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A Checkered Haunting

by Andrew Schultz profile


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(based on 6 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

A Petite Mort entry for ECTOCOMP 2016.

Game Details


10th Place, La Petite Mort - EctoComp 2016


My 2016 EctoComp Petite Mort game, A Checkered Haunting, recently got a re-release. In it, you spread Evil-B-Gone through five towns, never crossing the same intersection twice. But there's a hitch!

The basic way through is still similar, but you now have

--the ability to run to the edge of town
--two ways through the final town (guess the verb and acquiring several items)
--tracking when you may've worked yourself into an unwinnable situation (though you can restart, of course)
--general textual fixes
--a happier, more appropriate ending
--option for text maps instead of text description

Thanks to Victor Ojuel for helping me with the main bits of release 2 so many years ago and to Wade Clarke for help with the itch.io version so quickly after I released it!

There were many neat details to add, and I encourage others to re-release their games and add them here, especially EctoComp games, because sometimes 4 hours of programming isn't enough to put all your ideas in or get all the bugs out.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Shades of Threediopolis, May 21, 2017

(Disclosure: I participated in EctoComp 2016.)

The following is not Andrew Schultz's fault, but when I saw the title, I got a strong mental impression of a shaded, elegiac ghost story. What it is is a decidedly non-complex "visit all the rooms without retracing your steps" puzzle, with some plot justifications involving ghosts and the afterlife. No descriptions, no NPCs, essentially nothing to interact with (though the last part is justified, given that you're non-corporeal). Still, once I started I found it a fun, semi-mindless way to spend an afternoon. An ASCII auto-map is included, and the game is just the right length not to feel too light, nor to outstay its welcome.

(Spoiler - click to show)Then, you have to guess a verb in order to win the game. While I found that part difficult, I wouldn't call it illogical. It also stands out as a puzzle that wouldn't work in any medium other than IF, and draws attention to the PC's powerless nature as a ghost in a way that is somewhat darker than anything we have been led to expect.

Technically, it's good: I appreciated the map, and there is even a system where progressively more blatant hints appear if you get stuck. (Also, as Easter eggs, try going UP or DOWN.) The only place where I felt the constraints of the three-hour time limit was in the writing, which felt a bit unpolished, even to the point of being difficult to understand. In places, this may even have affected my ability to solve the final puzzle. That is the only major fault I could find, though.

There is a bit of a story, even a pretty good one, but it's almost exclusively doled out in the intro and ending text.

Not horror in any sense of the word, and barely counts as the F in IF, but a fun diversion if you're in a puzzly mood, and technically robust for a speed-IF.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fun graphical mini-puzzle with a twist, July 1, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This was Andrew Schultz's 2016 Ectocomp game. The author has made a mini-game, kind of reminiscent of one of the hat puzzle games (maybe Playing Games?) with a sort of maze you need to trace out, through 5 different levels.

The fifth level is different than the other levels. It needs a special command to finish it. The more times you replay it, the more hints that you get as to what the command is.

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Ectocomp Games (All English Winners/Entries) by thecanvasrose
A list I created for myself so I can play all of these games. Sorted by rank and year. English entries. I'll add descriptions and my own ratings (out of 5 stars) to the entries in this list as I go through them.

This is version 3 of this page, edited by Andrew Schultz on 11 December 2021 at 1:20am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page