by Jeremy Freese profile

Romance, Slice of life, Collegiate

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- GalacticToast (Earth), July 14, 2021

- getlostdont, July 8, 2021

- meadowmower, June 13, 2021

- sw3dish, April 22, 2021

- Karlok (Netherlands), April 14, 2021

- TheBoxThinker, January 26, 2021

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Violet- A great introduction to IF. , December 9, 2020

As someone fairly new to IF, and even newer to this community, this is my first review. I believe Violet is quite a wonderful game, with many *easter eggs* so to speak. It was a fairly simple game, that took me about half a day to complete and look through all the special codes that the game gave me after completing it.
All in all, Violet has a simple plot: Your Australian girlfriend is going to leave you and go home as she has already bought plane tickets UNLESS you write 1000 words of your (quite frankly BORING novel). The puzzles are moderately complex, and the solutions are not the brightest or the most intricate, but Violet was an amusing game that passed the time and I enjoyed it. (Spoiler - click to show) Sometimes I tried to shoot things using the rubber to get to the pen, and I did it once, but the game bugged out and did not drop the pen. I also spent quite a long time trying to get the purple string from the vent, but once grabbing it, I did not know what to do with it and so that was a futile task.

- beecadee, November 14, 2020

- smrq, September 27, 2020

- bradleyswissman (Virginia, US), September 15, 2020

- newtonja, August 31, 2020

- Rainbow Fire , August 28, 2020

- William Chet (Michigan), July 20, 2020

- Edo, July 18, 2020

- Blind Assassin (Illinois, United States), July 12, 2020

- Durafen, June 27, 2020

- Zape, June 23, 2020

- quackoquack, June 10, 2020

- Virix, May 17, 2020

- kierlani, April 7, 2020

- Walter Sandsquish, March 28, 2020

- antperson, February 27, 2020

- JuiceCarver, February 26, 2020

- _firexe, December 5, 2019

- Tropical Gothic (Asia), December 2, 2019

- Jack Brounstein, October 3, 2019

- wisprabbit (Sheffield, UK), June 7, 2019

- Spike, April 13, 2019

- IanAllenBird, April 6, 2019

- tylermac92, March 29, 2019

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great story and gameplay, March 29, 2019

This is definitely one of those games I'd put in the "cute but occasionally frustrating" category. Basically, the game is one very large and intricate puzzle, but as things start to make sense, you are definitely rewarded for your lateral thinking skills. The story itself is simple but effective, and the game is occasionally very funny.

I won't put any spoilers, but I'd like to encourage anyone who starts this to put the effort into finishing it--I found it quite rewarding.

- elias67, March 12, 2019

- Steffan LW Sitka (Los Angeles), February 28, 2019

- Princessthe1st (USA), January 23, 2019

- Stian, January 22, 2019

- Emanuele Caruso, January 21, 2019

- SchnickelFritz (TX), December 26, 2018

- Superfreq (Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada), December 20, 2018

- DocDoe, December 16, 2018

- JoQsh, December 6, 2018

- illuki, November 3, 2018

- Joey Jones (UK), September 15, 2018

- Accatitippi (Italy), August 27, 2018

- Whom (Wisconsin, United States), August 7, 2018

- imollo, August 2, 2018

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A cute story, July 21, 2018
by ialessan
Related reviews: beginner

This is one of the few games I've replayed for the fun of it. It's sweet and funny (especially the nicknames) and I couldn't recommend it more. The hints are just enough for the beginner (my first playthrough) and the clueless (my second playthrough).

Also props for gender choice. It was a nice touch.

- yaronra, July 16, 2018

- play_all_day, June 12, 2018

- DustyCypress (Hong Kong), May 19, 2018

- Jan Strach, April 19, 2018

- airylef, April 15, 2018

- faffpaper, April 11, 2018

- Stas, March 27, 2018

- ryantan5577, March 23, 2018

- 1PainfulPocket, January 10, 2018

- Möwe, December 7, 2017

- hollowaytape, October 6, 2017

- xochie, September 10, 2017

- enkaye (usa), September 1, 2017

- ja, bo ja, August 28, 2017

- karlnp (Vancouver, BC), August 23, 2017

- Wanderlust, August 3, 2017

- AuntBeast (USA), July 31, 2017

- jamesb (Lexington, Kentucky), July 12, 2017

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Annoying, beyond all else, July 7, 2017

At first I was determined to solve the odd puzzles/problems that arouse, but the melodramatic girlfriend's narration, irritating plot line, and ridiculously --SQUIRREL!!-- distracted PC annoyed the patience right out of me. I have no desire to replay or even finish the first play-through.

