Reviews by Stephane F.

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The Blind House, by Amanda Allen

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An experience more than an adventure, September 24, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

Maybe it's because I'm not a native English speaker, but I didn't understand much of the story. Apart from this minor drawback, The Blind House is a very well written interactive fiction, with descriptions that are both sober and striking, and that manage to distill a real unease, a heavy, mysterious atmosphere, where one constantly expects things to go very wrong. The house offers a significant number of objects to examine and manipulate, the few puzzles are not complicated enough to be really frustrating, and generally speaking the flow of the game is very good. An experience more than an adventure.

My transcript here :

http://me-myself-if.blogspot.com/2020/09/transcript-of-blind-house-by-amanda.html

*

Peut-être est-ce dû au fait que je ne suis pas nativement anglophone, mais je n'ai à peu près rien compris à l'histoire. En dehors de cet inconvénient mineur, The Blind House est une fiction interactive très bien écrite, aux descriptions à la fois sobres et frappantes, et qui arrivent à distiller un réel malaise, une ambiance pesante, mystérieuse, où l'on s'attend sans cesse à ce que les choses tournent très mal. La maison offre un nombre appréciable d'objets à examiner et manipuler, les quelques puzzles ne sont pas assez compliqués pour être vraiment frustrants, et d'une manière générale le flow du jeu est très bon. Une expérience plus qu'une aventure.


The Curse of Rabenstein, by Stefan Vogt

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great game, May 9, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

Great writing, doubleplus great graphics, honest puzzles (I mean : not made for making you feel less intelligent than the author). A must play.


Basket-ball, by Auraes
Un superbe exemple, March 13, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

... de ce que l'amertume peut conduire à faire, pour au final ne faire que polluer une base de données. Continue comme ça, camarade !


And You May Find Yourself, by VPC
A promising start, January 29, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

As it has already been written here, this game is incomplete. It offers about 5 minutes of reading, and is rather well written and interesting. Impossible to tell if it's a psychological novel, a fantasy story, science fiction, or something paranoid à la Philip K. Dick (which certain themes or characters made me think of). Hopefully the author will finish his work one day.


Three More Visitors , by Paul Stanley

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Casual and moving, January 4, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

I found the game moving and very well-written. The descriptions are not only "descriptive" but also very narrative, which gives a litterary feeling.

We are very passive at several moments of the story, but it is emblematic of the whole game: we know what to do, we know what actions will make the story progress. We can speak of interactive fiction as "participatory reading" or "engaging reading" when the actions are limited, simple, ultra-obvious, simply allowing the player to read a story while having the pleasant impression of collaborating in its unfolding. It is like turning pages, but more active; we act in an intradiegetic way instead of simply acting on the very object that is the support of the work.

This is almost more a short-story with slight participation of the reader, than an actual "text game". For example, (Spoiler - click to show)the key is useless: you have it from the beginning of the game, with no reason to lose it, and no reason not to be able to open the door (unless you drop the key before trying to enter; but why to do such a thing?). The author could just as easily have connected the "Courtyard" room and the inside of the house, without a door in between. I interpret the fact that he chose to implement a door and a key as the will to stick to Interactive Fiction standards. The objects and the organization of space are not necessary, but correspond to a tradition.

That said, there are a few embryonic puzzles — (Spoiler - click to show) I would never have thought to give this coin to the Chinese if the ghost hadn't suggested it to me... This is the first "puzzle" of the game, and although it is the simplest ever conceived (there is no other possibility than to give this piece to the man) it surprises relatively because until then the story was progressing more or less on rails. The fact that the author felt the need to suggest what to do to the player suggests that he was aware that he was creating a break, however small it might be. — that didn't diminish the pleasure I had reading/playing Three More Visitors.

Longer review here : https://me-myself-if.blogspot.com/2020/01/three-more-visitors-by-paul-stanley.html


Une conversation avec Bruno Mortamet, by big-benny
Où comment polluer l'IFDB, October 9, 2019
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

Je ne mets pas de note, ce truc ne mérite pas 1 sur 5. Ni même de review, finalement.


Morne Lune, by BALROG
Cryptique..., October 4, 2019
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

Remarques « formelles » pour commencer :

- Le jeu est écrit sans fautes, dans un français de qualité.

- L'implémentation laisse à désirer. Avec un nombre si réduit de rooms et d'objets, on pourrait espérer que taper « examiner la forêt » ou « examiner les maisons », quand on vous en décrit dans le paysage, donne autre chose que des messages d'erreur.

Ensuite, l'histoire. Il me manque peut-être des éléments extérieurs au jeu lui-même, mais les quelques mots d'introduction m'ont paru totalement insuffisant pour savoir qui j'étais, où j'étais exactement, ce que je devais faire et pourquoi. Évidemment il est toujours possible de faire planer le mystère sur tout cela en début de partie, et de distiller les informations au fur et à mesure... mais ça n'est pas le cas ici.

De guerre lasse j'ai fini par suivre le walkthrough, jusqu'aux deux fins du jeu, sans jamais comprendre quoi que ce soit à l'histoire. Dommage.


Ungodly hour, by Simon Deimel
Very short but amusing, August 21, 2019
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

The game is meant to be "short diversion, not more" and the contract is being respected. The story is simple, with a cliché twist that however managed to surprise me. The writing is pretty good for a non English speaking author.


City of Dead Leaves, by Felix Pleşoianu

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short, mysterious and poetic, August 16, 2019
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

The introduction and the rest of the story refers to a mysterious "him" that you have supposedly (Spoiler - click to show)abandoned because of a "year-long quest".

The strange little "town-with-twisty-streets-and-tilting-houses"(to quote Thomas Ligotti's "Degenerate little town") is a good old cliché, but it works well here and the general ambiance is as poetic as melancholic. We don't know what happened to the world, which seems pretty quiet and harmless for a post-apocalyptic (maybe) setting.

You don't really know where you are and why, so the purposeless exploration feels like a dream - and in fact the game is the adaptation of a dream the author had. The end of the game (Spoiler - click to show)is pretty cryptic and nothing gets really explained. I couldn't say if that's frustrating or satisfying.

Technical remarks:
(Spoiler - click to show)
I noticed only one typo : "smal bookshelf".

There is a probable bug : once you are in the old house, you can't go back from the kitchen to the street. The link goes to the dark corridor.


Necrotic Drift, by Robb Sherwin

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Heya, I'm drooling, August 13, 2019
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)

(Sorry for bad or awkward English, me is french)

As a total puzzle hater, I felt in love recently with Robb Sherwin's games (whose puzzles are still too hard for me, but at least, they are rare and they're not the main point of his games). Sherwin's writing is unique, both creepy and funny, sometimes melancholic - its melancholy being hidden under ten tons of dirty words and cynism.

Playing Necrotic Drift I had the feeling of reading a novel, but it wasn't a problem : reading a novel and sometimes typing the obvious actions of the main character, to continue the story, is enough to make an « interactive fiction » for me. The « feeling of being playing » is playing. But I'm sure Robb could become a « real » writer too.



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