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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:41 am 
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You are standing in a cave...


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9

A really well written puzzle oriented text adventure. I see people throw around the term "Zork clone" disparagingly. I don't know why that is, I love Zork, throw me in a dungeon with little to no backstory, let me go around and solve puzzles, and then give me another game exactly like it but with different puzzles and rooms and I could do that from now until the big sleep. I am not sure how many Zork-like characteristics you need to classify your game as a Zork-clone, I just wanted to point out how I love those types of games.

I found the writing to be exceptional. The faun and Venus fly trap where comically lifelike in how they were presented, especially when looking at them through the telescope. The items were all very entertaining. The puzzles were funny. I liked how the game opened up:

"... you do not know how you got here. The last thing you remember is going out to eat at a fancy restaurant. Perhaps you were drugged. Perhaps you had a bad case of food poisoning and wandered off. Whatever the case may be, you are here now."

Starting off strong with the ellipsis out of the gate, and then a confident transition right into a classy food poisoning joke, very well done.

This game also had my favorite one-two punch of the competition when you do something silly:

“>use gum on sunstone
Are you sure you want to do that? You could get hurt.

>yes
That was a rhetorical question.”

Zing-Gotcha!

The puzzles were very entertaining, and none of them were underclued. I guess my only real complaint is how they started off pretty easy, and only escalated a tiny bit in difficulty towards the end...and then there weren't as many locations as I would have liked to have seen. I feel a ten would necessitate at least a handful more rooms and the puzzles getting significantly more difficult.

There were definitely some rough edges that needed to be polished out, the one in particular was the "secret door" to the west of the starting cave which I am pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be able to access as early as I did...I didn't deduct any points for this because I didn't really care because I had a lot of fun with this game, and that is probably what matters the most to me in judging.

I also noticed that the author inserted the credits into one of the telescope's functions. It stated that this is their first game, and I hope there will be many more to come!

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Last edited by Billy Mays on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:14 am 
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Zigamus: Zombies at Vigamus

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7

I had a lot of fun with this game. It's a B-movie plot that involves zombies invading the VIGAMUS video game museum in Rome, and you need to kill all of the zombies and the person behind the plot so that you can save the staff and the museum from annihilation. I am not sure how accurately the museum was portrayed, but the author is Italian so I will take their word on it. What this game did was demonstrate one of the biggest points that I've been trying to emphasize in my reviews since the beginning of this competition, and that point is to never underestimate the effectiveness of giving players a bunch of zombies to mow through, because it's a lot of fun. That's not the only thing you need, there was some game released on the IFDB not too long ago where all you did was go through a train killing monsters/people/things, and it was thoroughly terrible, but this review isn't about that game, and I am pretty sure this author wasn't the one who made it. I understand that making IF is a passion for authors, and they all want to make as fun and/or meaningful of an experience as possible for the players, and I appreciate that. What I have noticed with this author in particular is that while he may not be as fluent as some native English speaking authors are, he is better at conveying the happiness he gets from bringing joy to the players of his games, and this in turn reciprocates because I am pretty happy that this is making the author happy. While I get that feeling from every author whose game I've played in the past, this author has stood out the most to me in this regard during the competition. I'm not sure how he pulls this off in his writing, but it's like how the chisel marks in a sculpture reflect the emotions of its sculptor. I don't believe in psychic energies, but there is a good bit of legitimate science that supports positive mental attitude and bedside manner, so it probably falls in there somewhere.

I also find it interesting when authors include real locations in their games.

There was a fair amount of typos in this game, but I didn't mark any points off for any of them. The one thing I've adhered to throughout this entire competition is my Ulysses criterion. This states that when your game exceeds the amount of errors found in the first edition of Ulysses, I would deduct 1 point. There are over 2000 errors in that book, and while they are spread out over a significantly greater amount of pages than any game here, Joyce was also one of the most brilliant authors of English literature to ever exist, so I felt the rule would still be fair for non-James Joyce works of shorter lengths. I am proud to admit that I adhered to this self imposed rule for the full list of entries, and not a single author was deducted even one point for typos.

