Reviews by manonamora

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La réclusion de Callisto, by Otto Grimwald
It's all about the (lack of) journey, July 22, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

*La réclusion de Callisto* is a short textual adventure in the style of older CYOA books, both in form and content. Embodying a prisoner-jailer in a lonely island, you will recount your meeting with a very particular women sent to this prison. Mixing romance and unsatisfiable desires, the story pulls you into moral conflicts where your only solace is escape.

Though there are conflicting elements, I was certain from the start the tale was referencing Napoléon and his exiles on Elba/St Hélène, being sent away in a tiny island away from everything because of his actions. But this was clearly set in some imaginary land, with a focus more on piracy. And of course, Napoléon was the actual prisoner during his exile, not really the jailer.

As for the delectable prose, it was more the tales of Dumas, especially the imprisoned scenes, that came into mind while reading. Even with the limitation in words, and the surprisingly large variation of the text, the writing is flourishing and swallowing us into the whirlwind of emotions felt by the PC. Though there are only two ends, the journey is more fun than the end.

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Terra's Leap : Un rêve incombustible, by Terra's Leap
Stanger danger, July 22, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

*Terra’s Leap : Un rêve incombustible* is a short sci-fi adventure, where we follow the ventures of Elio, a child in a faraway colony, dreaming that one day he will visit Earth. Earth's location being long forgotten, this task is not an easy feat! Thankfully, you get to meet multiple characters who have an idea about its location, though none are in the same spot. So you will need to decide how to get to it, considering you are still a child, and which person to trust, our of those strangers. Some of these choices do require you to sort of disregard logic, if you want to continue down those paths.

While the blurb indicate 19 endings, many of them end in the exact same way. Most of those are still pretty bad for the players as well - strangely, it is when you refuse to take the path pushed by the game that you end up with a more winning situation.

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Baston ou Ruse : L'Épopée de Krug, by Tarhuin
W40k - Intro to the orcs, July 22, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

*Baston ou Ruse : L’Épopée de Krug* is a short humoristic game based on Warhammer 40k, where you play as Krug, an orc that has no idea with what to do with its life. Though known for their brutish behaviour, some orc find a more cunning approach to conflict more interesting. So choices are put before you at every turn: Ruse or Force. Depending on what you pick, you'll end up with one out of 16 different orc job (and its related epic end where your life is praised still after your death).

The writing is very funny and made me laugh many times per path. It was very entertaining trying to find all the different endings (I found 8-9), since the text is quite varied from the branching. And this I knew nothing about W40k lore, it was a fun and intriguing introduction to this universe!

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Biblioflam, by Wilem Ortiz
Tricks and dices for a book!, July 22, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

Biblioflam is a short fantasy adventure in Moiki, where you play as an employee of a strange and magical library (where no books can be burnt!) tasked with retrieving late book returns (the tome in question being 3 years late...). Mixing more RPGs aspects, like dice rolls, and consequential choices, the game offers a frustrating but still satisfying puzzle to solve (even if you mess up a bunch, it's still fun to play).

With the change of palette/fonts depending on the current environment, and SFX/background sound to add to the ambiance, the game is really playful and fun to experience. You too will ask to retrieve more tomes after!

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Susi, by Hefka Games
Revenge or Forgiveness, July 22, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

Susi is a sci-fi story, set in the 22nd century, where we follow the eponymous character, a half-wolf half-humanoid AI, after feeling a bloody conflict against salamanders (also half-AI) that ravaged everything. Seemingly the last of its kind, Susi get to choose the path forward, whether it is destructive for themselves or the salamander, or more (re)constructive. 5 different endings can be found, I managed 4.

Through the POV of Susi, the story explores crudely different human traits (vengeance, avarice, goodness, etc...), showing that even with the disappearance of the human race, and the evolution of the AI in such a way they've left machines behind, the humanoid beings would continue to behave exactly like humans, with their vices and virtues, rather than the animalkind they embody (or a completely different path). Like ghosts, humans still stay, one way or another, influencing those left behind.

Similarly to the bad paths, who often rambled on and repeated itself, the good ending wasn't much satisfying either, having a bit more of an open end to the story, somewhat giving the feeling that the story only actually started at that point, with the passages preceding the final screen upping up the intrigue.

