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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:27 am 
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Since I don't have a game in this year's comp, I'm not bound to silence or limited to chatting in the author's club. Last year I really appreciated being able to hear thoughts on my game before the results were out, so for this year's authors I wanted to do the favor of providing game feedback during the comp. Here's my randomized play list I'll be checking off as I go along:

[x] Rover's Day Out
[x] Grounded In Space
[x] GATOR-ON, Friend to Wetlands!
[x] Condemned
[x] Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort
[x] The Grand Quest
[x] The Hangover
[x] Interface
[x] Spelunker's Quest
[x] zork, buried chaos
[x] Byzantine Perspective
[x] Eruption
[x] Star Hunter
[x] Gleaming the Verb
[x] The Duel in the Snow
[x] The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man
[x] The Ascot
[x] Trap Cave
[x] Earl Grey
[x] Beta Tester
[x] Snowquest
[x] The Duel That Spanned the Ages
[x] Broken Legs
[x] Resonance


Last edited by RChoba on Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:05 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Rover's Day Out

I'm all for games about dogs of any kind...

Spoiler: show
Really liked the opening, overall found things a bit disorienting but interesting. Enjoyed the trippy dreams, the memories, and the back and forth between David and Janet. Did not enjoy repeating the same banal actions over and over. Also found the strange prompts and status displays neat... but confusing.

I'm a person, no, I'm an ACU, no, I'm a "dog"... (and as a dog I go to a place with a sleeping room and eating room and a cold box... did somebody play Snack Time!?)

SO, I think it's a great use of IF to have the player doing actions that seem to be one thing but which actually do something else. But in this game I never quite got clear what all my actions translated to. And I wish those actions weren't repeatedly using the toilet and cooking an egg.

If you really think about it, this is a glorified in-your-apartment game. With enough extra coolness to make that (mostly) forgivable.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:55 pm 
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Grounded in Space

I imagine hearing the title in one of those booming, reverberating voices...

Spoiler: show
It's perhaps unfortunate that my random list has me playing one space game after another.

The intro scene seems a bit unnecessary, since it doesn't seem to matter if I turn my remote to high or off or if I try to apologize to my dad. I still end up grounded... in SPACE (space... space... space...)

The game seems good at pointing me in the right direction, letting me know what I need to learn from the computer before I get into the thick of things. But yikes, that's a lot of info about the automining probe! (Where's the auto in that, again?) Some things here are not so intuitive. Like, there is no way I would have figured out all those buttons and dials without resorting to the walkthrough.

A bigger issue is how I am limited in what I try to do, which seems often to be a timing issue. For example, when I first encountered the pirates, I went to try and launch a probe at them, but the game wouldn't let me. I also tried to exit the ship, and was blocked, even once punishment mode was off and I supposedly had control. But later on I could do both of these things. What changed? I also tried to fly home and got an ending which told me I hadn't saved Laura. Wait, who? I didn't know I was abandoning anyone. When I undid that turn and waited, I got to meet the damsel in distress.

I think the main problem with this game is that it stinks to be grounded. (Even in space.) The restrictions of the game only letting me try certain things at certain times was frustrating. I got a few different endings, but not the optimal one, and I'm not really motivated to try again. Which is too bad, because overall the game is competently coded and bug-free. It's just lacking a sense of fun and freedom.

(Oh, and I think the computer should understand an order to take evasive maneuvers.)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:22 pm 
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GATOR-ON, Friend to Wetlands!

Gator-on, dudes! Excellent!

Spoiler: show
So, I'm on a tram with a shiny key, a bag of corn chips, and a homing beacon. And I'm anxious. Am I some kind of Frito-loving alien terrorist out to destroy the wetlands? Because I think I'm cool with that.

Did I type examine beacon a million times, or was it just that I kept typing x beaxon and had to retype it that it took forever? No, I typed it a million times. I wouldn't mind wandering around following the arrows (they'll show you where to go) so much if the scenery was more interesting. (ex: "Water collected in this depression to form an alligator hole." and yet I can't examine said water, depression, or hole.)

When I found the hatch, I got confused thinking perhaps that it was the name for an alligator nest with eggs or something. Like a hatching site. (Guess I was pretty sleepy when I started this one. See alien comment above.) But no, it's a hatch one has to open. After beating crows and mazes and such. (I couldn't give the chips to the crow because it's inanimate. Wait, has someone replaced the animals here with evil robot ones?)

X me when in fuschia = You look mighty. Yeah!

Hey, there's a great big threatening button which should never, ever be pressed! Oops, I really shouldn't have pressed it.

Hmm, I can form a crackling mace. That will probably come in handy.

