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Reviews by Matzerath

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Aisle, by Sam Barlow

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Nothing Quite Like It, November 30, 2007
by Matzerath (West Coast, Salty Smell)
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What a wonderfully successful experimental piece. As has been well documented, the game ends after your first action, but the results are myriad and compelling. I played late into the evening, and it was some time before the true story hidden in the simple dynamic finally revealed itself (and after I'd already thought I'd figured it out). Beneath an illusory simplicity is a very funny, scary, and ultimately moving game -- if you're willing to try as many possibilities as you can. It's weirdly cathartic to be presented with a recurring moment in time in which you can try whatever action (within reason) is at hand.
Also, there are some amusing twists based on IF conventions that are quite unexpected and funny.
Literary and fun: what more could one ask for?

Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
A Perfect Little Underground Adventure, November 30, 2007
by Matzerath (West Coast, Salty Smell)
Related reviews: Matzerath's Favorites
This game has single-handedly (that is NOT a masturbation reference) brought me back to the joy of Interactive Fiction. It's been some time since I've had to type 'NW', and hearing about Lost Pig, I felt compelled to, as in the days of my chronically be-seated youth, madly type basic sentences and weird abbreviations into a computer. And oh, how wonderful to return to the fold! Lost Pig is a perfect example of the form, in my opinion. I can't imagine the amount of play-testing that went into making almost every warped combination of disparate objects or obviously ridiculous actions something that doesn't baffle the parser, but instead, produces a hilarious and preconceived result. And while that is admirable in itself, the core puzzles are extremely well thought out; every one, at least for me, was of the head-slapping 'Goddamit why did I spend a half hour on that?!' variety. Including the elusive 'seventh point'.
And the NPC is sweet as well.
Sadly, playing this first has raised my expectations for the genre -- while there are other fabulous IF games available, few are as tightly knit as this one. I love expansive IF, of course, but I could play a million shorter ones if they covered almost every possibility as well as this one!
I mean, in how many computer games, no matter how graphically endowed, can you set your own pants on fire?


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