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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:59 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
My picks:
-Witness
-Deadline
-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
-Border zone
-Trinity
-Photopia
-Shade
-Shadow in the Cathedral
-Make it Good
-King of Shreds & Patches
-An Act of Murder

Ok, I admit I am very old school on this...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:01 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
Thanks, people! I also have received two anonymous listings by e-mail; since they'll appear in the final excel-sheet anyway (as Anonymous #1 and Anonymous #2, of course), I guess it is also OK if I put them here. These might give you some more ideas.

One thing that is clear is that the past few years have seen a lot of good new games coming out! I'll be sure to provide statistics for that when I present the results.

Here's the first list:
Quote:
Gun Mute
Counterfeit Monkey
De Baron
Photopia
Hadean Lands
Love, Hate and the Mysterious Ocean Tower
Their Angelical Understanding
Shrapnel
With Those We Love Alive
Kerkerkruip
Dead Like Ants
PataNoir
Fail-Safe
Being Andrew Plotkin
Lighan ses Lion
The Moonlit Tower
Centipede
Shade
The Tale of the Kissing Bandit
Rogue of the Multiverse

And here is the second:
Quote:
Savoir-Faire
Counterfeit Monkey
Anchorhead
Spider & Web
Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis
Photopia
Varicella
80 Days
With Those We Love Alive
Violet
Lost Pig
Fallacy of Dawn
Bee
Alabaster
Slouching Toward Bedlam
Eurydice
The Baron
Worlds Apart
Vespers
Fallen London


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:00 pm
Posts: 140
Here's mine, in no particular order.

1. 80 Days
2. Howling Dogs
3. Horse Master
4. Trinity
5. Gun Mute
6. Kerkerkruip
7. For a Change
8. So Far
9. Cryptozookeeper
10. Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis
11. Vespers
12. Anchorhead
13. Galatea
14. Photopia
15. City of Secrets
16. Everybody Dies
17. Bee
18. Necrotic Drift
19. With Those We Love Alive
20. Age of Fable


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:41 am
Posts: 147
It’s never clear to me how one should construct these lists: favourites (including one’s guilty pleasures?), or some sort of canon, and if so how personal? Should one aim to be fair or representative, or just load things down with everything-every-written-by-my-favourite-author. In the end, this a bit of all that. And how to avoid the inevitable tendency to privilege the recent over the older? These are not in any particular order.

Zork I Marc Blank and Dave Lebeling.

I’d like not to, because it’s not even a game I particularly like or recommend (or could be bothered to finish). But it seems perverse to exclude it: in some way so much that follows is a homage or a reaction to this and, best or not, it seems in some sense fundamental.

Curses Graham Nelson

Another “dutiful” choice, but one I regret less. Nelson is central to the renaissance of IF, partly for his role in Inform (which exists in close symbiotic relationship to Curses) and partly for showing that “amateur” IF could equal, in craft, the best of the commercial era. We have moved well beyond it, and happily more or less grown past its rather clever-clever de haut en bas tone, but we stand on its shoulders.

Counterfeit Monkey Emily Short

What can one say: this combines a brilliant and consistently used puzzle mechanic with a solid story that is also, unquestionably, fun. It’s a fundamentally entertaining work with enough solid material to make it feel nourishing too, and technically advanced and polished in every way.

Hadean Lands Andrew Plotkin

I was in two minds about whether to include this, partly because it’s so recent and partly because (being so recent) I’m not yet sure what to make of it. Like Counterfeit Monkey it carries through a consistent puzzle mechanic on a grand scale, though I find it less satisfying because it feels much emptier, much more a puzzle vehicle than a solid story with puzzles. In the end, I’m not sure I ever really care what happens to the Retort. But I think it deserves its place here because of its technical virtuosity and depth, and because of the huge strides it makes in terms of game play.

Anchorhead Michael Gentry

Because how can you not love it? Granted, the story is fundamentally feeble, and some of the puzzles are tedious. But for creating a sense of atmosphere, and for the almost imperceptible skilful way in which the whole thing is put together, and for the overall sense of completeness and immersion, I don’t think anything has bettered it.

De Baron Victor Gijsbers.

