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Sam Kabo Ashwell


Top 10 Reviewer
Member since October 21, 2007
Last visited February 17, 2021
Profile ID (TUID): 3edajdozpgy9u1a

I fail to write anything consequential, frequently; more often, I write about other people's writing, which is easier. Sometimes I betatest, which is similar but more polite.

I prefer prose strong as fuck, puzzles generous, settings rich and genres acutely self-aware. I am fine with gratuitous self-indulgence as long as I'm invited. I am comfortable about being an awful snob.

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Interactive Fiction by Sam Kabo Ashwell

Badland Machine, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2003)
(2 ratings)
In this tiny game set in the steampunk fantasy western genre, you play as a dew fairy—a dew fairy in leathers with a motorbike. You're tired and in an incredibly bad mood. You have a delivery to...

The Cavity of Time, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2011)
(10 ratings)
An Undum-fueled CYOA through a surrealistic landscape of intertextuality and logorrhoea, starring Stiffy Makane in his usual pornographic, antiheroic groove.

The Corn Identity, by Carl Muckenhoupt, Serhei Makarov, Tama Wise, J. Robinson Wheeler, A O Muniz, Admiral Jota, Andrew Schepler, Jacqueline A. Lott, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Dan Shiovitz, John Cater, Duchess, and Mark Musante (2005)
(4 ratings)

Cragne Manor, by Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, Adam Whybray, Adri, Andrew Plotkin, Andy Holloway, Austin Auclair, Baldur Brückner, Ben Collins-Sussman, Bill Maya, Brian Rushton, Buster Hudson, Caleb Wilson, Carl Muckenhoupt, Chandler Groover, Chris Jones, Christopher Conley, Damon L. Wakes, Daniel Ravipinto, Daniel Stelzer, David Jose, David Petrocco, David Sturgis, Drew Mochak, Edward B, Emily Short, Erica Newman, Feneric, Finn Rosenløv, Gary Butterfield, Gavin Inglis, Greg Frost, Hanon Ondricek, Harkness Munt, Harrison Gerard, Ian Holmes, Ivan Roth, Jack Welch, Jacqueline Ashwell, James Eagle, Jason Dyer, Jason Lautzenheiser, Jason Love, Jeremy Freese, Joey Jones, Joshua Porch, Justin de Vesine, Justin Melvin, Katherine Morayati, Kenneth Pedersen, Lane Puetz, Llew Mason, Lucian Smith, Marco Innocenti, Marius Müller, Mark Britton, Mark Sample, Marshal Tenner Winter, Matt Schneider, Matt Weiner, Matthew Korson, Michael Fessler, Michael Gentry, Michael Hilborn, Michael Lin, Mike Spivey, Molly Ying, Monique Padelis, Naomi Hinchen, Nate Edwards, Petter Sjölund, Q Pheevr, Rachel Spitler, Reed Lockwood, Reina Adair, Riff Conner, Roberto Colnaghi, Rowan Lipkovits, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Scott Hammack, Sean M. Shore, Shin, Wade Clarke, Zach Hodgens, Zack Johnson (2018)
(11 ratings)
A tribute to Anchorhead.

Dead By Morning, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2003)
(1 rating)

Dithyrambic Bastards, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2002)
(4 ratings)

Djibouti Dirigible Discombobulation, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2007)
(5 ratings)

Dulle Griet and the Antenorian Icebox, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2010)
(2 ratings)
Storing a war-engine inside Hell was a new tactic; you'll be able to penetrate deeper than ever before and still have a chance of getting out again. The job isn't without its risks, but at least...

Final Assault of the Big Green Cliches, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2001)
(4 ratings)
In this short work, it's last stand time. You're pinned down with your companions, Waptrap, Mindbraid, and Aur in a bad position behind a fallen pillar. The infidels are well within range, but you...

House of Dream of Moon, by Admiral Jota, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Tom Blawgus, Ricardo Dague, N. B. Horvath, Carl Muckenhoupt, Marius Müller, Jacqueline A. Lott, Mark Musante (2007)
(2 ratings)

IFDB Spelunking 2, by sam Kabo Ashwell (2016)

A series of old and obscure parser games, munged together into a loosely-connected pile which I then snark about.

Invisible Parties, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (as Psychopup) (2014)
(19 ratings)
You are a walker of the ways between the worlds. It is not an arrangement conducive to straightforward relationships. The Three Rebeccas have created a tangle, a temporary artifice woven from parts...