As a bit of a side note that applies to all of the games submitted, not just this one, I am now realizing the irony of not deducting any points for typos in what essentially boils down to a writing contest...it's too late now.

In conclusion, I feel the author could have improved this game by adding more zombies to mow down.

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Last edited by Billy Mays on Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:52 am, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:46 am 
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Updates on post play wrap ups:

I have finished playing all 56 games that I am allowed to vote on. I will now be going back to fine tune the final scores. Most of this will just be adding or subtracting a point over the next week or so, nothing too extreme. There are a number of games that I would like to expand my reviews on, and in some cases I have had a slight change in my opinion towards the game. Anything major will be added to the list below to make it easier for anyone following those reviews. I have also added the dates of the most recent update to make them easier to follow. Any additional thoughts will be added to an "*****updates:" section at the bottom of the inside of the spoiler for that game. I will also be moving the scores in the reviews to the first input in the spoiler box to make it easier to view. Thank you.


Major Comp Review Updates.

1. Labyrinth of Loci 10/21/16
2. Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire - Chapter 2: Journey to Hell 10/27/16
3. Color the Truth 10/20/16
4. 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds 10/27/16
5.
6.
7.
8.

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Last edited by Billy Mays on Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:13 am 
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I didn't bring this up in my reviews because I didn't feel it pertinent enough to impact a score, but I still enjoy it as part of your contribution to the overall presentation, so I am including it here. I am going to start with what I consider the highlights of this category, and then go from there.


Billy Mays Reviews Your Cover Art

1. Black Rock City - Now this was refreshing to see. Your new cover art is what actually inspired this part of my review. I didn't want to mention anything at first, but your original dingy cover art did not fit the game at all. Your new cover art's vibrancy better matches the story.

2. Detectiveland - Nicely done.

3. How to Win at Rock Paper Scissors - It tells you everything you need to know about this game.

4. Inside the Facility - As someone else already mentioned, the effective minimalism of this cover art reflects that of the game's ingenuity.

5. Letters - Envelopes of letters with no mailing addresses written on them, a nice touch that reflects the central theme of the story.

6. Stuff and Nonsense - Easily my favorite cover art of the competition, the picture is very graceful.

7. Ventilator - How do you capture the essence of perfection in a picture? You can't, but this one does its best.



More cover art reviews will be coming soon...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:44 pm 
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Ok, that's all folks. I may come back to fill in some of the blanks later, but right now I've got nothing. Thank you to all of the authors, I had a really great time with all of your games!




--------------------------------But wait! There's more!------------------------------------





Billy Mays Reviews Billy Mays Reviews the IFComp 2016

Spoiler: show
The one stain that even OxiClean won’t take care of.

I feel that the parts where he was trying to come across as thought provoking and insightful were just completely pedestrian in nature, and the parts where he was trying to insert humor into games that he disliked was just rude and obnoxious. His writing also demonstrates to me that he has no real comprehension of the proper use of commas, he just throws them in wherever he feels they belong, there is no rhyme or reason to any of it, this last part really sickened me the most. The high view count informs me that this entire topic provides nothing more than the primal fascination of a dumpster fire. He tried to save this sinking ship by beginning to review the cover art of the entries, but even that ran out of steam and was a complete fail. That being said, a handful of his comments did present some minor degree of value, and his repeated insertion of trizbort http://www.trizbort.com/ into the reviews may help out people not familiar with this amazing and free mapping program, as well as the individuals who worked hard to present it to the IF community. There was also a lot of whatever this was supposed to be, and quantity is a quality in and of itself sometimes.

3

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Last edited by Billy Mays on Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:38 am 
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Billy Mays wrote:
Ok, that's all folks. I may come back to fill in some of the blanks later, but right now I've got nothing. Thank you to all of the authors, I had a really great time with all of your games!




--------------------------------But wait! There's more!------------------------------------





Billy Mays Reviews Billy Mays Reviews the IFComp 2016

Spoiler: show
The one stain that even OxiClean won’t take care of.

