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Reviews by Victor Gijsbers

Comedy

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To Hell in a Hamper, by J. J. Guest

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Why you don't want an adventurer on your balloon, February 1, 2009
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Related reviews: Comedy
The protagonist of To Hell in a Hamper has a problem: he's taken an IF adventurer on board. That, at least, is my explanation of why his fellow passenger Hubert Booby has collected such a load of junk, and is extremely unwilling to part with it. But part with it he must, or the two of you will fly against an erupting volcano and die!

The rest of the game is a satisfying sequence of puzzles where you have to discover all the stuff that Booby is carrying, and then somehow get rid of it. In some cases this is as simple as throwing it overboard (a Rembrandt painting, for instance), in others it is quite a bit more involved (the boomerang gives an obvious problem, and so does the cursed mummy).

One reviewer complained that you can get rid of some items too early, thus leaving the puzzles unsolvable. This has not been my experience; as far as I could tell, there was always an alternate solution. I cannot absolutely guarantee this, though.

My single complaint is that the game doesn't actually contain that many jokes. It has a good comic setup, and some of the stuff you discover inside Booby's coat is hilarious; but there are few events or descriptions in the rest of the game that make one laugh or smile. This game would have benefited from having Admiral Jota as a co-author; his gift for stuffing a game full of funny remarks would have been very effective here.

Gourmet, by Aaron A. Reed and Chad Barb

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Good comedy, but could use some improvements, February 1, 2009
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Related reviews: Comedy
Aaron A. Reed's Gourmet puts you in the shoes, or rather the hat, of a very good chef. You have just opened a new restaurant, and its succes, indeed its survival, depends on getting a favourable review from culinary critic Mrs. Davenport, who is coming tonight.

There are a few problems, though. First, your entire staff has called in sick. Second, almost no food has been delivered. Third, the only lobster you have left stares at you with really evil eyes...

Gourmet is a comic game which leans towards slapstick. In the first half of the game, you are faced with mishap after mishap; think of stumbling over a lobster and spilling three bowls of soup over your most important client's new suit, and you'll have the right idea. (Though this doesn't actually happen in the game.) Because the pace is right and the descriptions are well written, this is a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, the game stalls somewhat in the second half. The puzzles becomes much more elaborate and involve timed sequences, so that you'll be struggling more to get the story to move on. Sometimes you'll even be doing the same acion two or three times because you weren't quick enough in doing something else; and of course, repeating jokes is fatal to enjoyment. So the second half, although it has a great premise, isn't quite as much fun as the first.

Also, there seem to be some bugs. I, for one, couldn't get the game to end. The final command in the walkthru gave me "I don't suppose the lobster would care for that.", which is strange, given the circumstances.

Had the pacing been better and the bugs been squashed, this would be a must-play comic piece. As it is, it is still recommended.


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