- sunmono, June 22, 2017

- Cory Roush (Ohio), June 3, 2017

- Kyriakos Sgarbas (Hellas (Greece)), May 25, 2017

- plek, May 16, 2017

- Laney Berry, May 15, 2017

- Denk, May 3, 2017

- enigmity, March 21, 2017

- pox, March 18, 2017

- Greg Frost (Seattle, Washington), February 11, 2017

- lkdc, January 31, 2017

- TheAncientOne, January 28, 2017

- chargefire, January 25, 2017

- magicnumber, January 9, 2017

- Xavid, December 7, 2016

- piffling-paka (State College, Pennsylvania), December 6, 2016

- Azul, November 25, 2016

- Audiart (Davis, CA), November 5, 2016

- paranormal-potato, September 24, 2016

- Emdistal (Muncie, Indiana), September 17, 2016

- mstahl, August 18, 2016

- CMG (NYC), July 21, 2016

- NinaS, July 3, 2016

- Aselia, May 12, 2016

- sipral, May 11, 2016

- jrc (Stockholm, Sweden), April 30, 2016

- missjith, April 24, 2016

- kala (Finland), April 13, 2016

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
a great little game with a unique narrator, April 7, 2016

one of the most original "escape the room"-type games i've ever played - i can only assume the premise came to the author in a "stroke-of-genius" type situation. the puzzles are clever, and the game is charming, occasionally sad, and overall a pleasure.

- Matt Bates, March 30, 2016

- Lanternpaw, March 11, 2016

- primal, February 12, 2016

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Extremely well polished college game with a great innovation; didn't gel for me, February 3, 2016

In this game, you must write your dissertation while overcoming many distractions. You must use various items in the room to block out sound, sight, itchiness, etc.

The main innovation here is that the parser is actually your girlfriend Violet. All of the responses are hers and she comments on everything.

The implementation, writing, and puzzles are top notch. But the game didn't gel for me. One reason may be that I recently finished my PhD, and it hit too close to home. Another reason is that the parser is very, very pushy. It makes the exploration necessary for the game stressful. And the relationship with the narrator seems unhealthy, like many of the superficial romances that develop in college.

So if you want a game that very accurately depicts a college scenario, this is it. Most people won't have the same negative reactions I had, but will share all of my positive reactions.

- Guenni (At home), January 25, 2016

- Veraloo, January 20, 2016

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- leanbh, November 30, 2015

- Nancy Boo, November 22, 2015

- Cat Manning, November 17, 2015

- bignose (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), November 7, 2015

- CasualGamer33356, October 14, 2015

- KingofSushi, October 12, 2015

- felicitations, August 11, 2015

- Sophie Grimaud (France), August 2, 2015

- Julia Myer (USA), July 6, 2015

- ibelongia, June 5, 2015

- chux, May 20, 2015

- blue/green, March 19, 2015

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Highly Polished, Endlessly Inventive, Funny, Cruel, and Exquisitely Relatable, March 12, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)

I was looking for a quick game to test out an IF interpreter (Text Fiction) on my Kindle. I knew Violet was a one-room game, so thought it would be a good test. Little did I know I'd be playing what may be my favorite IF game so far.

Plenty of others have reviewed the game more than adequately. I'll just reiterate that Violet is highly polished, endlessly inventive, funny, whimsical, cruel, wistful and exquisitely relatable. This one is a must play.

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- hoopla, February 14, 2015

- NikkiT, February 2, 2015

- morlock, January 14, 2015

- BlitzWithGuns, December 11, 2014

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Charming, Funny, Heartwarming Fun. A Must., December 10, 2014

Your girlfriend you dearly love has given you an ultimatum. Write 1,000 words for your dissertation, or she's leaving you forever to go back to her home country of Australia, 1,000s of miles away...

This may seem cold, but as your struggle continues and more distractions stop you from creating any progress. The inner voice of Violet, your girlfriend and narrator, pushes you on and the sheer heart of victory is the sweet end you thirst for. Memories and funny bits flood you as you recount the personal items in your office as you pace breaking distraction to concentrate on the final objective of the game: Write.

From the irrelevant things you find yourself doing to the strange events taking place just outside your window are both hilarious and touching.

But when you finally reach your goal... Oh boy... You'll have to see for yourself.

Even though this game, Violet, takes place nearly entirely in a single room; the puzzles are ingenious and even silly at times. But every aspect feels like a world of it's own.

By the end of the game, I found myself truly caring about Violet and her feelings and whether my character would succeed in finishing his goal in time.

The writing is spot on and the flow of Violet's voice and narration feels natural and never felt like it lagged. It was continuously entertaining.

Overall, this game is very well done and well deserving of it's award. It's a must play for any fan of Text Adventures or Interactive Fictions.

