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Reviews by Kake

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View this member's reviews by tag: * ** *** **** ***** Aaron Reed Adam Biltcliffe Adam Cadre Admiral Jota Alan DeNiro Alessandro Peretti Andrew Plotkin C. E. Forman Carl Muckenhoupt Christopher Huang Cody Sandifer Dan Schmidt Dan Shiovitz Dark Star David Cornelson David Dyte David Fisher didn't finish Emily Short Graeme Cree Gunther Schmidl half sick of shadows Iain Merrick IF Competition 2007 J. Robinson Wheeler Jeffrey MacArthur John Cater Jon Blask Joseph Grzesiak Juhana Leinonen Kalev Tait Liza Daly Matt Barringer Ola Sverre Bauge One-Room Game Competition 2007 One-Room Game Competition 2008 Paolo Maroncelli Peter Mattsson revgiblet Richard Otter Rob Noyes Robert Street Ryan Stevens Sam Barlow Sam Gordon Sara Brookside speed IF Stephen Bond Stephen Granade Steve Bernard Stuart Moore
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Taunting Donut, by Kalev Tait

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Less fun than it could have been, November 28, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: ***, Kalev Tait
This is a very short, single-room game with two fairly easy puzzles. The puzzles are both quite fair, and reasonably well-clued. I did feel that there could have been a little more to the implementation, though; for example, although the pillow's description practically begs me to hug it, when I try "hug pillow" I just get "You can only do that to something animate". It might also have been fun if things like "taunt donut" had been implemented.

Flowers for Algernon, by Anonymous

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very short pun-style game, November 28, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Adam Cadre, ***
This is a very short, one-room game. It's essentially the IF equivalent of a pun - even if you do manage to figure out the single puzzle, you'll end up groaning rather than laughing. If you like that sort of joke, you'll like this.

The Moon Watch, by Paolo Maroncelli and Alessandro Peretti

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting plotting, but unfair puzzles, November 25, 2008
I had very high hopes for this one - the "packaging" looked smooth and polished, and despite a few typos in the scene-setting exposition, the quality of the writing initially seemed pretty good.

Unfortunately I couldn't solve a single one of the puzzles, and there were no in-game hints, either from an actual hint system or from responses to almost-right commands. I got through to the end by means of struggling for a while, peeping at the next few lines of the walkthrough, wondering how on earth anyone could possibly have come up with that solution unprompted, and then starting the cycle over again for the next puzzle.

After the first few go-rounds of this rather boring process, I lost all confidence that the remaining puzzles would be fair; the only thing that kept me going to the end was the thought that it would be unfair to give it a score before I'd finished it.

On the plus side, the plot's more interesting than the usual "get out of the room" one, and there's a definite sense of humour in some of the text (though it would really benefit from a going-over by a native speaker).

As a game, though, this completely failed for me.

Escapade!, by Juhana Leinonen

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Great potential let down by the implementation, November 25, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: ***, One-Room Game Competition 2008, Juhana Leinonen
All you have to do, as the bumbling sidekick of the gorgeous, muscular Captain McBrawn, is find the World President and warn him of an impending attack - but before you can even get started, you're captured by the Screaming Communists and dumped into a locked, barred room high up in a tower in a mediaeval castle. Unsurprisingly, your task is to get out - though this task isn't actually as simple or as trite as it might sound.

It took me a little while to get started on this one, mainly because of "guess the verb" problems - and these problems persisted throughout the game, making it harder, more frustrating, and less fun than it really needed to be. A little fleshing-out of the rather sparse descriptions of some of the items might have helped too.

The hint system also broke down at one point, giving me the same hint over and over again for a problem that I'd already solved, so I eventually had to resort to the walkthrough.

I didn't really enjoy this game, and that's basically down to the implementation. The constant "you can't do that" stuff made it really frustrating to play - so frustrating that I don't want to play it again to find the optional bits that I missed. This is a real shame; it could be so much better. I do hope the author makes a second release that addresses these issues, since there's a good game in here struggling to get out.