Manna, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2002)
(2 ratings)

Moondarkling: Elfboon, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2011)
(3 ratings)

Olivia's Orphanorium, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2012)
(21 ratings)
Sparky young entrepreneur Olivia sets out to fulfil her dream of running an orphanage. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Scents & Semiosis, by Sam Kabo Ashwell, Cat Manning, Caleb Wilson, Yoon Ha Lee (2020)
(5 ratings)
A perfumer keeps a private collection of scents, each tied to a memory. Decide what they mean. Scents & Semiosis makes heavy use of procedural generation to create strange perfumes, full lives, and...

A Spliff in Time, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2002)
(2 ratings)

stupidgame, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2001)
(3 ratings)

Things, by Jacqueline A. Lott and Sam Kabo Ashwell (2004)
(9 ratings)

Ugly Chapter, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2003)
(12 ratings)
In this short story, you play as Leti, a rich woman and a patron of the arts, who travels from Hawaii to Mars, as told by an angry and bitter male poet who knew her. What you did in the most ugly...

Upwards, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2005)

The War On New Year's, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2007)
(1 rating)

What Happens in Vagueness, by Sam Kabo Ashwell, Tom Blawgus, N.B. Horvath, Justin Larue, Jacqueline A. Lott, Michael Martin, Carl Muckenhoupt, Marius Müller, Mark Musante, and Brian Rapp (2008)
(5 ratings)

Within a Wreath of Dewdrops, by Sam Kabo Ashwell and Jacqueline A. Lott (2005)
(5 ratings)

Yellow Dog Running, by Sam Kabo Ashwell (2002)
(11 ratings)

Recommended Lists by Sam Kabo Ashwell

Distinctive Puzzle Style - 10 items   October 30, 2007
One of the most powerful techniques for rendering a game memorable is to build it around a unusual, interesting and consistent way of...

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Polls by Sam Kabo Ashwell

The Squick Squad - 12 votes for 10 games; created July 21, 2015
A list of games with a heavy emphasis on disgusting, gross-out subject-matter, whether in service to some higher goal, or just because...

NPCs Made Easy - 33 votes for 19 games; created February 9, 2015
A list of games which notably use elision, sleight-of-hand, cleverly framed premises, or other fiendish implementor tricks in order to...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible puzzles of 2013 - 12 votes for 9 games; created April 23, 2013
This poll is a place to suggest individual puzzles from games released in 2013, which you think might be worth considering for Best...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible NPCs of 2013 - 19 votes for 16 games; created April 23, 2013
This poll is a place to suggest non-player characters from games released in 2013, who you think might be worth considering for Best...

For Your Consideration: XYZZY-eligible PCs of 2013 - 17 votes for 15 games; created April 23, 2013
This poll is a place to suggest player characters from games released in 2013, who you think might be worth considering for Best...

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Reviews by Sam Kabo Ashwell

Samhain, by Marc Valhara   December 30, 2016
"A goofy, frenetic lampoon of slasher-horror. Take the genre-consciousness of Scream, turn up the wackiness to 11, and put it in the hands..." - See the full review

Mountains of Ket, by R. A. McCormack   August 26, 2016
"An old-school cave-crawl; part of an unfortunate trend, predominantly in the UK, of games which offered a prize to the first player to..." - See the full review

Inside the Japanese American Internment, by tfickle   March 22, 2015
"A school-project-feeling piece about an important topic; incomplete. At least in the early game, the writing has a tone of terse, bored..." - See the full review

♥Magical Makeover♥, by S. Woodson   March 22, 2015
"A familiar tack of Twine advocacy pieces: take some problematic social issue, particularly as expressed through games, and make it..." - See the full review

dirty words in the dictionary, by hcgoldsmith   March 22, 2015
"This does (almost) precisely what it says on the tin: it is a linkified version of a sex and gender-related subset of Johnson's..." - See the full review

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Sam Kabo Ashwell's Wish List

Noirbilis, by Geostatonary
Worldsmith, by Ade McT
City of Dead Leaves, by Felix Pleşoianu
Open Sorcery, by Abigail Corfman
Superluminal Vagrant Twin, by C.E.J. Pacian

View the entire list

Sam Kabo Ashwell's Club Memberships

ClubFloyd joined November 17, 2012