- VarunG (Mumbai, India), November 15, 2014

- siquis (Scotland), November 7, 2014

- EllaClass, November 5, 2014

- Sobol (Russia), September 12, 2014

- nosferatu, August 21, 2014

- PVince81 (Germany), July 12, 2014

- wateringcan, May 28, 2014

- odysseus (Ontario, Canada), May 24, 2014

- justin7243, May 22, 2014

- Taffer, April 19, 2014

- shornet (Bucharest), March 23, 2014

- Roricus, March 11, 2014

- Snave, March 7, 2014

- Katrisa (Houston), January 28, 2014

- Pawndawan, January 26, 2014

- Reptile_Overlord, January 24, 2014

- RichCheng (Warwickshire, UK), January 19, 2014

- Simon Deimel (Germany), January 3, 2014

- IxPrefect, December 31, 2013

- Cait Sith (Czech Republic), December 29, 2013

- Cloud-Of-Judgement (Eastern Europe), December 12, 2013

- OtisTDog, October 25, 2013

- Adam Myers, September 20, 2013

- Steven Watson (UK), September 6, 2013

- Indigo9182, August 14, 2013

- BladeL, July 15, 2013

- decourf (Norway), June 14, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 10, 2013

- luftmensch (Germany), May 8, 2013

- DAzebras, April 30, 2013

- absentsock, April 27, 2013

- nf, April 21, 2013

- _eMMe_ (Milan, Italy), April 13, 2013

- Stier, March 27, 2013

- ptkw, March 4, 2013

- dk101 (London, UK), March 2, 2013

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Best one room IF, March 2, 2013
by Coldfinger (Germany)

This is a game that not only excells in one regard. The plot is quite unique and the implementation is great, the prose is fun to read and the puzzles are not too difficult to stop the flow of the story while being not too easy to make this an interactive story instead of a game. The number of funny remarks you get when doing something wrong or trying to do something that doesn't work make even failing worthwhile. Never was able to put it into an unwinable state and I don't think this is possible.

Humour always depends on taste a bit but I think here we have something entirely funny for everyone. Even for both genders, since both have someone to emphatise. This is the first game where I really tried to do all the amusing stuff that is listed at the end. Only thing I missed is a (Spoiler - click to show) Zombie Egg.

- Metz77 (Massachusetts, USA), February 21, 2013

- SaraG, February 2, 2013

- Paolo Jose Cruz (Manila, Philippines), January 31, 2013

- Beable, January 20, 2013

- Fantacide (California), January 17, 2013

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Strong characters but unenjoyable world, December 25, 2012
by Andromache (Hawaii)

This is not a true review. More like impressions after partial game completion.

The thing I liked most about the game was the unconventional narrative voice. I found violet laugh-out-loud amusing. I also really felt the affection and exasperated mockery she has for the player character and the ex-girlfriend. I felt genuine remorse and sorrow at the things the player character has to sacrifice to get the writing done.

However, and maybe I am just dense, but when I tried to solve puzzles in normal-seeming ways, I had trouble getting the game to understand what I wanted. And while the puzzles do make sense for the setting and story, I didn't find them very intuitive. I've had to constantly look up hints and that's just not what I play IF for. The player character isn't very likeable, either. Neither is Violet in some ways, since she seems to expect you to know something won't work when as a player, part of puzzle-solving is doing things to see what happens. She's the only narrator who ever made me feel bad about quitting the game, though.

Maybe I'm taking the game too seriously, but I couldn't handle the things I had to make the character do. I wouldn't want to do such things to myself and while initially, I was drawn into the game, with all the stops and starts because of the puzzles, the mood was broken and I began instead to focus on just how depressing and pathetic the character felt.

Ultimately, I won't finish this game. The writing was great, but there are other games to try that are probably less frustrating and more immersive.

Note: this rating is not included in the game's average.

- Edward Lacey (Oxford, England), December 14, 2012

- Andreas Dobersberger (Vienna, Austria), December 2, 2012

- Lingling (Perth, WA), November 23, 2012

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), October 31, 2012

- Puddin Tame (Queens, NY), October 27, 2012

- heatherb (United States), October 24, 2012

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very Fun, Very Cute, Very Funny, September 16, 2012

For those who haven't played, "Violet" is a game about your character, who has an upcoming deadline--but is too distract to get the writing done. Your job is to remove the distractions and get to writing.
This game was a lot of fun for me, someone relatively new to IF. The puzzles require that you think, but they aren't so difficult that getting to the end is impossible. Not to mention, Violet is an adorable voice to have in your head, and I highly recommend reading all of her asides. They don't really progress the story, but they are cute little stories that give you a better feel of your relationship with her. Anyway, I would definitely recommend this one.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Light Hearted, User Friendly Delight, September 14, 2012

CAVEAT: IF gamer here who prefers narrative over puzzles.

As someone who writes for a living, I found myself throwing up my hands halfway through the game and saying, "I play these games for fun, not to remind myself about work!" I then succumbed to another giggle fit as the puzzles became sillier and sillier.

The puzzles are gentle. I know some have said they found the puzzles to get nonsensical towards the end, but there was actually only a couple in the middle that I found baffling. This is one of the few IF games I've played of late where I can pretend that I'm an adept puzzle solver, not a woman who howls in despair after eleven turns and runs through the fields of the internet to find a walkthrough after the hints were of no help.

I loved the feeling of pity you develop for your character as you make him/her go to excruciating, then humiliating lengths to get this blasted paper written. The author did a great job of making me care about the character and care about his/her relationship.

I found the system very user friendly, especially with its wonderfully large and diverse vocabulary. Surprising range of unique responses to silly actions, too.

