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Reviews by Denk

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1-6 of 6


Founder's Mercy, by Thomas Insel

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Nice Sci-Fi Adventure, April 9, 2019
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
In this sci-fi parser adventure you are the last person aboard an abandoned space station. Your objective is to get away from the space station. The game comes with 3 feelies: A map, an antenna calibration guide and a Getting Started manual for an utility scanner.

The map is very convenient and so there is no need to draw a map yourself. The space station is spinning and so the directions Spinward and Antispinward are introduced in addition to port, starboard, up, down, in and out.

The game is very well implemented. There was a single puzzle that required a bit of guessing the verb, but besides that everything worked well. The puzzles were all fair, mostly easy and a few ones harder. Some of the puzzles are a bit technical but none of them requires special knowledge.

Some people might find the minimalistic descriptions too short. I personally found them sufficient to create a good atmosphere and to describe what's going on. This is definitely a game more than a story and so, too much text would disturb the playing experience. However, I would have liked the ending to be more verbose and interesting.

To sum up, the game is atmospheric with some nice puzzles and solid implementation. The ending could have been more interesting but still it was great fun. Try it.

Junior Arithmancer, by Mike Spivey

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Original math puzzle game, November 16, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
This was my favorite 2018 Ifcomp game. I can imagine that this game is not for everyone, since it is basically a logic/math game. However, it does not require a lot of mathematical knowledge. I would say that you can complete the game using basic math, though to get a perfect score, you should have heard about complex numbers.

In this game you are given the role of a candidate in something called Arithmancy, which is some sort of magic concerning numbers. You need to pass the exam in Arithmancy. To do this, you have to cast spells in the right order, to produce the digits of pi, e, etc. I don't know if this sound like a lot of fun, but it is, if you like logic and math puzzles. In addition, you can get extra points. Some points require that you produce the digits with very few spells, while other points can be gained by finding the numbers with a given color. Yes, in this game all the numbers have a color, though some numbers have the same color. Figuring out the color system, at least to some extent, is needed to obtain a perfect score. I didn't understand the color system completely, but still I managed to get a perfect score, though not within the two hour limit of IFcomp. Thus there are several hours of entertainment in this game.

The game starts out easy but slowly gets harder. Whenever you achieve something in the game, you overhear conversations from the examining committee, which are quite fun. The real fun for me was however figuring out the puzzles.

So if you are into logic puzzles involving math, I can highly recommend this game.

Risorgimento Represso, by Michael J. Coyne

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable puzzler, April 15, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
In this parser game, you play the role of a student, who is by accident sucked into another world of magic where you become a wizard's apprentice. The wizard quickly gets in trouble and you have to help him out.

The writing is full of humor and there are many fine puzzles, though a few of them were a bit unfair to my liking. Luckily there are built-in hints so you can get through the game with some help. I doubt many will solve the game completely without hints. The implementation is very good though.

I prefer the sequel Illuminismo Iniziato over this one, since I regard the puzzles as better in the sequel. Still this was an entertaining game with a good story. I can certainly recommend this to anyone who can accept the need to consult the hints once in a while.

Illuminismo Iniziato, by Michael J. Coyne

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
English game with italian title, April 12, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
This game is the sequel to Risorgimento Represso. Though I have never played Risorgimento Represso, I enjoyed this game immensely.

In this game you play the role of a wizard's apprentice who has been given an apparently simple task by the wizard. Without spoiling the story, lets just say that the plot will develop as you play.

This is a rather long game with an impressive amount of detail and excellent implementation. The game contains an auto-mapping feature and a newspaper, where you can click to turn the pages.

There are a lot of ingenious puzzles in the game, some easy, others more tricky, but except from one puzzle ((Spoiler - click to show)how to use the hoop) I was able to solve them all without the use of the built-in hint system, where you can ask NPCs for help. So I regard the puzzles as very fair and well clued.

The writing is good and witty, and did a great job in communicating the surroundings. There are several references to Risorgimento Represso, but they are all understandable to those who haven't played it.

This is the best game I have played this year so far, so I highly recommend it.

The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent game!, February 25, 2018
by Denk
Related reviews: inform
Though I have never played The Lurking Horror, playing this unofficial sequel was really really fun. To my knowledge the concept is quite original: You have 9 moves to finish the game, before something bad happens. However, you need to play the game over and over to obtain the necessary knowledge needed to succeed.

The puzzles are great and are solved by casting spells. To begin with they are quite easy but later on they get a bit tricky. For my taste the difficulty level was just right.

The implementation seemed flawless and the atmosphere was fitting. I can't really say anything bad about this game, so I higly recommend this one.

The Wand, by Arthur DiBianca

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Two games in one, November 16, 2017
by Denk
Related reviews: inform
This was my favorite 2017 Ifcomp game. I don't see how to make a meaningful review of this one, without touching on the hidden content, which is more than half the game. If you cannot find the hidden content, check out David Welbourn's excellent walkthrough.

The Wand is a very polished puzzle-based text adventure, where the player seeks out a challenge at Bartholloco's secluded castle. The player is not allowed to touch anything in the castle, except from the wand, he/she is given at the beginning of the game. Luckily the wand is magical and can be set to 1000 different color combinations. The wand has different abilities depending on the chosen color combination. Unfortunately you do not know which combinations are useful, but clues to this are placed around the castle.

The apparent challenge of the game has a very nice level of difficulty and can be completed in approximately 2 hours. However, (Spoiler - click to show)if you restart and approach the game with your knowledge from your first play-through, you may find a much deeper and more involved challenge.

It is during this deeper challenge you will come to realize how well thought out the magic system actually is. Also, the ending of this deeper challenge is much better than that of the first challenge.


I don't think a pure puzzle game comes much better than this.


1-6 of 6