Bad Toast, by Jeffrey MacArthur

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very little substance, November 25, 2008
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Jeffrey MacArthur, One-Room Game Competition 2008, *
Bad Toast is essentially a puzzle game with a bolted-on and entirely irrelevant backstory. The title refers to a "toast" you made at a dinner party the night before - apparently your host took it the wrong way, since you've woken up in a dungeon.

Your task, obviously, is to escape. You do this by solving a single, very easy puzzle, and once you've done that the game essentially just stops. I gave it a second play-through, deliberately getting the puzzle solution wrong, and discovered that the solution is hardcoded (though it could have been randomised without too much trouble) and as soon as you make one wrong move the game is immediately over, so even if the puzzle was nontrivial you could solve it relatively quickly by trial and error alone.

There's pretty much no attempt to implement anything other than the five switches needed to solve the puzzle. There's very little of substance here at all, in fact. The best thing I can say about this game is that the spelling and grammar were mostly OK.

Suveh Nux, by David Fisher

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Great fun, and solidly implemented, December 30, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: David Fisher, *****, One-Room Game Competition 2007
I really enjoyed this one. The hints are well-paced, the puzzles make sense, the implementation is sound, and there's lots to play around with.

The only bug I managed to find was a small one which produced a small amount of contradictory output, but it didn't spoil anything. The game did give me an unsolicited hint at one point, but that might have been because I'd just asked it for a few hints in succession, and to be honest I really did need it.

Would definitely recommend this game.

Acid Whiplash, by Ryan Stevens and Cody Sandifer

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Randomness is not creativity, December 30, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: **, Ryan Stevens, Cody Sandifer
This is the first Rybread game I've played; it seems to be the kind of thing that usually gets described as "unique" and "like being on drugs". But it isn't unique, really; it's just the same old kind of thing that tends to result from the misconception that random absurdity is the same thing as creativity.

It did start quite promisingly:

Womb with a view
This is a room. You feel very comfortable here. Its got lots of space. But you feel a need for something more, something to fulfill your life. You can go north.

No you can't, I lied. Try west.

Now I thought that was funny and there were a few other genuinely amusing moments in the game too, but a lot of it was just tedious. I found the "interview excerpts" particularly tedious; page-long infodumps with the tired premise of taking absurd things seriously.

(I do realise that this game is nearly a decade old as I write this, but I'm sure this kind of thing was pretty old even then.)

If you want to see "weird" done well, I'd recommend you try Deadline Enchanter instead.

Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die, by Rob Noyes

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
A one-joke game, December 29, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Rob Noyes, **
I only played this because I'd heard you need to play it in order to enjoy Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle. It turns out you don't. If you like one-joke games, play this; if you don't, don't.

Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle, by David Dyte, Steve Bernard, Dan Shiovitz, Iain Merrick, Liza Daly, John Cater, Ola Sverre Bauge, J. Robinson Wheeler, Jon Blask, Dan Schmidt, Stephen Granade, Rob Noyes, and Emily Short

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Not much to it, but it's funny enough, December 29, 2007
This game must have as many authors as it has unique responses (and I do wonder if that was the point?)

Anyway it made me laugh a couple of times, and it didn't annoy me, and that's good enough for three stars in my book. I don't think you need to play Aisle first; but if you like this game, you'll definitely like Aisle.

Urban Conflict, by Sam Gordon

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A conversational game rather than a one-room game, December 23, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Sam Gordon, ***, One-Room Game Competition 2007
Urban Conflict situates you in a bombed-out building in the middle of a war. You've sustained a serious injury, and your only companion in the building is sitting opposite you in possession of an assault rifle and definitely isn't on your side.

I didn't feel this was really a one-room game so much as a conversational game along the lines of (the obvious comparison) Galatea. I couldn't interact with anything in the room, and I couldn't figure out how to move around within it; I got as far as standing up and sitting down again, but I couldn't work out any way to move towards or away from the NPC.

I'm not a great fan of conversational games I didn't particularly enjoy Galatea either as they make me feel as though I'm expected to read the author's mind. I actually managed to spoil the power of this one's ending by stopping my line of questioning slightly too soon, moving on to other topics, and then accidentally triggering the ending somewhat incongruously.

It's worth playing, though, especially if you already know you like this kind of thing.

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