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Ratings and Reviews by MathBrush

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View this member's reviews by tag: 15-30 minutes 2-10 hours about 1 hour about 2 hours IF Comp 2015 Infocom less than 15 minutes more than 10 hours Spring Thing 2016
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Keepsake, by Savaric

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short IF game about crime that messes with IF conventions., January 18, 2020
I had an idea for a creative game that messed with conventions of interavtive fiction, and I searched to see if someone had done it.

Savaric did it, and they did it well. This is a crime game with moral choices and a somewhat branching narrative.

The game has only a few items and characters, but the characterization is good.

I recommend that everyone tries it. Saying more would probably be a spoiler.

The Fog Knows Your Name, by Clio Yun-su Davis

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A relationship-focused horror game about the fog haunting a small town, January 16, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours
I purchased this game because it seemed interesting. I'm a sucker for good horror stories.

The concept is that the dense fog in your town is rumored to kill those who have wronged others and not confessed. After an argument with a former friend, he dies, and you are the last person to see him alive.

The game is split between two main modes of interaction: deciding which of your many (well-written) friends you'll spend most time with, and deciding whether to believe in the fog monster or be a skeptic and deal with the real-life problems in the town.

I struggled with the first chapter or two, as it was more relationship-focused and I'm more into fantasy and sci-fi aspects of games. But then it picked up steam, and I ended up enjoying both facets of the game, and had a satisfying (though 'losing') ending.

Dungeons & Deadlines, by Miles Matrix
Daily grind as an RPG-can you survive 62 days? I couldn't, January 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game is kind of a blend between micro-text RPGs (like the Twinyjam game 'RPG-ish') and Fallen London (except instead of random cards you get fixed cards with random-ish effects).

It has some actually pretty good 8-bit music and a custom display. You are trying to survive 62 days, keeping your esteem, family, health, and stress at healthy levels.

I liked the conceit, but 62 days is really long. I died around round 39, and had seen a lot of repeated text. Maybe that's the point? Maybe you're meant to die?

I had two different encounters with sexual content, roughly as explicit as a PG-13 comedy in the US.

Virgin Space, by Billy Y. Fernández
A media-rich space exploration game, January 14, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
I really enjoyed the presentation of this game. It has background music, and an animated star background.

It has a different emphasis then most space sci-fi, almost like a space retelling of some fairy tale. The worldbuilding is good, with weird creatures. The writing was evocative and clear, although there were a few tonal decisions that I think might have come from the translation. I got stuck on the main puzzle for longer than I had thought I would, but I finished the game in about 15 or 20 minutes.

There's an itch version and an e-reader version, which is nice for people looking for more interactivity on the Kindle.

The Empty Chamber: A Celia Swift Mystery, by Tom Sykes

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A pleasant little murder mystery in 1950's England, November 30, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game is a fine addition to the long tradition of murder mystery interactive fiction games.

This is a one-room game. You, Celia Swift, are aiding Inspector Land in researching the mystery of an orchestra member's death.

There are two phases: a puzzle-based investigative phase, and a deduction phase.

The investigative phase requires patience, and the deduction phase doesn't give too much away if you guess wrong.

The one thing that mars this game is the large number of unhelpful responses. If a second edition were released, or a similar game released in the future, I would wish for more custom responses.

Be There!, by William Dooling
A SpeedIF ADRIFT game made in 4 hours. Make your meeting, or explore a city, November 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game has a lot of good writing and layout, but it suffers from the 4 hour time limit. Very few actions are implemented, even ones close to correct. ADRIFT is especially poor at using responses to incorrect commands to guide the player toward correct commands, and this is no exception. Even consulting those who've won, I haven't been able to complete it, only getting to the (Spoiler - click to show)Runic Doorway in the icy plains while holding the book and wearing the costume. Then I'm stuck.

I enjoyed the writing, but much of the game is difficult to discover. Well-done for a speed-IF, though.

Quite Queer Night Near, by Andrew Schultz
Schultz's second rhyming pair game, this time with a spooky theme, November 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
Like Very Vile Fairy File, this is a game about rhyming pairs, where you must type in the correct rhyming pair to progress forward.

Like the main game, I found this one enjoyable. The map is short, with 5 or 6 rooms. Some of the rhyming pairs were hard to guess, but unlike the main game, the constrained atmosphere kept guessing from getting tedious.

The Halloween theme was also appropriate, and I feel like the rhymes all made sense.

The use of the word 'queer' in the title would seem to indicate some kind of connection with queer sexuality, but seems to be used in its older sense here of 'unusual'.

A Journey to Omega Station, by DWaM

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Haunting sci-fi horror involving plunging into a new world, November 24, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
There's a specific kind of story I really enjoy, where people travel to an alternate, darker version of our reality. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, the Dragonlance Test of the Twins, the IF game My Evil Twin, Stranger Things, etc.

In this well-developed Twine game (which has nice styling and graphics), you play as a Diver who enters various breaks in reality, trying to reach a specific location that will allow you to rescue a real-life runaway.

It's not too long, about 15-30 minutes. Most of the choices seem flavor-based, which was just fine with me.

Raishall, by Jac Colvin

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A short choicescript game with horror elements and moral choices, November 23, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
This is a Choicescript game written in less than 4 hours for Ectocomp 2019.

I had a lot of fun with this one despite its size. The author managed to cram a lot in. There's a 'build your monster' segment followed by a series of moral choices. It provided a feeling of agency beyond its substance and had solid writing.

Loved it! If you want more monster stories from this author, they also wrote Each-Uisge from IFComp 2019.

holloween spookie adventure chapter 1, by rhl2123
The very beginning of a Halloween game, November 23, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes
I'm pretty sure this game is the result of someone opening up Quest for the first time, putting in some rooms and an object, and sending it out. Probably a younger person as well.

There's nothing wrong with doing that, but it's not really a game. It's three locations and an item and nothing else. In addition, it's released as the code for the game instead of the finished game itself.

I'm glad the author figured out how to use Quest, and if they want to make longer stuff, more power to them.


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