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Ratings and Reviews by ProfReader

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1-4 of 4

All Roads, by Jon Ingold

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Did not like, January 30, 2015
In some games, a goal is to figure out what the goal is. This is one of those games (I think), but I found the play more frustrating than fun. There was no hint of explaining why you apparently have no recollection of what you are doing or why/how things happen. I was left with the impression that the gaps in the story were to cover over the lack of an explanation and not to enhance the feel of the story.

I also was not a fan of the forced action. There are a few puzzles in the game, but not enough to make for fun play to me. This game would clearly be better for people who prefer the "fiction" and not the "interactive" in "interactive fiction." I felt like I was just mashing "wait" over and over and being force fed exposition at times.

I'm giving it a low score because of my own preferences. The commands and play seem well-executed, but it's just not my cup of tea at all. I expect people who favor these sorts of stories will really like this one.

Counterfeit Monkey, by Emily Short

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Some good, some bad, February 26, 2013
I see from the release date, that this is a pretty new game. So, I'm going to assume that Emily Short might be making some changes to things soon as some new editions are released.

For right now, though, it's a little rough in spots.

The good news: I loved the story. It was one of the most imaginative plots that I can remember. And, the story is very well told. I really like the writing. There is a nice, consistent tone to the writing that solidly conveys a time and place that is only slightly removed from our real universe. Nothing over the top. And, the non-player half of the player is nicely handled. I also sort of liked the inclusion of the map. At first, I was unsure about it, but it grew on me. The text was a little hard to read, and the placement of the streets didn't exactly match up with the expected movements in every location. But, it was clear enough to give you some idea of the spatial relations. Certainly, I wouldn't want to see a map like that in every game (especially ones with more than about 20 locations), but this one worked.

The bad news: I really did not like the "Pick Your Own Adventure" sort of leading that was going on at various places. When you encounter various people, the game will prompt you with suggested topics of conversation. The reponses then prompt even more topics of conversation. At that point, you pretty much just play a scrivener and retype those questions. I didn't think that those exchanges added anything to the game. I would have preferred a page of automatic text instead of that.

I was also underwhelmed at some of the vocabulary. It seemed to me that there were lots of things that I would try to do where the game would not allow obvious actions or would not recognize obvious synonyms. The description of each area is short and doesn't give you much room to play around (even if to no particular purpose).

I'll check back on this game in a few months and try it again if a new release has come out. For now, I would give it a solid 3 stars.

Savoir-Faire, by Emily Short

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Good, but not as wonderful as others think, February 16, 2013
As far as IF games go, I'm going to give this a four star rating. 9 out of 10 stars would be more like it.

I love old-school IF games, so I was into this game more than some people will be. Overall, it is a treasure-hunt, but the underlying background story really ties it all together nicely. The descriptions of everything are solid.

That having been said, I'll agree with some of the other posters about some shortcomings. Most notable to me was that I didn't think that one of the linkages was fair at all. (Spoiler - click to show)I didn't like the concept of linking to sunlight. There is nothing at all to suggest that linking to wholly intangible things is even a possibility, and asking people to figure that out smacks of pure trial and error using every possible noun without any regard to the fiction of the game's universe. Besides, I found the description of the bauble confusing; its description suggested that it was already emitting light, so there was nothing really to suggest that, after putting it in the model, that the model was not working at full power.

I also was not a fan of all of the food-related puzzles. One was solid and fun. But the incessant remarks about hunger were a drag, and the whole "collect ingredients and make food" chore seemed to dominate the game by the end instead of just being a background task. I would far rather have seen some of that effort devoted to a slightly larger house for exploring. For a mansion, there were really not many rooms to visit.

The Surprising Case of Brian Timmons, by Marshal Tenner Winter

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Really simple., February 13, 2013
Well, the game is really pretty straightforward. It struck me as more of an exercise in programming before writing a much fuller version of the same game. Each area of the game has basically one main test, and the resolution of each is pretty obvious. There is potential here for a good story, but right now, it doesn't offer a lot. Maybe 90 minutes of play?

1-4 of 4