by Tom Lento and Chandler Groover profile


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3 of 3 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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Scrooge200, March 16, 2023 - Reply
Hey, nice review! Chandler's games get pretty visceral and bizarre, so I don't play them unless I'm really in the mood to be freaked out or have my brain melt -- situational, but definitely an experience. I like how you linked to the song you listened to while you played the game; I gave it a listen, and while I don't speak Italian, I thought it was pretty good.
Juuves, March 16, 2023 - Reply
Thank you! Glad that you enjoyed it (the review & the song)!
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