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Reviews by Joey Jones

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View this member's reviews by tag: amaaaaaaaaazing early morning reviews esperanto hypertext IF Comp 2011 late night reviews nodal narratives One Move Games run on sentences scarcely warranted enthusiasm short game They Might Be Giants
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Cragne Manor, by Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna, Adam Whybray, Adri, Andrew Plotkin, Andy Holloway, Austin Auclair, Baldur Brückner, Ben Collins-Sussman, Bill Maya, Brian Rushton, Buster Hudson, Caleb Wilson, Carl Muckenhoupt, Chandler Groover, Chris Jones, Christopher Conley, Damon L. Wakes, Daniel Ravipinto, Daniel Stelzer, David Jose, David Petrocco, David Sturgis, Drew Mochak, Edward B, Emily Short, Erica Newman, Feneric, Finn Rosenløv, Gary Butterfield, Gavin Inglis, Greg Frost, Hanon Ondricek, Harkness Munt, Harrison Gerard, Ian Holmes, Ivan Roth, Jack Welch, Jacqueline Ashwell, James Eagle, Jason Dyer, Jason Lautzenheiser, Jason Love, Jeremy Freese, Joey Jones, Joshua Porch, Justin de Vesine, Justin Melvin, Katherine Morayati, Kenneth Pedersen, Lane Puetz, Llew Mason, Lucian Smith, Marco Innocenti, Marius Müller, Mark Britton, Mark Sample, Marshal Tenner Winter, Matt Schneider, Matt Weiner, Matthew Korson, Michael Fessler, Michael Gentry, Michael Hilborn, Michael Lin, Mike Spivey, Molly Ying, Monique Padelis, Naomi Hinchen, Nate Edwards, Petter Sjölund, Q Pheevr, Rachel Spitler, Reed Lockwood, Reina Adair, Riff Conner, Roberto Colnaghi, Rowan Lipkovits, Sam Kabo Ashwell, Scott Hammack, Sean M. Shore, Wade Clarke, Zach Hodgens, Zack Johnson

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Ambitious syncretism!, December 8, 2018
by Joey Jones (UK)
84 rooms, each written by a different author, but co-ordinated into a structure and based around a tight enough theme that it all hangs together though often with intriguing incongruities.

Roughly, you can split the rooms into two different sorts: rooms which function as typical text-adventure rooms (a key might be hidden somewhere, there might be a short puzzle to get it); and rooms which are short games in themselves, which immerse you in their own unique stories, force you to learn a new set of interacting systems and so forth. As such, the game is constantly confounding your expectations.

Some of the rooms are genuinely horrifying, others are laugh-out-loud funny, more still are challenging and satisfying to work through. I recommend to anyone who likes text adventures especially its inspiration, Anchorhead. Expect to need hints!

(I contributed to this game, so per my own policy I've omitted my rating from the average.)

Yes, my mother is..., by Skarn
Intriguing World Building, May 21, 2017
by Joey Jones (UK)
The game is near-future, social sci-fi, focusing on a therapist and their relationship with their own mother. It's an unusual topic explored through a visual-novel structure. In game documents can be unlocked but need not be reread each time, which is a nice touch for replayability (and the small mysteries and alternative endings encourage replaying).

T-Shirt Blanket, by Rhetta Lynnea

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short slice of t-shirts, February 6, 2017
by Joey Jones (UK)
A short reflective piece. Texture really aids this sort of thing because the dragging forces you to slow down and consider, prevents you from steaming through links.

Play time 5 mins. Recommended.

Mustard, Music, and Murder, by Christopher Huang

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Charming Deduction , July 4, 2016
by Joey Jones (UK)
Smoothly implemented closed house crime story. You assemble all the clues, then work out the alibis. The artificiality of the setup is made up for by the neatness of the solution and pleasingly bizarre but self consistent plot. The format lends itself to serialisation.

The in-game chalkboard system is good at collating all the clues for you, but a having a paper and pen handy is recommended for putting it all together.

Room Serial, by merricart

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting experiment in limited verb-set , May 14, 2016
by Joey Jones (UK)
In the game you proceed through a series of rooms, gaining new verbs as you go. It works as a metaphor for someone gaining confidence after a controlling relationship.

The puzzles themselves are quite arbitrary, somewhat alleviated by the in-built walkthrough. The game also falls into the common trap of having a lot of similarly named objects to disambiguate between. All in all, it's an interesting idea let down a little by the implementation.

Enchanted, by Felicity Banks

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Instant Supernatural Social Life, April 15, 2016
by Joey Jones (UK)

First off: this game is hilarious and engrossing even if you're not among its intended teenage audience. Unlike other interaction fiction formats that excel at simulating places or actions, the chat medium is excellent at simulating friendships with all the back-and-forth free flowing camaraderie and gossip.

There were a bunch of genuine laugh out loud moments: (Spoiler - click to show)the running weasel gag was great and I almost fell off my chair at the option to say 'YOLO, bloodsucker' to my soon-to-be-vampire friend. It was a perfectly pitched moment.

The medium of chat messages is a challenging sphere to write for: in a story comprised of dialogue all descriptions have to be naturalistic, all exposition has to fit into what a person would report. Felicity makes excellent use of images to show people and places that the characters wouldn't describe in words.

The setting sports an intriguing (and sometimes slightly twisted) reimagining of werewolves, sorcerers and vampires. The supernatural world is learned about through steady immersion and by the 3rd day more and more of its secrets click into place.



You Are Not the Author, by Soda51

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent Dadaist Haiku Generator, December 29, 2015
by Joey Jones (UK)
You create a haiku word-by-word from a limited randomised list. It helpfully lists words grouped by syllable length and only generates words of an appropriate length. Definitely worth a play around.

Inventory, by Joey Fu
Surprisingly effective, November 7, 2015
by Joey Jones (UK)
It gradually won me over with its minimalist charms. It successfully carries the style of many of the older dungeoncrawlers filled with thematic discontinuities (i.e. a mismash of whatever thing the developer thought of next), and so I was initially unimpressed but the stinger at the end made the journey worthwhile.

tiny tarot, by Chelsea Stearns
Minimalist Tarot, November 5, 2015
by Joey Jones (UK)
Neat use of the constraint, gives appropriate advice for each draw, draws seem appropriately random, pictures are a nice addition. A small concept expertly realised.

The Ritual, by Ed Turner

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Combinatorial Storytelling, October 29, 2015
by Joey Jones (UK)
This is bathetic Lovecraftian horror-comedy in much the same register as Hunger Daemon. The replay-to-get-all-the-endings structure isn't as tedious as in some games as the work is very short. Ideally, the different section's text would be dependent on the order of selection so that the acts more organically lead up to the various endings. But for what it is, it's competently written and the different endings were all about equally engaging. (Spoiler - click to show)I liked the conceit of the ritual being so unclear as to have wildly different results depending on how its performed.

If you think this might be your cup of tea, then it's definitely worth playing.


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