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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Quote:
That's not to say I don't have to dig deeper and work on something custom, but when I do, I've never hit on a requirement that I just can't make work in IE. In fact, it's usually not even difficult.


HTML5 elements absolutely won't work in anything < IE 9. There are CSS issues across different versions of IE, including irritating margin differences. IE6 didn't understand how to use a .png, and needed a convoluted fix. There are differences when coding, like how IE handles carriage returns -- different than every other browser, of course.

Basically, almost every website with Javascript has to have IE redirects for earlier versions, or hide the code from IE, because it's too clunky to use it. I could go on and on. I know IE isn't going anywhere, but a guy can dream. Or put a stake in the heart of IE whenever possible. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Peter Pears wrote:
It does astound me that people who have a choice and are minimally computer-literate will use IE.


We use it at work, and, even worse, the settings on my computer are locked so I can't install a better browser.

Saying that, I don't think IE is that bad. It has its annoying quirks but then so do Firefox and Chrome. I suspect a good deal of the bad press it gets is simply because it's Microsoft's browser and, even if it was hands down the best browser in the world, it would still be written off as terrible by some people.


Last edited by David Whyld on Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:06 pm 
I have to use it at work, too. :P

I just find IE to be excessively clunky and slow. That's why I dislike it as a user, Microsoft or not. When I read up on it, I got the feeling IE was also a nightmare to design for, because instead of following some standards, it just has too many things its own way, making it very easy for things to break. Now, I'm a layman, and I know I'm talking with people who do this for a living and because they love it and who know the ins-and-outs much better than I do. Personally, though, I can't help but abhor a pig-headed browser that is not consistent with an existing, workable standard, and that makes it harder for websites to be viewed equally on IE as they are on, say, Firefox.

Oh, and every time my computer accidently opens a file with IE (happens about once a year, go fig), the slowdown is extreme, and IE starts doing all sort of annyoing things on its own, and it's me rushing to kill that process before my computer hangs up completely (it almost did once). So I also hate it for that.

I know we're veering off-topic and I'm helping, so sorry about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Peter Pears wrote:
I know we're veering off-topic and I'm helping, so sorry about that.


Well, not completely. I'm sure there can be an ironic overly meta EctoComp entry about web browsers gone bad. Maybe a system hijacked by an undead Netscape Navigator. Not that it might do all that well, but it's a good 'where else would I write this' speed-if.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Merk wrote:
You're right about the potential, but I don't see why IE isn't up to the task. I have a little experience with Twine and a lot with Javascript, and didn't really run into any game-breakers when I worked with it.


I unfortunately am only beginning to teach myself Javascript. For my game, I copied and pasted the <<replace>> CSS and script from here. Either the CSS and script do not work in IE, or I, being a newbie, somehow messed up when adding them to Twine (yet somehow kept it working for other browsers). Given the evidence, it seems IE requires extra accomodation that's beyond my ability, which will be frustrating if I want to produce longer works that don't look like a generic Twine game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:09 pm 
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I brought some Reviews in German language and hope to get the missing games tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:46 am 
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My scores and a few notes about each of the games. Nothing like leaving it till the last minute I guess.

---------------------------------------------------------
The Nessa Springs Slasher | Marius Müller |
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SCORE: 2
Comments:
Nice idea playing as four different people, but very poorly implemented. Most of the time I ended up dying after a single move with nothing to indicate what I was supposed to be doing. It also didn’t help that exits weren't listed in several locations so I was constantly blundering into walls. Being told at one point I didn’t have hands was also kind of weird. Special note for worst line in an EctoComp game: “You can see an oven (on which are a pot (in which is soup) and a knife) here.”



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Crater Creek | Angela Shah |
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SCORE: 4
Comments:
The second game in the comp by the same author, and again one I didn’t manage to make much progress with or was even sure what I was meant to be doing. I succeeded in lighting the lantern but I'm not sure what difference this made. Well written, though a little more indication of the game’s purpose would have been nice.



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The Cenric Family Curse | Jonathan Snyder |
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SCORE: 4
Comments:
A fairly standard game where you need to find all the items necessary to lift a family curse, which just happen to be lying around your house. Figuring out what to do with them was more of an issue, and the game had a definite rushed feel to it in that most of what you can see can’t be examined and there were a good few typos.



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The Hallway Phantom | Tyler Zahnke |
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SCORE: 2
Comments: Even for an EctoComp entry, this was tiny. A series of hyper-linked pages – just 9 in total – telling a very short story which didn't make a whole lot of sense. Annoyingly, the game didn't even work at first when I simply played it from the zip file it was contained in and only after I moved the files out of it could I get the links to work.



