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Reviews by MathBrush

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Faute De Servo, by Tana Ostrova
An intriguing horror mystery with humor, January 20, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I beta tested this game, so it's hard to be objective about it. I think I would give it a 4.5/5, so I rounded up.

Faute De Servo combines several game ideas that I love, including waking up in a lab-like environment with no clue what's going on (like Babel) and gaining powers by devouring random things (like the under-played Mangiasaur).

Much of the game consists of figuring out the action system, as well as the backstory of your location. I found this somewhat confusing (which is why I gave 4.5/5) but the presentation is so slick that it makes up for it.

There's also a good deal of humorous banter in the game, which I enjoyed. It is derivved from a cast of characters with distinct personalities and varying levels of intelligence.

This is definitely worth playing, both for the overall game concept and for the nifty implementation.

L'exil, by Anonyme

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A fairly long fantasy CYOA game in Inform 6 with vivid characters, January 15, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This French game is in a CYOA format. Itís an adventure story, almost novella length, set on a fantasy world. It has a tone that is lighter and appropriate for young adult and middle school readers. In fact, it reminded me of Norbezís IFComp game If You Squint it Looks Like Christmas in its tone, genre, length, and choice structure (as a point of reference for ifcomp players).

I liked the story overall, even sharing parts of it with my wife. Itís a heartwarming and cheerful story, with vivid characters and moments of excitement.

The choice structure wasnít what Iím used to; many of the choices were ďdo something awesome or leaveĒ. I never tried leaving, because I wanted to see what would happen. Eventually, I become somewhat paranoid that the leaving choices were important, so it gave more weight to my decisions.

I would give it 4 stars if it had a save system. I couldnít find one, and this is very lengthy.

Alicio en la Kurioza Kongreso, by Ariel Bonkorpa

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An educational esperanto adventure in 5 chapters of Twine, January 11, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game is, it seems, written in Esperanto. I thought it was Portuguese at first, but the game itself corrected me.

You are Alice, and, I believe, you are headed to an Esperanto-speaking conference, where you meet someone who tells you about Esperanto. I learned that Esperanto has between 100,000 and 1,000,000 speakers. Given that the number of Twine fans is probably somewhere in that range, too, and the intersection is fairly low, I don't think many people will be able to complete this game.

I only got through the first third of the first chapter. Looking through the code, it seems like there is a compelling fantasy element in the middle.

This is an intriguing game, and a great amount of work.

All Visitors Welcome, by Bitter Karella
A creepy but buggy tale about a state park , December 3, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This quest game has refreshingly original storybuilding. It includes a big pamphlet you can read which does a good job of displaying a 'descent into madness', although I think it could have done better if it left a bit more mystery in the last few pages.

The game has a layout (story-wise) similar to Karella's earlier Night House. You are alone in a building, and something is outside, and you have to figure out what it wants.

I was unable to complete this during Ectocomp. Afterwards, some people commented on intfiction with the solution.

Overall, this was a positive experience once I knew what to do.

The Sisters, by revgiblet
A fairly good ghost story in Adrift with some bugs, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This story is actually pretty fun, given how little this is done in IF.

It's a traditional ghost/creepy story with an old abandoned house to search through.

It has numerous bugs, and a huge number of 'guess the verb' problems, but I was glad I played it and enjoyed it overall. I used the walkthrough.

Fetter's Grim, by Paul Allen Panks
A mishmash of DnD tropes with Christianity and roman history, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This has to be a troll game; Panks admitted before that some of his IFComp games are troll games (such as Ninja II). But if not...

You play as a weakened mythological god, except that that never gets mentioned after the first screen. You can find and kill Jesus. Most of the game is fighting DnD characters. There is a village with a tavern, like most Panks games.

It was interesting, but not his best offering.

Hedge, by Steven Richards
An ambitious puzzly club game with implementation issues, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game attempts quite a bit. You are trying to get into a mysterious club. The game is full of puzzles and many, many red herrings.

There was obviously a lot of thought and effort put in, but it could have used more testing. Fun with a walkthrough.

Domestic Elementalism, by fireisnormal
Awesome transformation witch game, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I beta tested this game.

This game has a utilitarian interface, but don't let that fool you: this is a seriously great game.

Your magical witch house is broken, and you need to fix it. You have an inventory (even though it's web based), and you have the power to alter the elements of various inventory elements.

It has a cheerful backstory. Different items you carry interact with each other.

The various interactions are fiddly sometimes, and perhaps even unfair; but somehow everything gelled for me in a great way. Not everyone may feel the same.

A Castle of Thread, by Marshal Tenner Winter
A three-act fantasy game with a big cast of characters, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I beta tested this game.

This game casts you as a translator of ancient languages in a fantasy world. It's split up into three acts: a tense moment on a boat, a fight in a town, and a climactic finale in an archaelogical dig.

The overall story, the characters, etc. are all well-drawn. But the game is so big that more needs to be filled-in; more responses to synonyms and commands, more conversational topics, more alternate puzzle solutions.

AND WHEN I SQUINT IT LOOKS LIKE CHRISTMAS, by Norbez
Basically a children's novella with some interactivity, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I could see myself picking this book up and reading it in the library. You play as an orphan who gets sucked into another world by a mysterious stranger.

This other world is an Oz-like fantasy world that is creatively engineered. A long story plays out.

There's not much interactivity to speak of, though there are options scattered throughout. But I liked this; it reminded me of 'pulpy' kids books that I read when I was a teenager, like Deltora quest.


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