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Best of SpeedIF

Recommendations by David Welbourn (Kitchener, Ontario)

SpeedIF games are often overlooked or denigrated, and usually with good reason: with only two hours to code a game, the results can be rather shoddy. Buggy. Plagued with read-author's-mind problems.

But not always. Here are a few SpeedIF games that I found enjoyable or stylistically interesting enough to qualify for a "Best of SpeedIF" list.

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1. ASCII and the Argonauts
by J. Robinson Wheeler
(2003)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

David Welbourn says:

A game done in classic Scott Adams style. Humourous, lots of puzzles, very satisfying to complete. Won the Best Use of Medium award at XYZZY Awards 2003.

2. You are a Chef!, by Dan Shiovitz (2000)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)
David Welbourn says:

Very silly and surprisingly inspirational. It's the sort of game you can't forget. Nominated for Best Writing at XYZZY Awards 2000.

3. When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Firetruck, by Rob Noyes (1999)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
David Welbourn says:

The first part of the game is a compact amusement park, the design of which works for me. I just like it. (I'm not too crazy about the endgame, though, which seems tacked on just to fit the SpeedIF premise.)

4. The Lion in Winter, by Iain Merrick (1999)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
David Welbourn says:

Who could have dreamed that a game with cows, lions, and trees could be so funny? Pure farce. Go play it.

5. 2604, by Admiral Jota (2001)
Average member rating: (11 ratings)
David Welbourn says:

Considering it's a SpeedIF, this is a fairly solid espionage game that's very satisfying to play. There's a time limit, so you might need to replay a few times before you succeed.

6. Bronze
by Emily Short
(2006)
Average member rating: (205 ratings)

David Welbourn says:

A good example on how to present a large geographic space that encourages and rewards exploration. Nominated for Best Use of Medium at XYZZY Awards 2006.

7. A Day for Fresh Sushi
by Emily Short
(2001)
Average member rating: (77 ratings)

David Welbourn says:

Play it the first time just to hear that damn fish talk. Play it again to study the technique. Note how objects in the room aren't presented as standalone items, but used to tell you more about the PC, the fish, or the absent owner.

8. Fun and Games, by Ian Finley (2000)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
David Welbourn says:

Some dark humour here, and some skilled bits of business. Also, for once, the player knows more than the player character does.

9. Help! My Vacuum Cleaner Is Broken
by Admiral Jota
(2001)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

David Welbourn says:

Good for a quick laugh. It's all in the way the narrative voice is done.

10. Tooth Ow Zunden Won!, by Duncan Cross (2001)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
David Welbourn says:

The utter absurdity of this game appeals to me greatly. You want wacky? Here it is.

11. Yellow Dog Running
by Sam Kabo Ashwell
(2002)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

David Welbourn says:

Play this for the writing. It's far from the usual SpeedIF silliness.

12. Zymurgy, by Roger Carbol (2002)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
David Welbourn says:

Memorable mostly for having a very unusual protagonist in a small contained world. You can lock yourself out of victory easily, but the game's very short.


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