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Reviews by verityvirtue

parser

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View this member's reviews by tag: choleric ECTOCOMP ECTOCOMP 2016 IFComp 2015 IFComp 2016 Introcomp Ludum Dare melancholic melancholy parser phlegmatic Ren'Py sanguine Shufflecomp Spring Thing 2015 Spring Thing 2016 sub-Q Tiny Utopias
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Light My Way Home, by Caelyn Sandel (as Venus Hart)
A melancholic story of longing and loss, May 11, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: parser, melancholic, Shufflecomp
Light My Way Home is a contemplative Shufflecomp entry set by a hydro corridor, and the landscape is unlikely: metal towers, scrabbly grass, abandoned barns. But in the midst of this comes a simple, lovely story of longing and loss.

Light My Way Home is a lovely sensory experience. The location descriptions are evocative; it features a quiet soundtrack punctuated by the chirping of crickets. This game revolves around a special command, >POWER OBJECT, which allows you to change the environment around you to guide the one NPC and, in so doing, find out more about yourself.

Toby's Nose, by Chandler Groover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Dog detective a la Lime Ergot, April 30, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: parser, sanguine
Time to completion: 40-45 minutes

Groover presents a game in the best tradition of the locked-room murder mystery, featuring a canine protagonist. As with other games featuring canine protagonists, the sense of smell is tremendously important. In fact, in Toby's Nose, >SMELL acts like how >EXAMINE does in Lime Ergot. In fact, the author's note acknowledges the contribution of Lime Ergot and Pacian's Castle of the Red Prince in his coming up with the game's core mechanic.

Toby's Nose is generously and lavishly written; almost everything is implemented and written in vivid, eye-catching detail. As with other games using 'telescopic' observations, the parser remains a uniquely flexible tool to shift the PC's focus from objects distant both geographically and conceptually.

There are generous hints provided, but the writing gave clear enough hints to allow the reader to figure out what's going on. That brings us to another thing unique about this game: the reader has the responsibility to make the observations and deductions. Unlike many other mystery games, the game reveals nothing of the correct answer (i.e. whodunit), not in the form of a notebook, not in the form of a list of clues, leaving any explanation of the crime to the end. Shifting the responsibility to the reader to figure out what's going on invests the reader much more in the game.

As with other dog-PC games, this game remains lighthearted, even when the PC is recalling other characters' sordid details, and maintains a gentle sense of humour throughout. A comment about the ending is below, but overall, I found Toby's Nose a very charming and highly polished game, featuring excellent writing and a good use of the core mechanic.

(Spoiler - click to show)One might complain that the ending of Toby's Nose is a bit of a wall of text. One would not be wrong! However, this echoes the structure of the original Holmes stories - Doyle's idea of a resolution was quite often to have Holmes explain what he had been doing right under the reader's nose - so Groover is perhaps justified in this aspect.


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