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Reviews by mazirian

IF Comp 2008

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View this member's reviews by tag: comedy deduction fantasy IF Comp 2006 IF Comp 2007 IF Comp 2008 intrigue mystery narrative focussed politics randomized elements science fiction single room story focussed
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Nightfall, by Eric Eve

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
It was a dark and lonely night ..., November 26, 2008
by mazirian (Yarmouth, Maine)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008, mystery
The premise of the game is that you have ignored a mandatory evacuation of your home town in order to remain behind and find a woman important to your past. Why she's important and why the town was evacuated are matters one is left to discover by collecting recollections strewn across a rather large map of the town. The game hits just the right tone of mystery in serving up descriptions of the deserted town and the memories that each location prompts. Technically, the game is just excellently crafted, and this was perhaps its strongest selling point for me in the end. Although there are a number of methods the designer employs to keep one from wandering aimlessly, none of these are so obvious that it overly interferes with one's immersion in the game. The story, however, suffers from a minor flaw: perhaps because the designer was unsure how many locations a player would investigate in the course of the game, he left a number of clues as to a certain character's personality that tend to pile up in a suspension-of-disbelief-crushing way if one investigates too thoroughly. That issue aside, this game fully kept my attention for the somewhat more than two hours that I played it.

Violet, by Jeremy Freese

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
My favorite xyzzy response ever., November 26, 2008
by mazirian (Yarmouth, Maine)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2008, comedy, single room
Violet is entirely responsible for rekindling my interest in interactive fiction recently. The interesting aspects of this game are amply highlighted in the other positive reviews here--that it's a single room game where everything, even metagame response, is conveyed in the voice of the protagonist's girlfriend. In the hands of a less capable author this would have quickly turned into an annoying gimmick, but Freese avoids that fate so thoroughly that I was actually sad when the game was over. Everything, from the nature of the puzzles (battling procrastination) to the never ending stream of increasingly bizarre pet names (lemon squidgie?), fits together perfectly, and almost nothing in the coding of the game was irksome. The single negative review below (at the time of this review) can only be the result of an unfortunate, soul-crushing cynicism.


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