One of the most fiercely intelligent, bravest, nastiest, least compromising games you can imagine. This is shocking in all the best or worst ways: shocking in the right way. Anchorhead gives you the frisson of a ghost story, but this is true horror, something which is prepared to look without flinching at a truly ghastly situation.

Spider and Web Andrew Plotkin

A one trick pony (well, perhaps, one and a third tricks). But what a trick! Others have said it better than I can.

Kerkerkruip Victor Gijsbers and contributors

From the relentlessly serious (De Baron), one moves the the purely ludic. Kerkerkruip is pure game, and notable (it seems to me) for “cracking” better than anyone else has a particular, seemingly obvious, deployment of IF in a purely fantastic combat setting and managing to get it right, and produce something that actually works.

Coloratura Lynnea Glasser

I hesitated over this one, because although I really admired it when I played in the Comp, I’ve not felt any desire to come back to it later, and I’ve wondered whether I’m rating an undoubtedly good recent game higher than it deserves. But I’ve relented, because it seems to me to do things which it’s hard to imagine any medium other than IF doing so well, and which as far as I can see no-one else has done in quite the same way in IF before. So I think on the grounds of that originality, despite having some reservations now about the way it is written, it deserves a place here.

Their angelical understanding Porpentine

Another hard choice. It’s absolutely clear to me that a list of this sort without some Porpentine would be wrong, and if space permitted I would put more than one on. But which to choose: the rawness of Howling Dogs? The brilliant gimmick of With those we love alive? Either could be justified, but I came back to Their angelical understanding for the simple but stupid reason that it touched me viscerally in a way that the others, much as I admire them, didn’t quite.

Endless, Nameless Adam Cadre

My pick for most under-commented-upon game of the last five years. Technically, it’s brilliant. As as a commentary upon the IF community it’s brilliant. It’s enjoyable on a number of levels, and it’s put together with quite remarkable craft and guile.

Coming Out Simulator Nicky Case

So this is a sort of a cheat, or self-indulgence, because I suppose I couldn’t really hand-on-heart justify inclusion here in any sort of public debate. But I found this game very touching, very true, very affecting. The “diary” game is a developing genre, and it’s star may burn out rather quickly because it could easily become a vehicle for maudlin self-indulgence. But I think it deserves to be represented here. For me it was a choice between this and Caelyn Sandel’s Cis Gaze (not on IFDB?), also an effective and affecting (and non-self indulgent piece) in similar vein. My choice here is partly personal, and partly reflects the fact that I like its distinctive presentation.

Photopia Adam Cadre

Another obvious one, I realise. But it’s celebrated for a reason and it’s not just that it did what it did first, but that it does what it does so well.

Rameses Stephen Bond

“It is implemented well-enough but it is not a happy story.” So reads one of the reviews on IFDB. If ever a reviewer managed both to get it absolutely right and to miss the point completely, it is Ms Millard. For me this is up there with De Baron and Photopia for the way that it takes techniques and conventions of IF and uses them not merely subversively (which could be easy) but positively to achieve something that could not be achieved in other ways. It’s not at all as fine as either of those other games, but it seems to me to be a basic text of “IF-as-story”.

Gun Mute CEJ Pacian

Pacian, for me, is a bit like Porpentine: I love his work, but it’s hard to choose one thing in particular, while difficult to justify multiple choices. In the end, I went with Gun Mute because it shows his lightness of touch, his refusal to be constrained by tedious convention, and his love of character and narrative with forward drive like a charging rhino. I defy anyone not to enjoy it. (Proxime accessit Love, Hate and the Mysterious Ocean Tower, but that seems a far slighter work.)

Alabaster (many authors, herded by Emily Short)

Another, in my view, very under-rated game. Nobody has put more effort than Emily Short into making conversation work, whether in Galatea (a game that is justly celebrated but which I don’t get on with), or in her recent Versu work (which I was sorely tempted to include). For me, Alabaster juust works incredibly well as a system where conversation and story hang together in a satisfying way, which feels far more than the “proof of concept” in perhaps was.

Horse Master Tom McHenry.

I love games which deliver more than they promise, and this Horse Master does. Unlike most of the other games I’ve mentioned, this owes nothing to Zork, but takes it genes from other game play ideas altogether. Yet it manages, beyond question, to produce a remarkable effective narrative.

