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Reviews by Tracy Poff

IF Competition 2007

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View this member's reviews by tag: ChickenComp IF Competition 1995 IF Competition 2000 IF Competition 2007 IF Competition 2014 IF Competition 2016 Shufflecomp 2014 SmoochieComp Speed-IF 7 Speed-IF 8 Spring Thing 2014 XYZZY Awards 1997 Xyzzy Awards 2001
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Slap That Fish, by Peter Nepstad

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Didn't draw me in, October 21, 2007
by Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States)
Related reviews: IF Competition 2007
Slap That Fish is an odd game, and I typically like odd games, but it failed to draw me in. Perhaps there was just not enough time to introduce me to the PC and the situation. Whatever the cause, though, I never really connected with the PC--never felt any of his emotions.

The fighting system was an interesting choice of vehicle for the puzzles, but I'm not sure that it turned out to be much good, in the end. At first there are no puzzles to solve, and in the end the puzzles are all that really matter--no clever combination of slaps and kicks will save you without the puzzle being solved.

It seems that the author intended to make the game replayable by basing your score on how efficient you were at fighting the fish, but I don't feel any particular desire to revisit this game to improve my score; perhaps this reflects my personality more than the game, though.

Ultimately, the game just seemed to take too long. There were a couple of good puzzles, but for the most part the solutions were pretty obvious. The final puzzle wasn't so much a puzzle as an extended sequence of following instructions, which didn't much appeal to me. Slap That Fish isn't really a bad game; it just isn't really a good game, either.

Fox, Fowl and Feed, by Chris Conroy

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Amusing, but not exceptional, October 20, 2007
by Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States)
Related reviews: IF Competition 2007
Fox, Fowl and Feed is an IF version of the classic puzzle: you have a fox, a duck, and some grain to transport across a river, but you may take only one in your boat at a time. Of course, the fox would like to eat the duck, and the duck would like to eat the grain, so you have to be clever about how you do it.

The solution to that puzzle is fairly simple and well-known, but, being IF, it isn't that easy. The game consists not of trying to discover that solution, but of trying to implement it. The fox and duck don't want to cooperate, and even the grain presents a problem.

The puzzles are sufficiently clued and their solutions make sense. Despite being pretty easy, they aren't dull, either. The mechanics worked as expected, although I did find it a little annoying getting in and out of the boat repeatedly; if I had one suggestion, it would be to make that step automatic.

This is a nice take on the classic puzzle: short, fun, and well-motivated. It isn't terribly deep, and the ending is only just satisfying, but for a short game, it's quite worthwhile.

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