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Ratings and Reviews by sushabye

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Hexteria Skaxis Qiameth, by Gabriel Floriano
Nothing to see here, November 14, 2017
Presents the concept that people's thoughts can be shaped by their language. Yes, its the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis as seen in the 2016 film "Arrival". So, what cool narrative does this game wrap around the central idea? Well, none. It simply presents a variation of that idea, gives you some clickable links to play with, and sits back. Job done? Not for me. It needed more than just some nice mock-19th century writing to engage me. A beginning, middle and end would help.

Harmonia, by Liza Daly
Beautifully presented but predictable, November 14, 2017
I can't fault the style: the "annotated manuscript" look and feel is incredibly seductive. Unfortunately, the actual story it's seducing you into is less impressive. A university professor has gone missing while investigating some tunnels under the school. His journal reveals an obsession with an author of a time-travel novel from 100 years ago. You've been brought in as his substitute, and start scouring his journals for clues. Meanwhile, his assistant has been following you around.... If you can't already guess where this is leading, you might get some enjoyment out of this. For me, everything felt utterly, utterly predicable. I could pretty much guess every beat of this story, all the way down to the final "choice": which is the only meaningful choice in the game, the story being highly linear. Still, great presentation though, and I learnt something about "utopian literature", a term I had never heard before.

The Unofficial Sea-Monkey(R) Simulation, by B.J. Best
Strangely familiar, November 13, 2017
A sea-monkey management simulator in Twine. Or is it? Maybe that's just the player's way of distracting themselves from the familial neglect/abuse situation going on around him. There's a good idea here, and that idea is called Ultra Business Tycoon III by Porpentine. Swap a business-sim computer game for a sea-monkey tank as the focus of the player-character kid's attention, and this is virtually the same thing. It's reasonably well-written nevertheless, and I like the meta-narrative explaining the need to replay over and over to get all the endings, but still, Porpentine did it better.

The Owl Consults, by Thomas Mack, Nick Mathewson, and Cidney Hamilton
The Owl Disappoints, November 13, 2017
You are a consultant to super-villains, guiding them step-by-step over the phone. You have two lines, and can switch between the two characters at will. This is all very original, very clever stuff, a great setup, with fun writing. Unfortunately, the game is marred by implementation difficulties: levers that should be off being described as "on", buttons that should be switch on being described as "off". Which makes actually playing and solving the puzzles very difficult. Even if that was fixed, it would still be far too hard. Looking at the hint system reveals jumps in logic that no reasonable player could guess. I wanted to like this one, but it threw too many hurdles in my way. Disappointing.

My night, by Ivsaez
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A Walk In The Park, by Extra Mayonnaise
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Something, by Linus Lekander
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Black Marker, by Michael Kielstra
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The Murder in the Fog, by Xiao Ru
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Mikayla's Phone, by Mikayla Corolik
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