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Ratings and Reviews by End Master

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AI Dungeon, by Nick Walton

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
EndMaster fanfiction generator, January 19, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
At CYS, we’ve long been aware of this little experiment and even more amused that the creator used popular CYS stories at the time as the foundation to create the monster. We even spoke directly with the creator who popped up on our forums and discord, everything was generally civil.

I know some folks were going on about some stuff about monetary compensation for using our works without at least even asking first. Not sure how likely that is to happen, however I’ve never really written “for the money.” If I did, I’d surely grow to hate writing altogether. I can’t enjoy a hobby if it becomes work. I primarily write for my own enjoyment and if others like it, that’s fine. If they don’t well that’s fine too.

However over the years as I’ve done this hobby of mine I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t mind my influence being spread to far reaching corners of the internet. Surprising more than one would think considering I virtually use no social media at all and my name or stories still pop up in some of the oddest places on the web.

So what does this exercise in pontificating about my own ego have to do with AI Dungeon? Quite a lot since most of the stories used to help build the foundation were mine. As a result various names of characters, places, monsters and other things pop up enough in AI Dungeon stories that people on its Reddit and Discord have lists of them, asking who they are, what they are and ultimately linking to the original sources of said things, which is as you guessed it, to most of my stories.

I’ve played through AI Dungeon myself on more than one occasion and I feel like I’m playing fan fiction of my own stories at times. I’ve spoken to some of the players of AI Dungeon on their discord given them a bit of background on the origins various names they keep wondering about which was probably more fun than actually playing the game itself since the AI is very “forgetful” and inconsistent. I know programming something like this probably difficult and I can appreciate the ambition, but it just really doesn’t work excessively well as a game. Boredom inevitably ensues as the AI generations get repetitive.

I know they’ve updated and reworked it a bit to try to curb some of the “CYS references” but apparently they keep popping up since people still keep mentioning them (or complaining about them). Well maybe you should have thought twice about building your mansion on top of an underground necropolis. You’re stuck with the undead roaming about now pal.

Other changes I know they’ve made is “cleaning it up” so certain words can’t be used or they get altered. Pretty sure that’s drawn complaints too since I’m fairly certain at least more than half of the users are just creating weird sex fetishes on the stuff. Take some of that away and you’re eliminating most of the fanbase right there. I think they recently added a “payment” plan too so you can only take so many actions before you have to wait to play some more unless you pay money. I definitely know that is causing some ire from the fans (or soon to be ex-fans) of the game.

Still, this game is basically like a monument to CYS. So even if I feel like it falls short of what it tries to actually accomplish, I can’t help but like it on some level since its helped in spreading our glorious influence. (And mine in particular)

To sum up, as a game it has several flaws and isn’t that great. As an indirect advertising tool for CYS on a mass scale, it’s actually pretty good considering we got someone else to do for us without even asking.

Questionnaire, by Stephen Lavelle

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Missed opportunity, January 19, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
So now we’ve come to the last of the four games and given that the questionnaire “story” is the best of the bunch really says it all on how bad the other were.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is probably the worst story and worst game of the four since it fails to do either that the other three at least attempted. This one is just a questionnaire which leads me to wonder why the hell it’s on here in the first place.

However, there is a certain “creepy” vibe to this one that I thought MAYBE the author was leading up to midway through it, but that was misplaced hope I suppose.

A few of the questions towards the end start to ask if you’d rather murder people or if you fear being murdered and similar questions like that. I feel like this would have been a good jumping off point for the questionnaire to start going into horror territory. I have seen stories done in “quiz” format before and done successfully. It’s difficult to do, but it’s possible.

Not saying it would have even been a five star story or even three, but it might have at least gotten a two.

As I said though, if the author was attempting to do this then they failed in such an endeavor. I suppose the whole sudden “Thank you for your submission” at the very end could be considered a little creepy as it may make the reader briefly wonder if the data is actually being collected and what exactly for.

But more than likely, the reader is going to just wonder why the hell they wasted their time and not dwell on whatever this was supposed to be as soon as they finish.

Sickness, by Stephen Lavelle

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Stop whining, January 19, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
Moving on to the third game, this one seems more like a rant about the medical system rather than a game.

Someone also mentioned that it seemed autobiographical which I’d agree with too given how it comes across. This is also probably why out of the four games recently uploaded from this author, this one was the most annoying despite it having the most plotted out storyline. The last thing I want to do is play as the author whining about whatever isn’t going right in their lives.

Even ignoring that potentially being the case, there is no real game here even from a CYOA perspective. It’s mostly linear with a few fake choices here and there that just change the text rather than leading to any different endings. This would have worked better as an angry blog entry than a game considering the lack of branching.

Definitely the worst of the four.

Detective Clean, by Stephen Lavelle

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Tragically dull, January 19, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
So moving on to the second game, this one is about playing as a detective trying to catch murderer. The beginning claims that it’s neither a tragedy or comedy which may depend on how amusing or tragic you find wasting your time.

Though perhaps it’s comedy for the author and tragedy for the reader in that case, but even in an “author trolls the reader” sort of way it doesn’t really do a good job since it’s short enough that it wouldn’t really annoy a reader that much.

There isn’t much here in general, there’s like two choices in a mostly linear game and only one of which changes the ending. The odder thing is the killer changes gender mid way through the story. In the beginning they are referred to as she, then later as he. Not sure if that was intentional or just the author getting so bored with the story that they couldn’t be bothered with consistency.

If it hadn’t been for the sudden sex changed murderer, the story would have had even less for me to write about in the review.

Place and Time, by Stephen Lavelle

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Success equals sex, but not this game, January 19, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
So four short twine games suddenly showed up on the IFDB and everyone seemed to be saying how bad they were so I decided to see for myself starting with this one.

It’s not a very promising start.

The “game” basically boils down to judging how successful your life is based on how much sex you’ve had. Have sex in more rooms than you cried in and congrats you’ve won! Do the the opposite and you’ve lost. Not sure why constantly picking neither is considered the “worst” life of all since I’m fairly certain that would still be way better than crying all the time, but I guess the author had his own world view of things.

In any case there isn’t much sense to this one and the title makes even less sense. Could have been called Chad and incel and it would have made just as much sense (And been a little more amusing)

If there was supposed to be any deeper meaning behind it then the author failed in conveying it and I’m not exactly motivated in analyzing it further to discover such a hidden meaning.

Undead Persona, by Tanstaafl
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Agent of Order, by Mizal
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Inseparable, by Mizal
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Silver Horn, Silver Hooves, by Mizal
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The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Didn’t even know there was a sequel, January 16, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
So I’ve been starting to look for IFs in this very database that might be of interest to me and to my surprise when I was doing my review of Lurking Horror, I found out there was a sequel. Granted not an official one, but a sequel nevertheless. I made a note to check it out later.

I sort of went in a little skeptical based on the reviews since having played the original, this one just didn’t sound like anything like it.

And it isn’t, but that turned out to be just fine. Probably the best comparison is how the original Evil Dead movie was played a lot more serious than the second movie, but the second movie was good in its own way. A humor approach probably was the best way to go with a sequel even though humor can be a bit of a roll of the dice on appealing, but it rolled a natural 20 for me.

The “Groundhog Day” death gimmick was also incorporated well, though the time limit is a bit too tight at times since there’s a few places where you have to make every move count before instadeath and you have to start all over again (Don’t bother picking up those books/notes/papers just read and wait to die)

I still like the original better, but this was fun to play through and a whole lot quicker to restart when I died. The game has an amusing subtitle too.

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