Reviews by RadioactiveCrow

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Congee, by Becci

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
The IF equivalent of comfort food, October 6, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

This short choice-based work is about being both sick and homesick, and the comfort that certain foods can bring to both kinds of illness. While primarily text, the game is accompanied by soft music and occasional illustrations that perfectly compliment the mood of the story. I don't want to say much more as the game is very short and I wish for everyone to experience it for themselves. But I will say this: I've only played this game once, and for the best reason. The path that I took and the ultimate outcome of the game felt so perfect and brought me such joy that I can't imagine finding a better one and I want to preserve this one playthrough in my memory, undiluted.

Quest for the Sword of Justice, by Damon L. Wakes

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Parody of the traditional RPG, October 4, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

This isn't your traditional IF. It was made with RPGMaker and looks like a top-down RPG from the 16-bit era. It is very short with limited choices. The whole game basically exists to make fun of old-school RPGs and it does have a few very funny lines. That said there isn't much to it. Worth a playthrough if you loved FF4 and FF6 as much as I did.

SOUND, by CynthiaP

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Never had any idea what was going on, October 4, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

So I don't think I really know what this one is about, except that the PC is bad at customer service or something. You are thrown into the story and basically never given any details or context about the plot or world. It is just a conversation between you and an NPC counselor, with very limited choices. Then it ends (Spoiler - click to show) in what appears to be an endless loop, with you clicking on the same thing over and over again before it resets. I never made it off that screen.

The only reason it doesn't get one star is that it was clean execution, no apparent bugs. A smooth playthrough.

The Turnip, by Joseph Pentangelo

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Very weird, short and linear, October 2, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

I didn't care for this piece much. As the author notes, it is a short story he wrote some time ago turned into a very linear Twine piece, where the only interactivity is clicking on a few words to get some extra details. There are no branches in the narrative and there is only one ending. On top of that the story is really weird, like Upstream Color weird, and I didn't get it. Sorry.

It was clean execution though, and I appreciated the author's "About" page at the end.

Captain Graybeard's Plunder, by Julian Mortimer Smith

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Short game that beautifully illustrates the magic of fiction, October 2, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

Honestly, at first I wasn't into this piece (which was partly due to playing it on a phone rather than a computer and having the status sidebar cut off). It didn't seem particularly deep or all that interactive. But once I understood how it worked, the mechanics that would influence the rest of the game, I really got into it.

I don't want to spoil anything at all since the game is so short, I would just recommend giving it a whirl. I will just say that I thought it does a great job capturing the magic that great fiction can have on the imagination, and by extension on mood and mental health as well. The author also did a nice job of making use of the hyperlink controls to illustrate the magic at work, both with changing text and fonts.

Well worth the time for any lover of fiction!

This game is part of IFComp 2020, so if you are reading this in October or November of 2020 head over to and sign up to be a judge. You can play this and other wonderful games and vote on which authors should win cash prizes!

Break Stuff, by Amy Clare Fontaine

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Entertaining choice-based game with one particularly beautiful scene, October 1, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

Forgive me, Amy, for getting to this review so late. I played the game for last year's IFComp and tweeted about how much I liked it, but totally forgot to review it here.

Thinking back on this game I think I like it more now than I did when I first played it (and I liked it then!), might go back and play it again too. There's a lot of content to discover for such a short game. The game takes place after a break-up and follows the ex-girlfriend driving out with one of her friends to break some of the ex-boyfriend's stuff. There are lots of things to break, with each scene being a reflection on different aspects of relationships.

Play through this game at least twice and make different choices at the critical junctures each time. I want you to discover my favorite scene on your own, but you can check below to see how to get there if you want.

My Favorite Scene:
(Spoiler - click to show)
After breaking stuff you get to "the following night". Choose "Call Libby" when it comes up, then "Call Libby. NOW!". This scene got me all misty-eyed when I first read it. The love and desperation in this scene really hits you in the chest. Bravo!

9:05, by Adam Cadre

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Fun little game to get you acclimated to IF, September 29, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

This game only takes 10-15 to playthrough once, and I recommend you play through it multiple times. It is useful in getting a new player acclimated to the mechanics of IF, including the frustrating parts like being told you can't do something because of a minor detail you forgot (Spoiler - click to show) like having to specify to take your watch off before getting in the shower.

My first playthrough was over unexpectedly and anticlimactically, but I got to have some fun on subsequent playthroughs. After playing it by yourself a couple times I recommend reading a walkthrough to learn all its secrets. This will help give you an idea of what to look for in future parser-based IF games you might play.

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