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Reviews by frolic

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Photopia, by Adam Cadre

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A game which deserves his fame, October 28, 2020
Adam Cadre made a brilliant use of Inform device, using it in a story with two kind of fictional worlds : in white, various points of view on a young girl's life, told in a non-linear order, and in colors, various adventures of an explorer , told this way in linear order.

Of course, the non-linear points of view gradually begin to order in the player's head, and the colored adventures appear to be (Spoiler - click to show)dreams made by the young girl, related to a LCD device.

Finally, despite sometimes verbose parts, the story reaches a true emotional strength, which goes beyond that a classical Inform game could ordinary reach.

This strength rely precisely on the game structure rather on the sole topic ((Spoiler - click to show)the death of a young child), avoiding the melodramatic trap in which a classical structure may have falled.

So this game is really worth his fame (especially for people who ordinary enjoy Twine games).

Les Pierres, by luvan

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short but efficient french game, October 28, 2020
luvan is primarily a French writer, so each word of this game is thought to convey a peaceful mood to this exhibition... but the watching of majestic landscapes could easily lead the viewer (Spoiler - click to show)to a critical point of view on French government !

A must-to-read for a gamer which will want to experiment a french game with a true style (like a Porpentine game in english).

their angelical understanding, by Porpentine

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A creepy quest, October 16, 2020
Porpentine reverses the archetypical character of angel in an evil one, and mixes it with creepy details (Spoiler - click to show)(the face in the bottle, the hands on the cottage) to distill anguish in player's mind.

Once this done, she unveils in a dream sequence the true meaning of the game (Spoiler - click to show)(a metaphor for a child abuse) and keeps then the emotion growing until the amazing end (Spoiler - click to show)(a bloody tile duel).

Add some brilliant uses of Twine devices, as words collapsing, and you get, indeed, another masterpiece from Porpentine.

metrolith, by Porpentine

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Tribute to Beksinski, October 12, 2020
With this short Twine game, in which you could play a wide pool of characters, Porpentine convert Zdislaw Beksinski uncanny landscapes in fantastic short stories (as Harlan Ellison did with Jacek Yerka paintings).

NB :this game is no longer available on Aliendovecote, but could be played on the author's website :


composites, by B Minus Seven
A clinical game, April 16, 2020
This is literally a clinical game, by its topic (a woman set in pieces, maybe to break her personality) and by its language (very technical, maybe too). The result is interesting, but the meaning of the game isn't very clear (certainly as its author wanted).

Chesstopia II, by John C. Knudsen
A game for chess players, April 13, 2020
With the second episod of Chesstopia, we enter in a more tough game, interesting but not revolutionary. As I said previously, the author have some knowledges about chess game, which makes the whole game quite pleasant for chess players (like me), but may disturb the others - and of course, the toughness of the game may dishearten them as well.

Chesstopia, by John C. Knudsen
A game for chess players, April 13, 2020
The first episod of the Chesstopia saga is obviously dedicated to set the story : it works better with the second episod, of course. The author have some knowledges about chess game, which makes the whole game quite pleasant for chess players (like me), but may disturb the others.

States of Awareness, by Kerry Taylor

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A good post-apo game, April 10, 2020
At first sight, this Twine game seems to be one more variation on a well-known theme : the end of the world, because of "zombies" with eyes as gold as Midwich cuckoos. Nevertheless, the story goes crescendo, as your interest, and when it ends, you can replay it, but from another point of view, and this simple trick (like the famous Rashomon from Akira Kurosawa) makes the game even more interesting, because you had to reconsider the feelings that go through you at the first reading...

The Golden, by Kerry Taylor

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A very subtle game, April 10, 2020
More than a slice of life, The Golden is a simple Twine game which manage to bring you in his world and to convey true feelings only by telling small events ; this quite behaviorist way to proceed (like a Kiyoshi Kurosawa film) works better than any Hollywoodian story, despite of its brevity. To sum up, this is a kind of ha´ku in Twine.

Queers in Love at the End of the World, by Anna Anthropy
A 10 seconds game, April 7, 2020
This is typically the kind of game which have the faults that go with its qualities : as many Twine games, it manages to give you a feeling of flowing time (here, very fast, an emergency tempo), but the downside is that it moves too fast to appreciate the writing (it needs screenshots). So an emotion is conveyed, but it's a quick one (and it was certainly the purpose of the author).

