Recommendations by Cryptic Puffin

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1. Captain Verdeterre's Plunder
by Ryan Veeder
Average member rating: (44 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Nautical, comedy, optimization. Play as a pirate helping your rodent captain retrieve the most valuable treasure from a sinking ship! Short playthrough, but you'll want to play through it a few times at least to get a good score.

2. Fingertips: Everything Is Catching On Fire
by E. Joyce
Average member rating: (11 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Espionage, comedy, one-move. Play as a spy trapped in a burning room, with only move to escape as well as save top-secret documents from the inferno. A very well-made one-move game, but do prepare yourself for repeated incineration.

3. The Play
by Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky)
Average member rating: (60 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Slice of life/Theatre, comedy, twine. Direct a disastrous rehearsal and make decisions to determine the reception of the production. Funny, well-written, and offers a feeling of real influence on the story to the player.

4. Closure
by Sarah Willson
Average member rating: (21 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Slice of life, comedy, experimental. "Experimental" because (and this is what's so cool about this game) it's written in the actual format of two friends texting, speech bubbles and all. Your friend has snuck into her ex's dorm after their recent breakup, and she's asked you to guide her to finding an old photo through texts, though you'll make many other discoveries along the way. A fresh take on parser games which is very well-done; the game itself is also fun with great humor, which doesn't let some of the more serious bits eclipse it.

5. The Magpie Takes the Train
by Mathbrush
Average member rating: (32 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Heist, comedy, one-room. Play as a famous thief who's got their heart set on a fabulous jewel, and must conduct their daring heist in a single train compartment. This is the longest game on this list, but it's still pretty much easygoing and a good level of difficulty-- once you get the hang of the mechanics, it won't take you long to quick-change your way to victory. Unless you poke the parrot, that is.

6. My Gender Is a Fish
by Carter Gwertzman
Average member rating: (21 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Fantasy, experimental, twine. Play as a youth whose gender identity has been stolen by a magpie and thus must do their best to get it back. You could say this is more of a thought experiment than a game, or perhaps both at once-- in any case, it's very well-written and effectively visualizes the pursuit of one's identity and explores the nature of gender. Sounds like heavy stuff, but it's also quite engaging to play and you do get to choose your own path in exploring your gender, whatever it may be.

7. Her Majesty's Trolley Problem
by Buster Hudson
Average member rating: (24 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Fantasy, thought experiment, nautical? Play as the only crewmember of Her Majesty's Trolley 'Problem', wending its way through the tracks to deliver an important prisoner to justice. If you've heard of the morality thought experiment involving trolleys, it's like that, except in a really cool fantasy world in which trolleys are like the ships of the empire, ruled by pig-creatures and fighting the skeleton masses. Thought-provoking, leads to various paths of your own choosing as well as featuring some terrific worldbuilding for such a short game.

8. Dead Pavane for a Princess, by Emily Boegheim (2013)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)
Cryptic Puffin says:

Fantasy/historical, horror?, one-room. Play as the famous composer, Maurice Ravel, who must escape his friend, Claude Debussy, who is now zombie Debussy. Firstly, I need to know where Emily Boegheim gets her ideas because there should be more summaries like this. In any case, this game is very short and consists of a pretty simple puzzle, but this is far from discouraging: the atmosphere, the urgency of a zombie classical composer trying to get you as well as the inherent humorous absurdity, the thorough implementation as well as the quality of the writing is more than enough for an enjoyable and memorable game.

9. The Tiniest Room
by Erik108
Average member rating: (26 ratings)

Cryptic Puffin says:

Minimalist, escape-the-room, twine. Just look around and find a way out. I personally love a good escape-the-room game, but this game is especially impressive for making a fun, rewarding experience with only a 300 word count! I write longer emails than that, so this game is worth a look not only for its entertaining qualities, but also a technical achievement.

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