- RaulFPL (Brazil), August 16, 2012

- ohno, August 4, 2012

- Catalina, August 2, 2012

- Inarcadia Jones (NYC), August 2, 2012

- madducks (Indianapolis, Indiana), July 19, 2012

- Endian, June 2, 2012

- zylla, May 13, 2012

- shilmista, May 10, 2012

- HexWizard, May 9, 2012

- Trif (Germany), May 6, 2012

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Witty, fun and challenging, April 29, 2012
by Janos Honkonen (Helsinki, Finland)

Violet was an awesome find - it manages to combine romance, slice of life, somewhat darkish comedy and one room puzzle action in a pretty impressive way. The prose and the tone of the "dialogue" and the descriptions is witty and a delight to read. The puzzles are pretty out there, but solvable, especially with the well implemented hint system. Both the puzzles and the story lead up to a pretty delightful and nutty ending.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
I belly laughed, April 28, 2012
by EsotericAlgorithm
Related reviews: Comedic

The game starts of with the simple premise of needing to write a thousand words but your procrastination gets the better of you. I have a final on Monday and two others in the coming week, to describe what I'm doing playing this game as procrastinating would be generous.

I'm relatively new to IF (having previously only played Hitchhikers and a couple smaller IFs), so this game took me about an hour to complete. Most everything in the room has a specific interaction but the plot as a whole is linear and expects the puzzles to all be solved using increasingly absurd solutions but they are Monkey Island absurd.

I liked the characters. I can see how some of the other reviewers found fake Violet but it didn't turn me off from it. The ending alone is worth the jaunt, it just so happens the going through it is fun too.

- Abalone , April 20, 2012

- Ruth A, April 9, 2012

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
On Not Writing to Save the Relationship, April 9, 2012

My history with interactive fiction is fraught with frustration and failed attempts. I remember having at least two games on my Commodore 64 (or maybe my Apple IIc) that I started but never finished. After a long hiatus from interactive fiction I discovered a text adventure buried in the Terminal on my Mac a year ago. After several attempts to solve it, I set it aside. A few months later, I found a copy of Adventure that I installed and played a few times. I still haven't finished it.

For some reason I can't yet explain, I continue to be drawn to text-based adventures. About a month ago, I stumbled upon Andrew Plotkin's The Dreamhold which led me to install Zoom and frequent the IFDB. I started downloading games based on recommendations focusing mainly on games for beginners with solid storytelling. Violet is the third game I've played and finished without help from walkthroughs.

The game presents you with an ultimatum - write 1,000 words on your dissertation or your girlfriend Violet is leaving you. In total, you are presented with six distractions to resolve. During my first few attempts at the game, I could see clearly the objects I needed to work with and I had a vague idea of what to do but the how escaped me. My inexperience with IF probably worked against me more than anything. I'm still learning about all of the common actions you can perform in an IF world. After my third or fourth foiled attempt I decided I was going to hate the game. I decided that there was no plausible ending that would satisfy me. But I was starting to gain ground with the puzzles and I kept going.

I think I restarted the game around five or six times before I solved it. And I really wanted to hate the ending. As I worked my way through it I started commentating audibly. I said things like "This game is [bother]," and "Seriously?!" and "This reminds me of MacGyver in a bad way." I also became quite disgusted with Violet, the quirky narrative voice that seemed to enjoy berating me and making me feel stupid for attempting to solve the game's puzzles in decidedly rational, logical ways.

This afternoon I played the game through to the end and I laughed out loud. And I smiled as I read the conclusion. And I uttered my final commentary on the game: "That was crazy!" And I shook my head and smirked for at least a whole minute. And I realized that if I were a person who could find no humor in absurdity I would have been less than amused.

Violet works very well as a beginner's game. In hindsight, the puzzles aren't difficult but each one is more nonsensical than the last. Once you embrace the absurdity you are on the fast track to finishing the game. The game also strikes a nice balance between interactive and fiction. It presents the player with challenges and punctuates them with monologues that clearly convey the backstory, the stakes and the immediate obstacles.

Although I found Violet (as a character) to be maddening, she did inspire all of the anxiety and motivation I needed to play through to completion. In the end, I think I just wanted to prove her wrong and shut her up, so I will close by saying thanks to Violet for (sort of) giving me the last word. If I could choose my own ending, I would totally break up with her.

- Domaknitrix (Virginia), March 6, 2012

- Emerald Rhapsody, March 4, 2012

- Relle Veyér, March 1, 2012

- knowyourknot, February 1, 2012

- deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN), January 30, 2012

- Hagbard Celine, January 26, 2012

- purplehuman, January 17, 2012

- E.K., January 4, 2012

- dbigs, December 26, 2011

- Toasty23 (Washington), December 23, 2011

- Jaxcap (Arizona), December 10, 2011

- Ouroboros, December 5, 2011

- The Xenographer, November 2, 2011

- AndyC (Japan), October 17, 2011

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Fun and clever game, October 5, 2011
by Deboriole (San Diego, CA)
Related reviews: One room

Initially I got frustrated by this game because I just wanted to explore the room and not worry about what Violet would think, or have the game end because she left me. But once I figured out all I had to do was 'write' once in awhile, I was able to explore to my heart's content. What really excited me about this game was the amazing expanse of commands. Anything that crossed my mind seemed to be achievable. To my further delight, many of the crazy solutions I came up with actually worked and helped me toward my goal. This is one of the best IF games I have played in awhile. The puzzles are great and I got totally immersed in the world.