The author also warns on the game page that some passages could be difficult to read, as it alludes to sensitive subject, but the allusions is actually explicit (stated or depicted) and the execution felt more "edgy for the sake of being edgy" rather than making it central to the plot or having commentary on it: (Spoiler - click to show)suicidal thoughts can be willed away or push Susi into destructive suicide, sexual slavery is mentioned in passing once and almost forgotten, living under a dictatorship is played as a twist so to try to force you to take the "high-road" and forgive the oppressor

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L'abribus, by Pierre Poulard
A magic orb and impacting choices, July 21, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

L’abribus is a short fantasy story, where we either play as some sort of force controlling a magic orb (which can influence everything around) or the orb itself (still unclear on that, though it matters little to enjoy the game). At a bus stop, we/the orb meets different characters, which we can interact in some fashion (forge documents, tell the time, etc...). These actions can bring good or "evil" to those characters, with the last action defining which ending we get.
There are no issues with the game's construction (and being able to skip the intro is nice), but some of the consequences felt at times a bit too simplistic.

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Ashes, by encoretoisnake
Fixing time and space or..., July 10, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

Ashes is a sci-fi text adventure written in Inklewriter, where you follow Josh and Aria, two space-travellers landing on Earth and finding it in disarray. Realising there is something wrong with their home, they set on finding the cause and fixing it. But, if they don't manage to return to the correct version of Earth, they will meet their end. There are *many* endings, but only two can be considered good ones.

While the story is quite intriguing (what happened on Earth??? where did these symbols come from?!), much of the mysterious situation is left unanswered. Which is not a problem whatsoever, because I would be down playing a longer version with more details or investigation of the phenomenon.
My main issue with the game is how abruptly and arbitrary you can reach the bad endings (why being cautious is rewarded with a sudden ending?), with no explanation or reason (I'd wager the limit in word count affected this). It makes replaying very frustrating... unless you manage to get the good ending first.

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Corps Brulés, by Selsynn

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun mystery, interesting gameplay, July 10, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

Corps Brulés is a mystery game made in INK, where you play as some sort of investigator/detective on holidays. Coming across three burnt bodies, with no witness around, you decide to solve this (potentially not) accident. But who could have done it? how? and more importantly why?

Hints for the mystery can be found in the 7 pieces of almost burnt paper on the bodies. Because of the fire, the paper has a limited shelf-life (taking one means another disappears), which means you need to have on plan on what to consult and in what order. However, the game isn't cruel, as every restart keeps a "copy" of found papers and previous knowledge.

The different pieces will give you an idea of who each of those bodies are, their reasons for being here, and maybe how they got there. You can link them under different tags, interchangeable when you consult them, learn new information, and make new accusations. Depending on which elements you consulted and its order, different accusations can be made at the end of each run.

The mystery is neat, reminding me a bit of the *Death in Paradise* series in its setting. The gameplay is also pretty fun, mixing a bit the Logic-Grid type of puzzle with timed-events.
I wish I had managed to actually finish the game. I got stuck, really close to the end I think, but still not having found (I guess?) the correct order to get to the true end (if there is one? I don't seem to be the only one). Though I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened...

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La fonte du monde, by HerzEngel
A fantasy text adventure focused on Dragons, July 10, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

La fonte du monde is a fantasy textual adventure in Inklewriter, when you incarnate Voulks Mirmabull, a great dragon who's destiny seems to reunite all the dragon clans and fight other kingdoms (from what I gathered playing the game). After a long introduction focusing on Voulks's past, you are thrown into the game with not much a clear goal or explanation. The game seems to branch off quite early, leading to a handful of endings - I think I found 3-4 different ones, mainly ending up in my death.

You are given multiple sequences of choices, on how to interact with the environment, other clans, or the different conflicts - often with a violent/peaceful dichotomy. Most choices do not result in a textual response, having either an AI-generated illustration or simply the next set of choices. This aspect, which might be due to the combination of a high-branching story and a restricted word count, made the story sometimes difficult to follow or see the consequences of our actions. I think a few more sentences between each choice would clear a lot of the confusion.

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Daidala, by Laeims
A text-adventure in a dark cave, July 8, 2024
by manonamora
Related reviews: French, nouvim3000

Daidala is a short text-adventure in Twine, where you play as an adventurer (archaeologist?*) waking up in a dark cave after a fall. You can explore your surroundings, discover ruins, examine different elements, solve a couple of puzzles, and delve deeper into the darkness. If you pick the right path, you might even find the ultimate end ((Spoiler - click to show)though none of the endings are particularly happy...). It took me a bit of trial and error to find that ending, even though I had managed to thwart previous danger...
The wink to the (Spoiler - click to show)Icarus myth for the puzzle was cute.

*It gave a bit Indiana Jones vibes

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