Violet Jeremy Freese

There really aren’t that many truly funny IF games: what passes for humour is all-too-often just rather adolescent snarkiness. But the tone in Violet is very perfectly judged, making it a lovely little rom-com of a game which is just what we need to lighten things up. For my money, far more interesting than Lost Pig which I find a rather dull box in an admirably fancy wrapping.

You Will Select a Decision Brendan Patrick Hennessy

Well, perhaps another funny one is in order. I like this because I think the writing is just perfectly judged, and perfectly judged comic writing is incredibly difficult to get right. It’s also all so thoroughly good natured, so cheerfully nostalgic. (Though I admit to feeling a bit bad at choosing this piece of comic writing in particular when there are others, such as Ryan Veeder and Sean Shore who also write excellently and in a similar register.)

Invisible Parties Sam Kabo Ashwell

I suppose alarm bells should be ringing here: it’s short, it’s recent, it didn’t win any comp, and I doesn’t break any major technical ground. So perhaps I am over-rating it. But it seems to do so much so well: the writing is excellent, the structure and pacing and delivery of backstory and story are just so, it has the courage to deal with recognisably human relationships and to get them right and it seems really fresh. So I think I can justify my decision to put it here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:50 pm 
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Posts: 350
A heady melange of the sublime and the profane, here I am again to lodge a few votes for classic shoe-ins and no-hope works probably no one has discussed since I mentioned them last time around. In no particular order (I lie, they are alphabetized):

9:05,
A Mind Forever Voyaging,
Ad Verbum,
Aisle,
Analogue: A Hate Story,
Bigger Than You Think,
Depression Quest,
Fabled Lands app,
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
Humbug,
Hunter,In Darkness,
Kingdom Without End,
Magocracy,
Mindwheel,
Paradox Factor,
Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die,
Shade,
Solarium,
The Ascot,
Tin Star.

Oh gosh, I ran out of room for Punk Points and Mercy! Oh well.

Trivia: The Alphabetizer read in my list of comma-separated game titles, but still spat out "Hunter, In Darkness" correctly adjacent to each other, since separate games named "Hunter" and "In Darkness" would fall sequentially when sorted alphabetically. How about that!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:03 pm 
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Posts: 1199
Location: The Netherlands
UnwashedMass wrote:
Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die

Really? :)

Since there is probably no better way to get people to vote than by making them think "what? how can that game not be in the top 10? and what is that piece of crap doing there instead?", I'll publish a small list of the games that are currently at or near the top.

With 4 votes: The Baron, City of Secrets, Coloratura, The King of Shreds and Patches, With Those We Love Alive

With 5 votes: Hadean Lands, Kerkerkruip, Lost Pig, Make It Good, Varicella

With 6 votes: --

With 7 votes: Anchorhead, Counterfeit Monkey

With 8 votes: Spider and Web

With 9 votes: Photopia


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:21 am
Posts: 286
I'll put some votes in for some underdogs or just completely ignored. There are doubtless better games, but something about these games stuck in my head:

Adventurers Consumer Guide
Babel
Blighted Isle
Blue Chairs
Dead Like Ants
Fail-Safe
A Killer Headache
The Play
Six
Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:34 am
Posts: 648
I feel like maybe I shouldn't vote here. I'm very new to this community and haven't played as many games as most other members. But I've already encountered a few whose position in my personal list of favorites won't be budging anytime soon, so I feel like it's safe to vote for them.

Howling Dogs by Porpentine. The game that got me into interactive fiction. I had no idea that stuff quite like this was out there. I've played other Porpentine games since, but this one has a special place.

Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis by Adam Thornton. I started this thinking it would be a joke and finished thinking it was a masterpiece. Anarchic and hilarious and brilliant.

Lime Ergot by Caleb Wilson. Extremely short, this game is a mood and nothing much more. And for me, it's perfect. It got into my brain and it's still there.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:45 pm 
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Neil - I seriously considered Tex Bonaventure, too, for what it's worth. That game was just fun.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Posts: 504
that IF like Slouching Towards Bedlam or Jigsaw aren't anywhere near the top is truly embarassing

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