- sunny and mild (South Africa), October 4, 2011

- heleneotroy (Washington, DC), September 19, 2011

- aparrish (NYC), September 15, 2011

- Ann R. J., September 11, 2011

- cmdrfalafel, September 10, 2011

- Nemansphere, June 27, 2011

- Shchekotiki, June 23, 2011

- Xeinok (Cali/Osaka/Pattaya), June 10, 2011

- dr. quux, June 2, 2011

- flamingoboots, May 24, 2011

- Rotonoto (Albuquerque, New Mexico), May 16, 2011

- baywoof, April 25, 2011

- Jonathan Blask (Milwaukee, WI, USA), April 4, 2011

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Dysfunctional relationships ahoy!, March 8, 2011
by spinnerin (Portland, OR)

This is a game where you’re trying to work on your dissertation, but distractions keep getting in the way. Violet is the girlfriend who is going to leave you if you don’t get the writing done.

There were many things I liked about the game, but the pieces were better than the whole. I got frustrated several times when the game told me I couldn’t resolve a puzzle a certain way because Violet didn’t approve. In the end I wanted to give up on the PhD, dump Violet, and go play in the park with the zombies and mole men.

- frocutio (Irvine, CA), February 22, 2011

- snickerdoddle, January 27, 2011

- Sylvia Storm, January 26, 2011

- r6144, January 25, 2011

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Perhaps just not my style, January 24, 2011
by katz (Altadena, California)

The impeccable implementation did not compensate for the fact that I didn't like either Violet or the player character. Violet's voice is perfectly believable, but it's also nagging, wheedling, and irritatingly superior; the player character's inability to focus was enough to make me declare him/her a lost cause. I appreciate the ambiance, but however detailed, the story didn't place me in a world where I wanted to spend any amount of time.

- Amphiareion, January 24, 2011

- A. P. Sillers (United States, East Coast), January 22, 2011

- smartgenes (Newcastle, UK), January 15, 2011

- Niklas Larsson (Malmö, Sweden), December 19, 2010

- Hobat, December 16, 2010

- kba (berlin), December 12, 2010

- S. Plumb, December 3, 2010

- salty-horse, November 20, 2010

- Wendymoon, November 18, 2010

- Venya (Olalla, WA, US), October 22, 2010

- Softbagel, October 22, 2010

- nsandver, October 1, 2010

- armandch, September 17, 2010

- Nusco (Bologna, Italy), September 6, 2010

- Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway), August 29, 2010

- Clemency Jones (England), August 26, 2010

- Celestianpower (Gloucestershire, UK), July 25, 2010

- Juleske, July 20, 2010

- Pergament, July 9, 2010

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Romantic? Comedy?, July 6, 2010

This is a surreal, funny little one-room game. You are a doctoral student having trouble concentrating on your dissertation. Your girlfriend has threatened to break up with you and move back to Australia if you do not write 1000 words by the end of the day. She narrates the entire game -- for example, if you "get" something, she quips "Yours, plucky wombat!" or whatever nickname she picks that time. There are quite a lot of amusing easter eggs to discover.

Violet's sense of humor is...sardonic to say the least. I would not want her as my girlfriend, but as a character, she's hilarious and the relationship is very believable. The puzzles, with one exception that I found frustratingly non-intuitive, are fun and just challenging enough to be interesting. There's often this marvelous sense of "Oh, I can't possibly be supposed to do that, can I?" Yes, whatever action you were contemplating with looming dread is exactly what you are supposed to do. The plot skirts the line between tragic and comedic, but stays on the "comedic" side, at least for me. However, I wouldn't recommend playing this while getting over a bad breakup unless you have a rather dark sense of humor ;-)

- Sorrel, July 4, 2010

- lagran-G-an (Tel-Aviv, Israel), June 28, 2010

- Stickz (Atlanta, Georgia), June 23, 2010

- osofine, June 22, 2010

- Dan Efran, June 15, 2010

- strikemeyer (Atlanta, Georgia), June 12, 2010

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Earns a spot on the 'all-time favorite' list, June 9, 2010
by Bernie (Fredericksburg, VA)

After reading a review on here, I popped open Violet to read a few quick sentences. Unfortunately, I had to surrender my computer to my husband for an appointment 10 minutes later. Violet was so well-written and interesting that I ended up co-opting my husband's computer and downloading an interpreter so I could keep playing. The game was just too much fun to put down.

The narration in the game is entirely from the point-of-view of a girlfriend, and it sparkles. Almost every command you type evokes a witty response. As I played, I found myself falling in love with the girlfriend behind the keyboard who makes clever artwork and calls me cute pet names.

The puzzle behind the game is deceptively straightforward: you need to write. There are many highly entertaining distractions and the puzzles center around masking them. The solutions to the puzzles are logical and a built-in hint system helps keep you from getting stuck.