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Personality Rights | Sumana Harihareswara |
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SCORE: 2
Comments:
I didn’t have a clue what to make of this one. Some naff music, a few graphics and a game which was over almost before I’d started playing it. I think it took me longer to unzip it than it did to play the thing.


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Trick Or Treat | Adelynn Snyder |
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SCORE: 6
Comments:
Ah, the game by the 8 year old. I was quite relieved to find this wasn’t a bad little effort because I’d have hated to bash something written by an 8 year old girl (maybe that’s why it states her age at the start of the game). Certainly better than some of the games in the comp written by adults. Playing it reminded me of the CYOA books I used to read when I was about 8 years old, and you can’t beat a good trip down nostalgia lane.



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Hill of Souls | Angela Shah |
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SCORE: 1
Comments:
I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do here. No hints as to the direction the game is meant to take, nothing in my inventory to help and the HELP command produced an unhelpful response. The screen clearing after every command was very annoying. After a couple of minutes trying to make progress and getting nowhere, I gave up.



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Blackness | Michael W Phipps Jr |
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SCORE: 5
Comments:
I had quite a few problems with this until I figured out that the MOP FLOOR command only works in a certain location and just returns an error message if used elsewhere, but once past that ‘puzzle’ I didn’t run into many issues. The game jumping back and forth between first and third person was a bit unfortunate, though.



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Jack | Jason Lautzenheiser |
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SCORE: 3
Comments: An odd little game where you play as a scarecrow called Jack Halloween and the residents of the local village are trying to kill you. Still, for a scarecrow you're pretty deadly and it doesn’t take much effort to dispatch one guy with a hubcap and another with a rifle (even if you weren't sure what to do, the game helpfully clues you in as to your next move).



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A Slight Problem with Zombies | David Whyld |
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SCORE: n/a
Comments: My own game so I can't really comment on it.



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ZombieDating.zom | Anonymous |
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SCORE: 5
Comments:
A game that basically involves filling out a survey to select your ideal zombie partner. Amusing for five minutes and I replayed it a few times trying to get a perfect 100% score but 97% was the best I managed.



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You are a Blob! | SoftSoft |
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SCORE: 1/10
Comments:
A mildly amusing introduction followed by lots of nonsensical words repeated, clickable options that didn't make sense and, well, not a whole lot of game to be honest.




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The Voodoo You Do | Marshal Winter |
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SCORE: 5
Comments:
A few issues with items mentioned that can’t be examined and a small opening on the doll that can’t be examined no matter what I type. As the game was written to a strict deadline, these are lesser issues than in a full size game but struggling with guess the verb has never been much fun. Still, not a bad game for five minutes or so and at least I managed to finish it (I only got a bad ending where I died – are there others?)



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Ice House of Horrors | Sean M. Shore |
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SCORE: 6
Comments:
A game where you play as a fish trying to avoid being murdered by monsters who want to eat you. Quite well done, a few typos (though acceptable in a 3 hour game) and fairly easy to complete, though I ended up hitting instant death scenarios quite often. Most of what you need to do is suggested by the game.



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Boogle | Buster Hudson |
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SCORE: 1
Comments:
I first tried this on Internet Explorer and it didn’t work. I then tried it on Chrome and it worked, but I still came away wondering if it was a joke entry or a serious effort. Either way, there's not much in the way of an actual game here.


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The Horrible Pyramid | Ryan Veeder |
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SCORE: 5
Comments:
I'm not quite sure why the pyramid is horrible because it seemed like a fairly okay place to me. A few things I tried worked fine, but others didn’t. Am I supposed to be able to put the crown on the queen’s statue, which is implied by the engraving? I couldn’t get it to work if I was. And I'm guessing I have to stop the wheel turning by blocking it with the crook, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do that and as such I ended up being trapped in the tunnel and unable to escape. Not a bad game for 3 hours, though, and I’d be interested in seeing a larger and more polished version.


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Wisp | Lea Albaugh |
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SCORE: 2
Comments:
This reminded me why I hate maze games: several locations, all very similar in appearance in which the idea is to figure your way through the maze by wandering randomly in one direction hoping it leads to the exit. Been there, done it, bought the t-shirt. It doesn’t help that the HINT command informs me I don’t need hints.



