Par une nuit d'Halloween is a short Moiki Halloween adventure, meant to be read out-loud for children (according to the comments on the Moiki website). In this game you play as a child during Halloween, going around the neighbourhood to pick up some candies. Between the spooky house and the grand manor, the game subvert expectations in what you encounter in these locations.
The concise prose is simple and light, perfect to be played with children. It was sweet.
Four Mates is an interactive game made in Moiki, in 48h for the Global Game Jam, where you play as a queen ant whose subjects are not quite happy with her. Humouring their discontent, the queen must find ways to increase their happiness, without making a fool of the kingdom or loose all the money in the treasury.
The game is incredibly delightful, both in the prose and the interface. The former is full of puns (on names, organisations, and locations), some memes, and absurd jokes. I found the dig at La CAF to be hilarious. There are a lot of silly choices you can make throughout the game (like make the country drunk or have a military parade worthy of Monty Python.
The game includes a bunch of endings, and quite a large amount of variation. Depending on your choices, you could be done in a few minutes, or spend a good half-hour sorting out your advisers' ideas. I managed to max out the happiness meter, getting my subjects to essentially worship me!
An important part of the game is the design of the page, with its many illustrations. Like the variation passages, these added a lot of flavour to the game: from "photoshop-ing" famous masterpieces to silly little children drawings made in Paint, or the many depictions of the scene... all fit so well with the game, and made things at time even funnier.
Folie Contagieuse is a short interactive game made in Narrat, following an epistemologist looking for a cure (for a disease that may or may not have taken their grandparent's life?). You get to explore the home of another scientist to find clues, which will help you put together a recipe for the cure. While the puzzle is relatively simple, you will need to go back and forth between rooms to unlock doors and get to new locations.
Le Dingo et l'Épicéa commun is a short Ink game made for La Sens Dessus Dessous formatted as rhyming fables, referencing fables from La Fontaine from the start. A Dingo meets a spruce tree, who asks the former whether the latter truly is ugly. Branching in different paths, the playful (and always rhyming) prose is full of wit and surprises!
Quite the successful writing exercise!
La voie du professeur Echo is a thriller adventure, in which you stumble into by "accident" on your way to work, as you crash into Professor Echo. Finding strange items in your hands, rather than your stuff, you proceed with a quick investigation to find answers (and maybe get your stuff back)... only to find yourself entangled in some sort of conspiracy - one that Professor Echo predicted.
In between discussions with NPC and exploring the Louvre, you may be able to find the truth... if you manage to solve the puzzle in a timely manner. Otherwise, it's back to the start with you!
The very confusing and convoluted prose (and incidently the story) reminded me of Foucault's Pendulum (which is referenced in the text), with the crazy conspiracies, the predictions, the loose red-links between the mentioned elements. Like with the book, I struggled a lot in getting into the story, because of the writing style.
It was only at the end that all this confusion made sense, when the twist is revealed. The whole game felt a bit like a fever dream...
Nos Voisins les Robinson is a short visual novel made for La Sens Dessus Dessous. Structured as a sitcom, the story combines puns on puns and improbably scenario. Stranded on an island with naturalists trying to find a rare butterfly, you hope to repair a radio to get rescued. Though you are stranded, the island is populated... by no other else than Robinson Crusoe!
This little game is quite silly and plays on the codes of sitcoms, with a laughing track to boot!
L'héritage de la chair is a short binksi game following George Augustus Frederik Charles Hollyroy, the son of an Earl. Being stillborn in a family of scientist looking for an heir, the body of George was replaced by a piece of meat with buttons for eyes by his mother. Follows an absurd recollection of moments from George's life, as he "grows" and finds himself. I didn't see the twist coming at the end, and it made me cackle!
The different pixel visuals added to the absurdism of it all.
Estelle et le Cosmusicien is a short Twine sci-fi story set in the far future. You play as Estelle, a scientist, having found a strange incident with the asteroid belt going against the laws of physics. Enters a space explorer, the Cosmusicien, and his belief that one can communicate with celestial bodies thanks to a strange musical instrument.
The game brings an interesting approach in terms of communication: through music. Us humans can convey feelings and emotions through music, even if we do not speak the same language or have problems understanding each other. Here, it flips this concept by turning towards the stars, which is pretty neat. And magical almost.
There are different ways of achieving an ending, with quite a poetic few.
Le Grenier is a short puzzle game made in Moiki, where you explore the attic of your childhood home. Among the forgotten comics and old games, you stumble one a locked box, tied to which is a note from your mother that starts a small treasure hunt. Going through the different old boxes and furniture pieces, you must solve a little enigma to find the code, and open the locked trunk.
It was cute, and the prose felt sentimental. I struggled with the code, starting with the wrong end of the hint...
In this tiny game, you play a child chimneysweeper on the first day of their job. You'd expect the chimney to go straight up to the top, but... multiple paths strangely lay ahead of you: take one and find yourself in a strange world, the other takes a more creepy and suffocating approach.
You never know what's around the corner...