Everything about the game shines, from the well-implemented commands and descriptions to the strong and well-developed characters that kept me glued to the game until the finish. The writing is so good that you will want to play it again, just to see more of the fun distractions and hear more cute pet names.

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Gem of a game!, June 7, 2010
by Danielle (The Wild West)

If you came to VIOLET wanting a huge dungeon-crawler, you'll be disappointed. But if you're in the mood for something different, this game is a perfect little tidbit.

It's all about Violet. Come to think...yeah, it is all about her. A generic parser voice would turn this into another game about accomplishing a mundane in-office task. Instead, Violet editorializes upon your actions (whether good, bad, or stupid), and mentions memories that remind you that there's more at stake here than a thesis.

I also think if this game hadn't had such a good hint system, I would have had to've knocked down a star. Intially, it's a little tricky to catch on to the thread of logic, so when the hints ended up being more like the UHS system (in which a number of clues are given before the answer's handed out), AND in Violet's voice, I was very happy.

Violet is fun to listen to (my favorite pet name: "weet-bix"), and you feel a lot of genuine affection in the writing of this game. The spot-on implementation, charming voice, and perfect length make this equivalent to a short-story masterpiece.

- freeform (Taiwan), May 14, 2010

- Patrick M. McCormick (United States), May 4, 2010

- helga (Australia), May 2, 2010

- Mikoangelo (Denmark), April 28, 2010

- Leland Paul (Swarthmore, PA), April 27, 2010

- Christopher Bogs, April 25, 2010

- Azazel, April 14, 2010

- WaterMonkey314, March 25, 2010

- Martinellis (California), March 1, 2010

- Magnus W (Örebro, Sweden), February 19, 2010

- Ioannis D., February 6, 2010

- Genjar (Finland), January 13, 2010

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), January 10, 2010

- loungeman (Bilbao, Spain), January 4, 2010

- smurfas666 (Klaipeda, Lithuania), December 30, 2009

- m3brooklyn, December 29, 2009

- Nicholas, December 26, 2009

- Grey (Italy), December 21, 2009

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Really good (most of the time), December 20, 2009
by Andreas Teufel (Poland)

Violet is the story of a man or woman (for me it works only with a female PC) who has to write 1000 words for some kind of university paper in order to keep his girlfriend from leaving, but is constantly distraced by his surroundings. (happy now Peter Pears!?)

Story & Setting: cute, works very good actually, there's a lot of humour which is a very good thing in this kind of story, it's fun to explore the world, the style is great (except for the annoying Aussie slang)

Interactivity: pretty good

Puzzles: mostly solvable, one or two things don't make sense but still far above average, the very good hint system clears up all possible "stuckabilities"

(Spoiler - click to show)
I really liked that you have to regretfully destroy all of Violet's gifts in order to progress

Replayability: very linear, so it can be played 2-3 times at the most, but there's lots of fun stuff to try out

what didn't work: the end

the end felt rushed and was not up to par with the rest of the game, I just expected more, (Spoiler - click to show)
maybe even a sad ending, the revelation that Violet was watching all the time is just pure nonsense

game of the year? probably not, but I haven't played any other from this year, so I wouldn't know


- TempestDash (Cincinnati, Ohio), December 4, 2009

- futureman44203 (Ocala, Florida), November 27, 2009

- Isle (Oregon), October 26, 2009

- tinroof, October 12, 2009

- LuigiThirty, September 18, 2009

- Beetle B., September 12, 2009

- VK, August 28, 2009

- Cuxxu (Albany, NY), August 26, 2009

- Alessan, August 21, 2009

- thion, August 20, 2009

11 of 21 people found the following review helpful:
Like Reaching Land After Days At Sea, July 30, 2009
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)

Did I play the same game as the other reviewers? Reading the reviews and the contrasting their sparkling appreciation to what I experienced makes me seriously question if most of the reviewers are on high-grade antidepressants or terminally too-nice. Shaking off that bit of strangeness, let me say first that I started playing Violet expecting a lot. (Yes, those reviews did bias me towards expecting something off-the-charts good). Reality was a bit lacking in comparison.

First, the narrator (Violet) is wearying. Yes, you can say that she's cute; yes, there is this whole exotic appeal to her, but the endless needling, the superiority, and the martyr complex simply wear you down after a while. She is so overdramatic that it drains your energy. Women like her are why guys collapse into saying "Yes, dear," and try to do whatever their wives want, simply to be left in peace.

With that said, the game itself is strangely unforgiving. To solve the puzzles, you must instinctively disregard what Violet wishes. Furthermore, you often have to (Spoiler - click to show)destroy the very things that celebrate your relationship. I'm not sure what the author intended, but that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's like I'm being forced to annihilate love.

Worse, the puzzles themselves are poorly clued, and often feature an exceedingly strict parser (for instance: "ear" doesn't work, but "ears" does), or important details that should be present when you examine something, but are missing. I've never used the hints on any game as much as I did with this one. This left me feeling very frustrated. I understand that the puzzles are odd, but if that's the case, then shouldn't near-misses be subtly nudged towards the answer? Instead, they are rewarded with standard responses. Probably the most egregious example of this was (Spoiler - click to show)the whole slingshot ordeal.

