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Ratings and Reviews by Lukas

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1-5 of 5

Das Spiel, by Alexander Klimon
The game of growing up..., January 7, 2019
The beginning gave me the idea this would be a pretty conventional spooky story about a ghost in a lonely country house, but soon something seemed off. As you explore and re-explore the evocatively described rooms of the house, which pays off since some descriptions change randomly or change according to other events, I started to wonder why this often felt like an exploration of the protagonist's character as she reacts to the surroundings and gets an idea about the personality of the absent owner of the house.

The climax of the story is then actually an inner battle the protagonist has to fight, as she cleary does not approve of the game her friends want to play but feels peer pressured to tag along. The epilogue makes clear how she has solved this conflict and actually became a more developed person through the events, also choosing a certain route of education and a new friend because of the weekend.

This parallel telling of two narratives - on the one hand a ghost story with an original and satisfactory solution, on the other hand the story of a teenaged girl who finds out more about herself and learns to be honest about her feelings - makes this interactive short story impressive. Add to that highly polished and lyrical writing, an atmospheric soundtrack and attractive text formatting, and you have a short story which stays which you for a while after finishing.

(Needless to say you need a very good knowledge of German to understand the game, which the first reviewer obviously didn't have.)

Niemand weint für immer, by Alexander Klimon
Lukas's Rating:

Orchesterprobe, by Nena Ost
Entertaining meditation on the link between classical music and eroticism, April 18, 2018
A blind musician only hears and feels what is going on during the orchestra reharsal, but this is enough to realize the erotic conundrum present in the whole ensemble. A conductor who tries to get the orchestra in the right mood by using unconventional methods leads to an explosion of that energy.

Wow! I was pleasently suprised to see another German author use Twine, and the game's visual presentation is highly professional, as is the writing, which is en par with high level of writing present in English language IF. The ending with a surprising twist made me remember the game the whole day.

Sadly, the author got absolutely no reactions to this game inside the German IF scene. What's wrong with those guys? This game shows that German IF can reach the same level of professional presentation and content as IF in English, which sadly cannot be said of the content of the last German IF competition in 2016 imho.

Der Besucher, by Zoltan Carnovasch

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Nice short game with an original idea, April 16, 2018
I guess this was the first game of the author since it seems in need of some polish - the writing is evocative, but needs quite some editing at times, and there are some typical beginner's errors like missing objects and so on. But still, the basic idea of the game is highly original and clever: an opera singer has to face her audience, but is missing her fan. As she is searching for it in her dressing room, she starts to reflect about the path of her career and a strange visitor who talks to her regularly. I especially liked the ending which stuck in my mind for some time.

What made me sad is that this was probably one of the last games written in TAG, an authoring tool written especially for the German language. Although it was a very strong tool and easy to use, the developer decided to discontinue it. A very bad decision for the German IF scene imho, which is virtually dead these days.

Sadly, this also seems to be the last game the author - using a somewhat funny pseudonym, if you remember the classic game Phantasmagoria - wrote. Reading the bizarre, agressive and overly harsh critique he got by one of the main figures of the German IF scene back then, Florian Edelbauer, it"s no wonder. Florian Edlbauer and his narcissist behaviour, which regularly drove people away from the scene, was one of the reasons the German IF scene died, as new people generally were simply not liked there and criticised to death. It seemed to be a club for members or insiders only. Well, now it's a graveyard, which might be what these arrogant people deserved, as sad as that sounds.

Ein unerwarteter Tod, by Alexander Klimon
An Intriguing Interactive Short Story, April 16, 2018
Ein Unerwarteter Tod uses a classic adventure premise - the protagonist is a pirate who has been marooned by his comrades and must somehow find a way to survive. Instead of trying to escape from the small island or finding food, this Twine IF allows the player to do a small amount of soul searching instead. The protagonist is wondering whether his life as a pirate was a good life and whether it is the right choice for him. As the short story progresses, a stranger seems to be on the island, and the final confrontation with that stranger is a welcome surprise. The ending stuck in my mind for some time, and had me wondering about the stranger's message. Definitely food for thought.

The prose is very lyrical and descriptive, and evokes a strong sense of place and character. This is what I often miss in German IF. Most of the time the writing is very short and emotionless, with no effort made to evoke feelings or a detailed sense of place and time. Here I got emersed in the world of the protagonist for a short time.

This is what finally didn't make me give a 5 star rating: the game is much too short. I understand it fits the length of a short story, and I can imagine this was the concept the author had in mind, but still, there is not that much to see and much less to do. But it was exciting to see a German Twine game. Sadly, the German IF scene seems somewhat oldfashioned and sticks to parser games and parser authoring tools. So, if you like Twine, and speak German, give it a try!

1-5 of 5