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Chemistry and Physics | Carolyn VanEseltine |
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SCORE: 8
Comments:
My favourite game of the EctoComp of the dozen or so I played during my first few days (before I began to burn out and decided to take things more slowly). I'm still not entirely sold on Twine, and the lack of a SAVE facility is definitely a problem, but I was impressed with how much gameplay there was here considering the time restraints of the comp. Was this really written in just 3 hours? That’s worth an extra point right there if it was.


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The Tale of the Cursed Eagle | Slat Leering |
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SCORE: 6
Comments:
A very simple game involving nothing more complicated than moving from one location to another and answering yes to a question. There were several locations blocked off that I never managed to reach and a weird message when attempting to enter the wizard’s tower which made me think this was intended as a far larger game but the author ran out of time. I was going to score it a 5 but added 1 for the writing.



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Fish Dreams | Carolyn VanEseltine |
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SCORE: 7
Comments:
Well, I never imagined a game about a fish eating humans would be good, but I guess it always goes to show you can be wrong. Very unusual idea for a game, but nicely done and told an interesting story along the way.



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The Profile | Mike Snyder |
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SCORE: 3
Comments:
I didn’t have a clue what this game was meant to be about until I read several reviews of it and discovered it was a police re-enactment of a crime scene. Certainly there was nothing in the game itself, as far as I managed to reach anyway, which clued me into its intent, so I was basically left with a game full of sparsely implemented locations and no idea what I should be doing.


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Faithful Companion | Matt Weiner |
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SCORE: 7
Comments:
Nice little puzzlefest with a ghost who mimics the player’s actions two moves later. Frustrating at first – especially with the ghost causing me to fall over in a dead faint frequently and ending the game – and even more frustrating later on, but definitely one of the better games in the comp.



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The Argument-Winner's Ghost | Andrew Schultz |
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SCORE: 5
Comments:
Normally I’d knock a few points off for the spelling and grammatical errors that frequently popped up (I'm kind of a spelling / grammar Nazi at times) but as this was written in the space of 3 hours, and was quite amusing, I’ll let it slide. The multiple endings was a nice touch, even though I only managed to reach a couple on my mine and the rest had to come via the game’s walkthrough. And thank heavens for including a walkthrough in the game.



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Dead Pavane for a Princess | Emily Boegheim |
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SCORE: 3
Comments:
On the plus side, this was nicely written. On the down side, it was very buggy. I couldn’t climb onto the piano, I was told I couldn’t leave my study without my notes yet the game moved me outside anyway (and then wouldn’t let me return to look for them) and then the location description informed me that the stool was in the middle of the room when I was actually in the street. I’d like to mark it more than 3 but the bugs are pretty unfortunate.


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Headless, Hapless | Geoff Moore |
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SCORE: 6
Comments:
Quite an amusing little tale about a headless ghost hunting for his head. It only takes about 5 minutes to play from start to finish but there are quite a few locations here to explore and a few amusing moments. And no, I didn’t figure out where the head was until the poltergeist told me.



1. Chemistry and Physics by Carolyn VanEseltine (8)
2. Faithful Companion by Matt Weiner (7)
3. Fish Dreams by Carolyn VanEseltine (7)
4. Headless, Hapless by Geoff Moore (6)
5. Ice House of Horrors by Sean M. Shore (6)
6. Trick or Treat by Adeylnn Snyder (6)
7. The Tale of the Cursed Eagle by Slat Leering (6)
8. The Argument-Winner's Ghost by Andrew Schultz (5)
9. Blackness by Michael W Phipps Jr (5)
10. The Horrible Pyramid by Ryan Veeder (5)
11. The Voodoo You Do by Marshall Winter (5)
12. Zombiedating.com by Anonymous (5)
13. The Cenric Family Curse by Jonathan Snyder (4)
14. Crater Creek by Angela Shah (4)
15. Dead Pavane for a Princess by Emily Boegheim (3)
16. The Hallway Phantom by Tyler Zahnke (2)
17. Jack by Jason Lautzenheiser (3)
18. The Profile by Mike Snyder (3)
19. The Nessa Springs Slasher by Marius Müller (2)
20. Personality Rights by Sumana Harihareswara (2)
21. Wisp by Lea Albaugh (2)
22. Boogle by Buster Hudson (1)
23. Hill of Souls by Angela Shah (1)
24. You Are A Blob! by SoftSoft (1)


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:04 pm 
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(re: Chemistry and Physics)

David Whyld wrote:
Was this really written in just 3 hours? That’s worth an extra point right there if it was.


It was - but I didn't write it alone. This was cowritten with Colin Sandel, so it was 6 hours of work total, 3 per person.

