenge.
3) If you're using Gargoyle for Windows, the default font (Bitstream Charter) does not render Unicode characters correctly, which can affect a couple of scenes in the game. This almost certainly won't affect your ability to complete the game, but I recommend using Times New Roman, which has a complete Unicode implementation. And I used a window size of "cols 150" and "rows 60" which made the map very readable and provided a good space for text on my screen. YMMV.



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