Kinsale Horror, by Arek Arktos

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short piece of horror, April 7, 2020
This game use silent and cycling links in relationship between a concise style (maybe too sometimes) to tell a basic horror story, (Spoiler - click to show)which two alternative endings (but the happy one allows you to replay the unhappy !). This is quite efficient, but maybe it would work better with more variations and clearer spatial organization (one passage summarizing the different ways to explore, for instance). However it remains an interesting game for horror fans.

Advent Door, by Andrew Plotkin
A perfect puzzle, April 7, 2020
This parser game is primarily a well-designed puzzle, which intrinsic upsides and downsides. The upsides : the gameplay is really easy to master, and the way to escape is a tricky one (hint : (Spoiler - click to show) to convert a east door in a west one, you must leave it on the garden wall and pick it up by the other side). The downsides : it's just a (good) game, which offers only the pleasure to map an unknown place (like one can do reading a CYOA book).
For the curious (for instance these who wants to program in Inform) or the cheaters (but it only help them to map the place, nothing more), the author left the codesource on his website

Summit, by Phantom Williams

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A really impressive game, April 5, 2020
Using simple tricks (a round for symbolizing a step, a bunch of pictures), Summit builds a fantasy world, which seems first a bit too various but becomes more and more consistent while the story walks. The simple desire to see the famous summit leads you to a true thinking on the meaning of your life or the value of your choices, but this thoughts are conveyed throught live feelings rather than arid speeches. So this is really the kind of game you wants to play again...

CYBERQUEEN, by Porpentine
A brilliant SF game, April 5, 2020
Porpentine quotes herself Harlan Ellison as a major influence, but it seems obvious that Alien and 2001 also play a role in her inspiration. She does more than mixing all these well-known stories in a whole game, she moves the cursor higher and higher, until it reaches its conceptual limit. The result is a perfect piece of techno-horror.

The game is now directly available on the author website.

Label Maker, by Silverstring Media
An interesting game, April 5, 2020
This short Twine game makes a clever use of the cycling links to show you how labels are troublesome in social life, but it doesn't go far enough to really touch you (maybe because each choice stay in a quite reasonable range). So it's just another slice of life, but an interesting one.

Neon Haze, by Porpentine and Brenda Neotenomie
A perfect vessel, April 3, 2020
Neon Haze had an easier gameplay than another games of Porpentine, but it is indubiously a Porpentine game : time and links between passages are well-managed (the running, for instance) ; each word matters and touches your heart (moreover, the graphic and sound design by Brenda Neotenomie are perfect).

In addition, Emily Short's review of this game is just here.

Beautiful Dreamer, by S. Woodson

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A dreamlike game ?, April 3, 2020
"Beautiful Dreamer" is obviously inspired by the Sandman universe created by Neil Gaiman, where dreams are ruled by an immortal (Dream, renamed Lune by Woodson), and death by another one (Death, which look likes Cephiros). Thanks to subtle changes to this pattern (the moths, for instance), the game is nevertheless pleasant, in spite of too long passages.

Assemblage of Angels, by Els White

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A pleasant game, April 3, 2020
This game is worthwhile for its ambiance and its device, a picture which evolves with the quest ; maybe the interaction with providers are a bit conventional, but the game is short enough to work nevertheless.

With Those We Love Alive, by Porpentine and Brenda Neotenomie

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A masterpiece, April 1, 2020
Porpentine uses the same device than in Howling Dogs : a place around all "events" (including wandering) take place, but she plays even more on time, forcing you for instance to sleep or meditate if you want to advance in the game. This apparent loss of time helps you to appreciate more the following events, until the freeing end, which the fantastic world finally appears like the shape taken by sorrow. Another brilliant Twine game (with a good sound design as well).

howling dogs, by Porpentine

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Already a classic, April 1, 2020
Once you understand the way to "escape" (by eating, drinking and entering a virtual world) the room in which Porpentine locked you up, you experiment various lifes, which are maybe the same, as seen by a disturbed mind... A brilliant illustration of the Twine games potential.

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