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Re: You are a Blob!
David Whyld wrote:
A mildly amusing introduction followed by lots of nonsensical words repeated, clickable options that didn't make sense and, well, not a whole lot of game to be honest.

Okay, this has come up enough that I really have to ask: Did any of you guys playing the game notice all the links in the description of the first node? They contain notes on the Blobbish language (written by a highly trained Blobbese linguist).

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:50 am 
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Here are the scoring sheets with mini reviews where provided. For clarity I'll try to post them one per post, and hope the forum doesn't block me. There will be spoilers. Here's mine:

Judge: J. J. Guest

---------------------------------------------------------
The Nessa Springs Slasher | Marius Müller |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 5.5
Comments: A game about a serial killer where you play a succession of victims. I have a feeling there is a way for one of them to survive, but if there is I couldn't figure it out - it feels a little underclued.


---------------------------------------------------------
Crater Creek | Angela Shah |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 6
Comments: Some lovely atmospheric writing and a real sense of place, but I really wanted there to be more to do! I thought the atmospheric effects might provide some clue, but after a while I realised they were merely set-dressing. In the end I was unable to complete this game.


---------------------------------------------------------
The Cenric Family Curse | Jonathan Snyder |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 8
Comments: An enjoyable little game, well clued and with a clear goal, which counts for a lot in my book. I enjoyed the way the secret passage was revealed - easy to find if you've watched a lot of the Adam West Batman series.



---------------------------------------------------------
The Hallway Phantom | Tyler Zahnke |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 4.5
Comments: Short, silly and very odd, I'd explored the whole of this HTML choice-based game in less than a googlplex seconds. In an email the author told me he completed this game with an hour to spare - that hour could have been spent adding a bit of depth and background. Rather than going to the trouble of creating separate HTML files, the author might consider trying TWINE for his next effort.



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Personality Rights | Sumana Harihareswara |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: I'm not familiar with Japanese visual novels so this was a new experience for me. An interesting meditation on mortality, accompanied by some music by the author's husband. I had to turn the music right down after a while because the lyrics made it difficult to read the text.


---------------------------------------------------------
Trick Or Treat | Adelynn Snyder |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: The young author of this game clearly had a lot of fun writing it, and it shows. The game felt considered and the world she creates felt consistent and real. The game is nicely presented and the use of comic sans justified and appropriate!


---------------------------------------------------------
Hill of Souls | Angela Shah |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 3
Comments: Some nice atmospheric writing, but without a clear sense of purpose it was difficult to engage with this game. The effect was rather like being stuck in a maze in an old school text adventure, with randomly changing descriptions and objects that disappear when you drop them, but without the hope of ever blundering out of it.


---------------------------------------------------------
Blackness | Michael W Phipps Jr |
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SCORE: 7.5
Comments: Because 'clean floor' didn't work as a synonym for 'mop floor', and 'floor' wasn't implemented in several of the rooms, it took me a long while to get anywhere in this game. You can't implement everything in Speed-IF, but you do need to focus on implementing those things you've led the player to expect to do. When I eventually figured it out I had a lot of fun trying to evade 'the Blackness', and eventually completed the game. Amusingly, once you've picked up the 'wet floor' sign, you can never put it down again, even in the janitor's closet, because the floor isn't wet. There's a sort of skewed logic to that which made me laugh out loud.


---------------------------------------------------------
Jack | Jason Lautzenheiser |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: I had to die once in order to find out what my purpose in the world was. Once I got it, I was surprised how much I enjoyed killing off the townsfolk. Perhaps I should try playing Grand Theft Auto IV or something. In the end the curse was lifted and I won, I think...


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A Slight Problem with Zombies | David Whyld |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: Another David Whyld game, the first I've seen made in TWINE, complete with his trademark sardonic humour. I enjoyed the prattling of the little old ladies; the irrelevent interjection 'I remember when this was all fields' made me laugh out loud, but the humour did feel a little jaded in places. Even given Whyld's dark sense of humour, the twist at the end was a unsettling, and confusing - was the kid in a play, or going to a fancy dress party? I guess we'll never know.



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ZombieDating.zom | Anonymous |
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SCORE: 7.5
Comments: An amusing and original use of Twine, and though I don't normally enjoy zombie games, I did enjoy this one! Great replay value.



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You are a Blob! | SoftSoft |
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SCORE: 3
Comments: Given the author's motivations for making this game, I would be doing her a disservice to give this game a high score, but I kind of enjoyed it nonetheless.