Ok, I enjoyed the total goofiness here despite the fact that the game was really lacking in polish. The point is to transform into a giant rainbow gator? Why didn't you say so in the first place?!? Seriously, if there were more hints to your mission from the beginning, more descriptive scenery and some more explicit hints, this game would really level up in awesomeness. As it is, I still had fun with it.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:46 pm 
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It's good to see you're reviewing!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Thanks, Jeremy. I'm glad you're reviewing too. Not that I've read all your reviews, as I'm avoiding spoilers on games I haven't yet played. But your filler text is great. :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Condemned

With a title like that, I guess I shouldn't be expecting rainbows and kittens and such. Which is too bad, as I like rainbows and kittens and such.

Spoiler: show
Soon into the game I find I am wearing a gag. One that I can't remove, even though I tied it myself. In a few turns, I die. I see how this game is going to be.

For the most part, the writing here is very good, at least in the sense that it creates a real mood and feeling of foreboding. I did run into a few oddities, like the message "You can't talk to the (Hunting-for-Sister)." Said sister also doesn't really talk like an 8-year old, and she wears a tied-eyed shirt.

But it must say something good for the game that in a short amount of time I cared about the characters enough to not want to see things end badly for them. I mean, I'm playing a poor kid with a ratty bike, a messed-up mom, a wicked stepfather, and clothes that must be washed before school the next day. I'm obviously feeling guilty for something awful that happened, which I'm pretty sure spells doom for my kid sister.

Although the game seems technically sound, having the player repeatedly type a command like "wait", or even "talk to (someone)" is not really all that interactive. To be fair, the game did field my attempts at doing other things. But it was soon clear that I would have little control over what happened in the story. Which upset me, as I wanted to stop the train wreck of an ending I could just feel was coming.

I got through the car ride with my "friends", which was really really awful, and I couldn't do anything about it. Then I was confronted with an empty cross and told that it made me feel uncomfortable and sick. A fair assessment. I decided the only way to get a happy ending was to quit the game, so I did.

Playing a game that wants me to literally crucify myself is not really my thing. The solid writing suffers from telling a story-on-rails, and a depressing one at that. If someone wants to tell me how it ends so I can be glad I didn't torment myself by finishing it, go ahead. Or maybe I should just make up an ending for it myself. One where Jill gets a kitten and sees a rainbow. Yeah.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:24 pm 
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Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort

Me thinketh this is yon old-school adventure of some sort.

Spoiler: show
Hey! How did the author get Stephen Hawking to read the intro?

The good: there's a squirrel. And some decent puzzles. And a Book of Wisdom that gives appropriate hints.

The bad: all the ye-ing and yon-ing and -eth-ing started to wear on me quickly, and made figuring out what I had to do unnecessarily difficult.

The really good: when you wanteth to win, you can typeth "win". Which I did after a while, becoming a stamp licker with a shrine devoted to my one treasure. I was content with that.

The game never quite went from amusing to all out funny for me. And I guess I'm just not much of a quest-y type of person. But if you are into this style, there seems to be a decent solve-some-puzzles, beat-the-wizard sort of game here.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:48 pm 
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The Grand Quest

First two space games in a row, then two puzzly quest games? You're failing me, randomized game list.

Spoiler: show
The game tells me I don't feel like leaving yet. But I actually kinda do. (Grumble.)

Instead of having an array of puzzles for you to solve at your leisure, this game presents you with one puzzle, one room at a time. (While teasing you with things that look like you could sit on them. But you can't.) For the most part, these puzzles are the sort where you need outside information to solve them. Like, from the walkthrough. Even with the walkthrough, the puzzle with the cards is beyond me. Fortunately, I have been taught a magic word which lets me escape. (And no, it's not quit.) Typing this word, however, tells me there is no way back in. Oh, well.

May be fun for folks that are really into solving logic puzzles. But I didn't like how linear and disconnected to the overall goal the puzzles were.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:35 am 
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The Hangover

Despite what the blurb says, this is not really the story of me. Because I don't get drunk and wind up married to some strange women. And if I did, my first thought would not be changing the name on my debit card. But we'll let that pass.

Spoiler: show
I'm going to be as nice about this as I can. This game is really not good. It's not good for many reasons.

The myriad of spelling, grammar, and capitalization errors sure don't help. There's your instead of you're, a women on my couch, no one listening to my rabblings, a character that may be Liam or Liel (depending on which part of the room description you believe), and people wearing suites.

If you can ignore all that, there's still some major issues with things not really working well in the game. Like putting on your robe only to read that it's still on the floor, or finding that nothing's for sale in any of the stores, or discovering some money only to find it cannot be called money, or dollar, or bill, but only two dollar bill, which is not fun to repeatedly type.

And, finally, unforgivably, the walkthrough doesn't work. For example, it tells me to put things in my robe, but then I find they are all too big. (What kind of giant toothbrush am I using?) There's also a puzzle in which I must give my mail to a secretary in order to get a form. I give the mail (I can't give the mail to the secretary, but I can give the secretary the mail), I get points for this, but I sure don't get a form. And then I'm sunk.

This game is broken. Beyond repair.

(And, btw, am I some really progressive male that I am changing my name after getting married? And also, where is this bank that sends me a letter the very morning after I say my drunken wedding vows? That's some good customer service.)


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