The ending felt more like how you feel after reaching dry land after being at sea for a few days: you're filled with relief that it's over. Yet even here, the relief is not admixed; there's a bit of creepy cruelty present as well. I'm definitely unsure that I would go to Australia with Violet if I were the main character.

That's another thing -- the main character is a guy who's apparently rather loose, and the game features quite a bit of sexual innuendo. The fact that it's couched in humor doesn't ameliorate the facts of the situation. In one scene, you're listening to the the PC's ex and another man engage in various unspecified sex actions from behind a door. Yuck.

The game features snappy dialog, a seamless conceit that never once breaks memisis, and an interesting narrator. The execution of the puzzles, however, is unfair and frustrating. There are also a few bugs remaining (for instance, there is no response to throwing the coaster). Taking it all into consideration, Violet isn't fantastic, but it could be improved quite a bit by cluing the puzzles better and by implementing a few more verbs.

- four1475 (Manhattan, KS), July 26, 2009

- Ben Cressey (Seattle, WA), July 16, 2009

- Matt Kimmel (Cambridge, MA), July 7, 2009

- Brian Conn (Eureka, California), June 19, 2009

- Squidi, June 18, 2009

- Sly Curado, June 8, 2009

- Naeradan, June 3, 2009

- googoogjoob, May 18, 2009

- Hipster Scumbag, May 4, 2009

- Dannii (Australia), April 28, 2009

- Krishnoid (Sunnyvale, CA), April 26, 2009

- Steve Blanding (Redmond, WA), April 4, 2009

- Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico), April 1, 2009

- Mark Jones (Los Angeles, California), March 31, 2009

- Rhian Moss (UK), March 23, 2009

- robx, March 13, 2009

- GDL (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), March 9, 2009

- schifter (Louisville, KY), February 24, 2009

- winky, February 24, 2009

- MyTheory (Missouri), February 15, 2009

- nallam, February 4, 2009

- Rose (New Zealand), January 12, 2009

- Cheryl L (Australia), January 9, 2009

- Neale Grant (Hove, England), January 5, 2009

- Matt W. (Vienna, Austria), January 5, 2009

- tylluan (Vermont), January 4, 2009

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
No wonder he's the winner !, January 4, 2009

Very rich and well-polished (no bugs and one specific answer for each action), this game is also funny ! I liked the way the story is told through the eyes of Violet ; moreover telling the player at any time what he has to get rid of (noise, Internet, etc ! - anything can be a disturbance !) is a great thing. The only thing I didn't like is (Spoiler - click to show)that you sometimes have to destroy objects made by your beloved one to advance ! ;)

- Robot Marvin, January 4, 2009

- oddgrue (California), December 31, 2008

- Adam Biltcliffe (Cambridge, UK), December 28, 2008

- yandexx (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), December 28, 2008

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Procrastination made interesting, December 22, 2008
by Ziixxxitria (California)

The puzzles were interesting and just hard enough to keep me looking for the solutions. Violet's narration was witty and the little asides and descriptions gave a very strong feel for the characters. A few little turns such as (Spoiler - click to show)the ending, or the many times I *thought* I had the cable taken care of for good left me gaping for a moment, before I jumped right back in. Excellent entertainment.

- Aaron Mumaw (Appalachia), December 22, 2008

11 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
Annoying, December 12, 2008
by lobespear
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008

Hey look, I've got a super-hot, rich, clever, jet-setting Australian girlfriend! She's so cool I even think in her voice! And she loves to play charming tricks on me, like (Spoiler - click to show)writing me a letter to tell me I'm dumped... but it's just a "joke"! Hahaha! Sure you do, Mr Freese, sure you do. You don't live in your mother's basement, alone, programming videogames in your spare time, not at all! ;)

To be fair, this isn't the only game in this comp that suffers from the "imaginary super-girlfriend" problem: RIVERSIDE did too, but it managed to redeem itself by turning out to be a giant rib on exactly *that* type of game. VIOLET is just *that* type of game. Meaning a constant smug, condescending, "aren't-I-amusing" tone, lamebrained "whimsical" humour (it's zombie day! ZOMG how hilarious), and a ridiculous over-extended Babelfish-style puzzle (trying to block distractions while writing an essay) where you are constantly one step away from the solution. Freese's very solid implementation is let down by the awful writing and characterization. Less whimsy next time round please!

- Shigosei, December 6, 2008

- Al, November 27, 2008

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
My favorite xyzzy response ever., November 26, 2008
by mazirian (Yarmouth, Maine)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008, comedy, single room

Violet is entirely responsible for rekindling my interest in interactive fiction recently. The interesting aspects of this game are amply highlighted in the other positive reviews here--that it's a single room game where everything, even metagame response, is conveyed in the voice of the protagonist's girlfriend. In the hands of a less capable author this would have quickly turned into an annoying gimmick, but Freese avoids that fate so thoroughly that I was actually sad when the game was over. Everything, from the nature of the puzzles (battling procrastination) to the never ending stream of increasingly bizarre pet names (lemon squidgie?), fits together perfectly, and almost nothing in the coding of the game was irksome. The single negative review below (at the time of this review) can only be the result of an unfortunate, soul-crushing cynicism.