I feel that the parts where he was trying to come across as thought provoking and insightful were just completely pedestrian in nature, and the parts were he was trying to insert humor into games that he disliked was just rude and obnoxious. His writing also demonstrates to me that he has no real comprehension of the proper use of commas, he just throws them in wherever he feels they belong, there is no rhyme or reason to any of it, this last part really sickened me the most. The high view count informs me that this entire topic provides nothing more than the primal fascination of a dumpster fire. He tried to save this sinking ship by beginning to review the cover art of the entries, but even that ran out of steam and was a complete fail. That being said, a handful of his comments did present some minor degree of value, and his repeated insertion of trizbort http://www.trizbort.com/ into the reviews may help out people not familiar with this amazing and free mapping program, as well as the individuals who worked hard to present it to the IF community. There was also a lot of whatever this was supposed to be, and quantity is a quality in and of itself sometimes.

3


That's beyond brilliant.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:10 am 
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Peregrine wrote:
That's beyond brilliant.



Ventilator is beyond brilliant, it's easily my favorite game in a sea of outstanding entries, as well as having my second favorite cover art of the competition! Thank you!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:38 pm 
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I may still adjust some of the other scores some more, they will probably get raised, but I am confident that none will get raised to a 10, and none of my 10s will get lowered.

While all worthy of the 10 I awarded them, here is how I rank them against each other:


Billy Mays' Top Fourteen Of The IFComp 2016

1. Ventilator - Many authors came out swinging hard in this competition, but I have to go with my gut, and my gut is telling me Ventilator stole the show. If I was the UNSG, I would launch a copy
of this game deep into outer space so that any intelligent life out there would understand humanity's greatest achievement.
2. Night House - I really enjoyed this game as it flawlessly transitioned across multiple genres.
3. Snake's Game - This was some of my favorite writing in the competition, and I am still completely enamored with the really slick trick the author used.
4. Color the Truth - There's no mystery here, this game's color is green.
5. Black Rock City - 64 endings, and every one of them a win.
6. Pogoman GO! - I still don't get the monsters.
7. Letters -
8. Inside the Facility -
9. Ash -
10. To The Wolves -
11. A Time of Tungsten -
12. Ariadne in Aeaea -
13. Cactus Blue Motel -
14. The Game of Worlds TOURNAMENT! -

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:16 pm 
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Billy Mays wrote:
Ok, that's all folks. I may come back to fill in some of the blanks later, but right now I've got nothing. Thank you to all of the authors, I had a really great time with all of your games!




--------------------------------But wait! There's more!------------------------------------





Billy Mays Reviews Billy Mays Reviews the IFComp 2016

Spoiler: show
The one stain that even OxiClean won’t take care of.

I feel that the parts where he was trying to come across as thought provoking and insightful were just completely pedestrian in nature, and the parts where he was trying to insert humor into games that he disliked was just rude and obnoxious. His writing also demonstrates to me that he has no real comprehension of the proper use of commas, he just throws them in wherever he feels they belong, there is no rhyme or reason to any of it, this last part really sickened me the most. The high view count informs me that this entire topic provides nothing more than the primal fascination of a dumpster fire. He tried to save this sinking ship by beginning to review the cover art of the entries, but even that ran out of steam and was a complete fail. That being said, a handful of his comments did present some minor degree of value, and his repeated insertion of trizbort http://www.trizbort.com/ into the reviews may help out people not familiar with this amazing and free mapping program, as well as the individuals who worked hard to present it to the IF community. There was also a lot of whatever this was supposed to be, and quantity is a quality in and of itself sometimes.

3



I'm impressed with how quickly you've played and reviewed the games. I've posted reviews for about half of them. One of my motivations is to let the authors know I've read their stuff. I admire them. http://dougegan2.blogspot.com/

When I decide I've had enough, I may borrow from your self-referential meta review. Even the most flawed entry of this competition probably took more time to write than my entire collection of pithy feedback. Who am I to judge?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:53 pm 
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Doug Egan wrote:
I'm impressed with how quickly you've played and reviewed the games.



I still have 24 days and at least that many crazy thoughts rolling around in my head...This marlin hasn't been brought to shore yet.

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