Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Reviews by MathBrush

15-30 minutes

View this member's profile

Show ratings only | both reviews and ratings
View this member's reviews by tag: 15-30 minutes 2-10 hours about 1 hour about 2 hours IF Comp 2015 Infocom less than 15 minutes more than 10 hours Spring Thing 2016
...or see all reviews by this member
1-10 of 174 | Next | Show All


Half-Life 3 Confirmed, by Anssi Räisänen
A chain of disconnected, silly events, February 5, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game is a sequence of surreal puzzles. You've woken up in a world where Half-Life 3 has been confirmed, and this is a clear indicator that reality has been warped.

The setting is goofy and charming, but this quick game doesn't have the author's usual polish and guidance. Puzzles, including the very first puzzle, rely on some very unusual logic, making the game more difficult in somewhat unfair ways.

The character descriptions were good, though.

The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A try-die-repeat game with oddball knowledge-based puzzles, January 26, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
The original Lurking Horror was one of my favorite Infocom games, so I was interested in seeing Veeder's take on it.

This game is closer to Captain Verdeterre's Plunder than to any of Ryan's other games. Like Verdeterre, this game has a tight timer that sends you to your death, and you must play over and over to beat it.

This game exploits that structure for the story in amusing ways, though. You pick up in G.U.E. Tech (from Lurking Horror, itself inspired by M.I.T.), stuck in a time loop caused by the awakening of an Elder God. You are very aware of your previous iterations.

Progress is similar to Hadean Lands, in that you progress by gaining knowledge that your later iterations use. But instead of being tracked in-game, the knowledge is stored in password-like spells. The spell names include mangled versions of the author's name and a scrambled name of a D&D slime demon.

I enjoyed this game quite a bit; the solutions were generally very reasonable, and there was a nice 'power boost' or two near the middle of the game, with the end requiring you to tie everything together. I got impatient with one puzzle in the middle, when I had half a dozen unused spells and the same number of unsolved rooms and I couldn't figure out which ones went together. I decompiled to get past that stage, and didn't have any trouble after that.

Old Man's Tale, by Hugo Bourbon, Ludovic Moge, Gabrielle Cluzeau, Drice Siamer, Enzo Carleo
An innovative drag-drop game with a cyclic structure, January 20, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game seems like an advance upon the simple structure of Texture. In both game systems, you drag keywords onto other words. But in this game, you find the keywords, drag them into an inventory, and can pull them out whenever you like. A four-item inventory limit causes pressure in the game.

I like the system. The story is generic hack-and-slash, but I like generic hack-and-slash, so it wasn't bad. It was deeply implemented for all reasonable responses, though.

With a larger inventory, this could support a long and complicated game. The interactivity in this particular game though wasn't quite what I enjoy; it was mostly a try-repeat-again game, and it was frustrating losing at the end due to choices I made at the very beginning.

A Bathroom Myth, by Anya Johanna DeNiro

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A current issue repainted in a fantasy world in Twine, January 12, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game was inspired by the debates in America surrounding the law passed in North Carolina restricting transgender individuals from using bathrooms besides those of their biological gender.

This game isn't really an allegory, as exactly the same things are happening in this world as in ours. Rather, it reframes the discussion using fantasy techniques to give events a greater emotional impact.

I played through one branch to the end, and rewound a bit to get three different endings. The Twine styling and coding was beautiful, with links represented by +'s for links that furthered the study and *'s used for asides.

It took less than 25 minutes for me. The interactivity was interesting, because it spells out the consequences of your choices in an in-game way.

Fans of DeNiro's other works or of topical commentary will appreciate this game.

Off the Trolley, by Krisztian Kaldi
An intriguing slice of life game with troubled implementation, December 4, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game has a great premise: you are a trolley driver on a monotonous route who has a plan which is only slowly revealed to the player.

This has all sorts of potential, and the game throws in some interesting characters and narrative twists.

But it has two main issues: one is a lack of synonyms and other implementation errors; and the other is a lack of in-game guidance.

Other than that, I found it a pleasant game, with a surprising ending.

A Broken Man, by Geoff Fortytwo
A revenge murder story like Taken, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game is mid-length; it has you play as an assassin infiltrating a house to avenge their daughter's death.

I have to wonder if this is a troll game. It is over-the-top, and includes a random adult scene (in metaphor form), and involves toilets and superglue as weapons of death.

There were several bugs and the writing wasn't especially polished.

The Dream Self, by Florencia Minuzzi
A thoughtful game with use of graphic backgrounds/animations, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
I beta tested this game.

This is a unity/Ink game which takes place over several weeks in an apartment as the main character deals with life and with dreams.

Most of the choices are about how you interact with others and your view on life. The story is very malleable; your choices have strong effects on the outcome.

It turns out that the story is based on (and is an implementation of)(Spoiler - click to show)a personality test. Finding this out tied the whole game together for me. But I felt disconnected during the game, and I wish I had more idea of where my choices would take me.

Deshaun Steven's Ship Log, by Marie L. Vibbert

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A sci-fi culture clash game in journal form, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game is one that I changed my opinion of over time. When I first played it, I skimmed it quickly, and I sort of dismissed it. I liked the sentence-shortening puzzles, but the text was confusing.

After reading several good reviews over the course of the competition, I'll admit, I revised my opinion due to popular opinion. In this case, I went through, and re-examined the writing, and I realized that it was a good depiction of a character that I disliked, rather than dislikable writing about a bland character as I had initially assumed.

For me, this places the game in the same category as Savoir-Faire, which had a similar roguish protagonist.

This is a high quality game; I'm giving it 3 stars only because I didn't connect on an emotional level. I feel like others will enjoy it even more than I did.

Day of the Djinn, by paperyowl
A cheerful fantasy game with dark undertones, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game strongly reminds me of Owlor's pony-based games, even though the game never says that the protagonists are ponies (or humans, for that matter).

Your sister has sent a curse at you, and you have to cancel it out somehow. This is a navigation-based Twine game, and you have an inventory of sorts (you can pick different birds to follow you, and so on).

This game was pretty enjoyable; I would give it 4 stars, but it has some glaring errors, like Twine 'if' errors that post big messages on pages that occur in every playthrough. If those were fixed up, I'd bump up the score.

The Cube in the Cavern, by Andrew Schultz
A fun little color-based mathematical puzzle, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is one of my favorite Andrew Schultz games. It has you in a world where pseudoscience is real and real science is pseudoscience.

You play on a giant colored cube, and have to manipulate some transponders using a mood ring.

There's a second puzzle later that I did have trouble with, but overall, I liked the concept, and the game.


1-10 of 174 | Next | Show All