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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:Haunting, Funny, and Challenging, November 23, 2015
Related reviews: IF Comp 2015
Koustrea's Contentment is an evocative, funny, and challenging work that is impressive on a number of levels, and it is obvious that great effort went into making it so special. I judged it during the 2015 IF Comp, which limited play forming the basis of judging to two hours, and finished it more quickly than I would have otherwise, after a while making heavy use of an abbreviated walkthrough that the author provided. As a result, I would like to give the work more time in order to look for more connections that would help me understand its story and challenging puzzles more thoroughly. None of this, however, prevented me from appreciating the ending.
Other writers have discussed possible improvements that could be made, and I have seen the author take positive and negative feedback seriously and with appreciation. However, I am emphasizing the work's many strengths out of a desire that more people might find the kind of joy and satisfaction from the work that I did.
The work has excellent technical implementation and a house full of oddly and wonderfully named characters that resonated with me. In particular, the things that one character said amid the sounds that surrounded him I found particularly spot on, in a way that both made me laugh and disturbed me. That feeling reflects the work as a whole: haunting and humorous, fun to play and thought-provoking. Its original and otherworldly setting hints at insights about our own world. By the way, how intriguing, at its beginning, to find a majestic stone hall containing images of such things as an owl, a jukebox, and a pinball machine!
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