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by Tom Lento and Chandler Groover profile


(based on 16 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Young love in the Lonely Valley.

Game Details


Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2020 XYZZY Awards

Best in Show; Audience Choice, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2020

Editorial Reviews

Spring Thing 2020 Review: JELLY by Tom Lento and Chandler Groover
While the central conceit may appear similar to Coloratura, the Interactive Fiction competition winner from 2013, where you also played a gooey monster, JELLY is in no way a horror game. There is plenty of ickiness, and you are indeed a monster, but nobody is running screaming from you. In fact, you are the one who needs to run away from pursuers at one point. I guess the subtitle, "A love story", makes that point clear. Embracing the monster.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Sweet. Sticky. Surprisingly refreshing, March 16, 2023

Sweet. Sticky. Surprisingly refreshing.

This game is different from the ones I usually peruse. A Twine work with parser elements (typed commands transformed into clickable links), JELLY is a lively adventure-quest through the sweets-filled lands of Lonely Valley. The puzzles never felt too hard or finicky, which was a breath of fresh air from my usual experience (read: struggles) with puzzle games. The style of prose, again, diverts from the archaic, word-leaden types describing nature or manmade settings that I often enjoy, but was exactly what drew me into the text with this particular game. There were a lot of places you had to repeatedly visit throughout the game to get to the final objective and because the writing was so good, it wasn't boring at all, having to do that. I happily reread most of the writing as I played and returned to each location, submerging myself over and over again in the sugary, gelatinous, and sometimes gory experiences of the young jelly.

A minor improvement perhaps might be the addition of a light mode version of the game. Though that's mostly just personal taste, given that I generally don't like dark themes very much. It also would've been nice to see more illustrations, mostly because the writing was so rich and evocative that I badly wanted some visual representations of what we were seeing. Furthermore, I wish that some of the storylines (there were several; adjacent, parallel, overlapping) were explored more; for example, (Spoiler - click to show)that of the brigadier general, the Captain - jealous brother and suitor, apparently, and the unnamed love interest they both fought over, or the one about the two *other* brothers, the merry droll-teller and the ginger-root man why did they keep crystallizing?, for example, as well as some of the story concepts (Spoiler - click to show) the monoliths, the channels/network, the tree, the constellations ; they seem to be a big part of the exciting lore of the place, and it would've been really nice to get a clearer picture of the history and entire canon of folklore we were exposed to of Lonely Valley. Oh well. For future games, maybe? ;)

But I can't complain. I loved this one a lot. Oh, how nice it was to be a red jelly, wandering through the wastes of an arcanic world!

Here, a song I had on in the background as I worked my way through JELLY: L'anima balla, by Olly, and which I found surprisingly, rather fitting both musically and lyrically for this interactive fiction!

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Food-based horror, love and rituals and an ASCII map, April 4, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a twine-based game with an ASCII map where you leave little footprints as you travel across the map.

This is food-based horror, a theme that occurs fairly regularly in Groover's repertoire. But it's a bit different this time. This time, you are food: you're jelly, and you're crossing the landscape, trying to get ready for a picnic, and trying to understand what was lost.

It's a live-die-repeat game, where you have limited turns to accomplish your goal. Surprisingly, your actions before death linger, letting you make lasting changes to the landscape.

It's gross, with flayings, immolations, and a lot of devouring, but it's definitely not the grossest Groover game you've ever played.

The final puzzle was beyond me (I didn't realize a certain ordering was different than I thought), but the copious hints smoothed that over.

Weird, and fun.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun and memorably weird, October 19, 2022
by Cerfeuil (*Teleports Behind You* Nothing Personnel, Kid)

I love Chandler Groover's stories, and this one is no exception. It's minimalist but makes great use of what detail exists. Each location is vividly sketched out in a few sentences, hinting at an expansive wider setting. Loved the aesthetic as well. As usual, descriptions are lush and food is involved in a mildly horrifying way.

The puzzles are unique and charming. Last puzzle did give me some trouble, seems like I'm not the only one. Apparently (Spoiler - click to show)the merry droll-teller gives you a hint for the items you need, but I'd frozen him and couldn't remember the route to get him back. Ended up tracing the right path without collecting any items, so I had to look up the hint for solving that one.

Distinctive and playful aesthetic, charming puzzles, great ASCII art.

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If you enjoyed JELLY...

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