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The Voodoo You Do | Marshal Tenner Winter |
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SCORE: 5.5
Comments: This game was marred for me by guess-the-verb. The three-hour time limit is tight, but it only takes a second or two to add synonyms for lighting the lighter or stabbing the voodoo doll. It was a great idea, well researched and I wanted to like it more. I liked the fact that the red house could be found no matter which road you took at the crossroads, it felt right. There's a funny problem in IF, which comes up time and again, whereby if authors want to implement a house, they feel have to add all the rooms you'd find in a house regardless of whether or not they play a part in the game. It was kept to a minimum in this game, but it still gave it a kind of empty feel. Given the context the red house could have been a one-room shack, and would have been better for it.



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Ice House of Horrors | Sean M. Shore |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: There was a real sense of peril in this game, but mostly I solved it by guesswork and a lot of undoing. A clever idea with some nice writing.


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Boogle | Buster Hudson |
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SCORE: 8
Comments: Neuroscientist Chrisof Koch believes that consciousness arises within any sufficiently complex, information-processing system, perhaps even the internet. Let's hope that if it does, it doesn't become a creepy psychopath with poor taste in. The way Boogle second guesses and manipulates your search results already feels eerily familiar to me as an internet user. A great little satire and an interesting use of Twine.


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The Horrible Pyramid | Ryan Veeder |
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SCORE: 9.5
Comments: This game is superb. I was enthralled throughout. The puzzles are easy but the gradual alteration of the room descriptions, as the architectural terms are dumbed down, and the descriptions of Apepsikret become more adulatory, is very effective and creepy.


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Wisp | Lea Albaugh |
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SCORE: 2
Comments: Oh dear, another old-school maze without the game. Reminded me of Hill of Souls, but the writing wasn't atmospheric enough to keep me playing.



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Chemistry and Physics | Colin Sandel & Carolyn VanEseltine |
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SCORE: 6.5
Comments: I couldn't help feeling that this game would have worked better as parser-based IF. I found the solution eventually by trial and error, but it was a lot of trial and error! Some good descriptive writing and a real sense of threat.


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The Tale of the Cursed Eagle | Slat Leering |
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SCORE: 5
Comments: This game feels like part of a much larger adventure. There's a map to explore, quickly, because something is chasing you, and as you travel around the fantasy medieval landscape a bit of back-story is revealed, but not a lot else you can do. The writing is florid and interesting but marred by the occasional grammatical mistake. I'd be interested to play an expanded version.


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Fish Dreams | Carolyn VanEseltine |
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SCORE: 7
Comments: Hello, I'm a fish again. Perhaps I'm the same one, taking revenge on the monsters who tried to fry me. A gruesome game in which the objective is to eat the remains of a dysfunctional couple and absorb their memories. There wasn't a lot in the way of interaction, but the 'dreams' - the memories of the two dead humans, make for interesting reading. The second time I played I released the woman from the box while she was still alive, which gave me a good feeling.



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The Profile | Mike Snyder |
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SCORE: 3
Comments: I was very uncomfortable with the things this game seemed to expect me to do, but I guess that was the point. The sparse descriptions fit the central idea of a police crime report but they don't make for a very engaging player experience.


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Faithful Companion | Matt Weiner |
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SCORE: 6.5
Comments: A very clever puzzle is at the centre of this game, I smiled when I finally realised what was going on.


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The Argument-Winner's Ghost | Andrew Schultz |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 5
Comments: This game really threw me. It seemed to be about getting one up on a deceased bully, but I was never sure whether the tone was meant to be serious or funny. I needed heavy hints to work out how to interact with the game, but fortunately they were provided, along with a walkthrough to reach some of the more interesting endings. There were a few strange bugs with reading the sports section and using the computer.



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Dead Pavane for a Princess | Emily Boegheim |
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SCORE: 6
Comments: I didn't know much about the rivalry between Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel before I played this game, but it did inspire me not only to read about their relationship but also to listen to their musical styles for comparison. I solved the game instantly, which is a shame as it would have been more fun if Debussy had posed more of a threat. I went back to it and typed "z" until Debussy finally stumbled into the room, just to see what would happen, and I found the death-ending a little disappointing - I was hoping for some banter about styles of orchestration, albeit in a zombie-slurred fashion, before Ravel was finally dispatched from this world. A slightly Monty Python feel to this game nevertheless and I enjoyed it.



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Headless, Hapless | Geoff Moore |
---------------------------------------------------------
SCORE: 6
Comments: An amusing little game of head-hunting. I loved the room descriptions and really wanted to go on exploring this world of comic horror further.


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