Deelzebub

by Morgan Elrod-Erickson, Skyler Grandel, and Jan Kim

2020

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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A funny TADS game about summoning a demon for your boss, October 3, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game is related to or part of a school project, which kind of setup hasn't made super successful games in the past (I've run some game camps, and long games take a ton of time; a polished IFComp game is about the same work as a Master's thesis and less like a semester project).

This one manages to be better than most, although it still has some rough edges.

Each of the people who worked on the game had successes. The art for the cover is done well; the writing has very funny moments; and the programming handles some pretty tricky material and multiple solutions to most puzzles.

In this game you play as a young member of a cult who has a very funny reaction to being a parser game PC. Your cult leader wants you to summon a demon, who turns out to be a real mild fellow. Shenanigans ensue.

The weak spots are evident in the game, too. The only file available in the download is a compiled executable for 3 platforms with no t3 file. Some of the conversation feels off (in general, reading your dialogue out loud can help make it stronger). You can't leave your leader's room early on until you ask him certain topics, but there is no TOPICS command or other way I found to remember what you need to do.

All of this can be fixed by general experience and maybe getting a few more beta testers that have experience testing comp games. But I think this is the best school-related IFComp game that I can remember playing, and I'd be pleased to see more from these authors.

-Polish: Could use more polish.
-Descriptiveness: Pretty good, but overall could use some more variety and colorful details.
+Emotional Impact: I found this funny
+Would I play again? Has plenty of replay value.
+Interactivity: Outside of the polish issues, the stuff you had to do made sense. The summoning ritual was very good.