- Kake (London, England), November 26, 2008

- Clare Parker (Portland, OR), November 23, 2008

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Nothing motivates a man like a woman's change of status, November 22, 2008
by Ron Newcomb (Seattle)

The most unique thing about Jeremy Freese's _Violet_ is its wholeness. The author uses an unusual technique of casting the titular NPC as a voice intentionally willed to exist inside the male* protagonist's own head. Not only does his constantly keeping in mind "what would Violet say?" show his feelings for Violet and his current motivation, but the technique allows an in-game character to comment on both action-based gameplay and out-of-world game messages without breaking mimesis. Even the about-the-game portions of the work called up by the CREDITS or ABOUT commands are cast as a letter from an ostensibly real-world Violet to the author's friends, we the player. The pervasive use of this technique lends the work a visceral force usually reserved for true stories.

A secondary effect of the same technique suckers puzzle-adverse players into playing a puzzle-based game to completion. Myself spent over 15 minutes with _Violet_ before realizing it is not, in fact, a conversation-based work. Conversation through NPC commentary is merely a veneer. The initial tasks in the game are so easy they would rightly be called a basic I-F tutorial rather than a puzzle. By the time the player recognizes the true nature of the gameplay, a desire to see how it all ends has taken over. Besides, surely just getting settled enough to begin writing a dissertation couldn't take much longer, could it?

Well as it turns out, our protagonist is unfortunately very good at sabotaging himself, and the lengths to which he must go become increasingly outlandish and embarrassing. It's something of a trick that, even when Violet herself finally comes on stage to laugh a little at us, the author has avoided making the player feel like a buffoon even as he (and we) makes one of the player-character. The player-character isn't properly named, or even solidly gendered, and the work is in second person, all of which invites conflation of the player with the player-character. But it doesn't matter. Perhaps it's because the work itself reinforces the bemused absurdity of it all (such as the scenes outside the window), or perhaps it's because we believe enough in the protagonist's mission by then so that, by hook or by crook, we'll accomplish our goals and worry about our dignity later. However it's done, it's done well.

Narrative techniques for the problems specific to interaction fiction still inhabit a realm of rumor and black magic, passed between individuals who may never meet. Because the novelty of computer games is front-loaded and cooly intellectual, they can be acceptably reviewed unfinished. Because a story reveals its heart near the end, it must light a fire in the player after basic mastery settles in but before repetition does the same. And because so frequently a video game's first on-stage character teaches gameplay throughout, such a character cannot play a significant part in the story precisely because of that world-straddling status -- thus breaking a rule of static fiction about characters introduced early. But Violet, true to her status as a sufficiently awesome girlfriend, does exactly this. Even as her imagined voice ostensibly encourages her boyfriend to complete his task for the warm rewards, she encourages us to complete ours for the same. It is this solution that raises Freese's magic out of the blackness of grues, and into a spectrum a little more colorful.

* Or female, as the player may change, only, the player-character's gender.

- JCiruolo, November 19, 2008

- perching path (near Philadelphia, PA, US), November 18, 2008

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
Well crafted, demented, and fun, November 17, 2008
by WriterBob (Richmond Hill, Ontario)

This game is as rock solid a piece of IF as I've seen in quite a while. It is a single room, single extended puzzle, written clearly. All the objects in the room are capable of being examined and most are, to a great degree capable of being manipulated.

The tone of the game may not appeal to all people. The major conceit of the game is that the narrative is told from the point of view of your girlfriend, Violet. All of the actions you take are commented on by her voice in your head. When you look at the room the game doesn't tell you the description so much as Violet relates the description to you in her own unique voice.

The plot and motivation are developed as the game progresses. There is no need for a lot of background feelies to get the player in the mind-set of the game. As the story developed, the solutions to each situation became increasingly bizarre. Also of note is the status bar in the game which clearly relayed what the next obstacle was in the sequence of this extended puzzle.

Overall, I found this a very satisfying piece of IF.

- ensoul, November 17, 2008

- Emily Short, November 16, 2008

- Juhana, November 14, 2008

- Steve Evans (Hobart, Tasmania), November 14, 2008

- Stephen Bond (Leuven, Belgium), November 12, 2008

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Fun. Adorable. Brilliant., November 11, 2008
by Dominic Delabruere (U.S.A.)

Violet is deeply implemented, contains challenging-enough-to-be-fun puzzles and a fine hint system, and tells a really charming story. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. This is the sort of greatness to which I aspire as an author.

- Otto (France), November 10, 2008

- Mike Gray (Wisconsin), November 1, 2008

- Tom Hudson (Durham, North Carolina), October 21, 2008

- Martin Braun (Berlin, Germany), October 12, 2008

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