Codex Sadistica: A Heavy-Metal Minigame

by grave snail games

2021

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Number of Reviews: 6
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Pitch-perfect satire, October 18, 2021
by bkirwi
Related reviews: IF Comp 2021

The main blurb gets the premise across pretty well: you're in a metal band, the (terrible) act ahead of you in the lineup is running over time, and you need to assemble your bandmates and save the show. (Though things do eventually get a little weirder...) The author satirizes the metal scene without ever coming across as mean-spirited; the characters are all a little stereotypical, but written with affection and humour, and the story works even if you're not super familiar with the genre.

Most of the puzzles are based on a novel, central mechanic, introduced around the midgame. While it's not the deepest mechanic, it's a lot of fun to play around with, and the game's short enough that you don't end up exhausting the possibilities until the final moments. None of the puzzles end up being particularly difficult; if you get stuck, experimenting with different combinations and locations is enough to keep things moving without being frustrating.

The game was a little bit under-implemented: verbs that felt natural weren't there, significant objects described by the game weren't there at all or didn't have the right behaviours, and there's a little bit of guess-the-verb. Nothing huge or game-breaking, but enough to add some friction to an otherwise-delightful experience.