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Reviews by MathBrush

15-30 minutes

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Kerguelen 1991, by Narkhos

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A mid-length French Ink game with art and animated logic mini-game, January 20, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is a game in the french comp which is very technically proficient and uses figurative and descriptive language (which left me running to Google Translate more often than not).

You are a bestselling author who ends up on an island looking for inspiration for his next book. You have a phone with little minigames on it that remind me of Lolo on the SNES (mostly involving pushing sliding blocks around).

The island is fairly small, and soon bizarre plot twists happen.

I believe there is some branching in this game. In my branch, I found a minigame where you use a radio to solve a maze and another minigame where you visually push blocks around (like the cellphone puzzle) to open a door, but Jack Welch said he found a Towers of Hanoi minigame, which I did not encounter.

Overall, the story was interesting and it was complex, but I'm not sure how well the disparate elements tied together. Overall, though, it was polished, descriptive, compelling, and had good interactivity.

A Christmas Quest, by Richard Pettigrew

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A complicated present fetch quest in Adventuron, December 26, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is the last 2020 Adventuron Christmas Jam game I played, and it was pretty good.

There is a large map and several independent puzzles to solve, as well as many red herrings that add to the interactivity instead of taking away.

You are an elf who has to find a present Santa lost before catching up to all the other elves on vacation.

Everything was competently coded. I had a little trouble occasionally guessing verbs but not a great deal. The art and writing are good, but I feel like everything was 'good' but could go even further somehow to be 'great', like it's missing some final ingredient. But I'm impressed over all!

Day of the Sleigh, by Dee Cooke

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Compact christmas puzzler with hidden achievments, December 26, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is a smaller game with about 4 rooms but a lot of tiny puzzles.

The girl you're baby sitting has gone missing and you have to find her. On the way, you find that Christmas needs your help! But just for a second.

The puzzles are fairly small and mostly well-clued. The game makes it clear that searching things in various ways is the path to success.

The achievements are perhaps the best feature, basically puzzles that would otherwise be unfair are not part of the main story, instead giving you achievements to reward your curiosity.

Feathery Christmas, by OK Feather

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A medium-length humorous Adventuron game about pigeons, December 26, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is an Adventuron Christmas game where the Reindeer are knocked out by your 'special potions' that Santa keeps in barrels. You have to recruit someone else to help!

The art is superb here, adding a lot to the game. The puzzles are a mixed bag, including a logic puzzle and a visually-based minigame where you have to guide pigeons across windy terrain.

Overall, I found the writing to be funny. The whole thing felt a little light, which makes sense since I suppose additional time went into crafting visuals. But it's worth a fun and silly 30 minutes, and I didn't run into any implementation issues.

Jimmy's Christmas Foul, by Kieron Scott

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A minimal parser game with graphics about trapping Santa, December 26, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
In this brief Adventuron game, you have to set a trap for Santa to make him give you a present.

In writing, graphics, and gameplay, this resembled nothing more to me than a single puzzle (or maybe two) in a Scott Adams game. Everything is stripped down bare, and you have to get things exactly right for the game to recognize your answers.

It works overall as a puzzle, but here is my score:

-Polish: Everything is bare-bones.
-Descriptiveness: Same, the writing is minimalist and mostly just lists of present objects.
-Interactivity: I found the main puzzle frustrating, not in figuring out what to do, but in figuring out how to communicate it to the parser.
+Emotional impact: Despite the above, I found it fun to solve.
+Would I play again? It's brief enough that it could be fun to check out next year.

Present Quest, by Errol Elumir

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A charming parser game with detailed graphics and constrained gameplay, December 25, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is a great game. I went back and forth on a 4 or 5, but there are so many great little details that I'll definitely go with the higher score.

This is an adventuron game with a detailed life sim. You have to keep up your hunger, happiness and energy bars. In addition, you have to solve little puzzles that your wife (or partner?) Pel sets for you.

There are numerous illustrations, especially for the puzzles. The writing is solid.

The story isn't completely original (what is?) but is executed well. The life-sim is a bit easier than it could be but fits narratively. The puzzles are all in constrained environments and occur one at a time, but require ingenuity and creative thinking.

Definitely worth trying out. It does require the graphics as an essential component of the puzzles, though, making it difficult for visually impaired players.

SANTAPUNK 2076, by Gymcrash

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An espionage Adventuron game with multiple graded endings, December 25, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is an interesting setup for a game.

It's an adventuron game with pixelart illustrations of a dystopian future (presumably referencing Cyberpunk 2077, which I haven't played). You are a futuristic version of an elf in a timeline where Santa has sold out and delivers anything to anyone, no matter what side of the law they're on.

There are one or two puzzles at a time, and it requires careful exploration, but the limited verb set means that you should be able to figure out what you need to do, even if you have to think a bit to solve it.

The main puzzles involve codes you have to solve, which I found enjoyable.

I received a B ending, with a few ideas of what I might need to do next. It was fun, but I don't feel compelled to try again.

The Solstice Sovereigns of the North, by Natrium729

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A solstice-themed Christmas adventuron puzzler with code, December 25, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This is another entry in the Adventuron game jam.

It features some nice pixel art of a small village near a lake. You receive a dream message from a mysterious figure requesting your help.

It's a small game, with six or so locations and about a puzzle per location. The highlight for me was a cryptogram puzzle using symbols that you had partial information on, making it different than the regular cryptogram puzzle.

I felt like a few of the puzzle solutions were somewhat unfair, especially finding the book in the library, which dampened my enthusiasm a bit. But it was a fun short play overall.

Twelve Days, One Night, by B.J. Best

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A cute Adventuron game about preparing the 12 days of Christmas for your love, December 25, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
This game was entered in the Adventuron Christmas game jam.

One of Adventuron's weaknesses is its parser, which, while strong, hasn't caught up to Inform, Dialog and TADS. This game neatly sidesteps that by making it a limited parser game, with the only commands being TAKE, DROP, EXAMINE, and LOOK.

There are only three rooms: a 'hub' room with a Christmas tree, a storage room containing almost all the gifts (including lords and ladies anxiously waiting around), and a kitchen with materials.

The entirety of the interactivity is picking up one item and dropping it in the right spot, hoping it interacts right. Technically, you could just take everything and dump it together (and I admit I took that course occasionally), but it's too tedious to do that without trying to analyze that ahead of time, especially since you have a carrying limit of 3 items (one of the few games where I think that limit enhances gameplay).

The rainbow colors and sound cues were nice.

+Polish: The game is polished;
+Descriptiveness: The descriptions of the gifts is fairly amusing
+Interactivity: This particular setup worked for me
+Emotional impact: It was heart-warming
-Would I play again? It was fun, but was a bit too long for the main gimmick for me.

The Long Nap, by Paul Michael Winters

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short and clever escape game, November 15, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
I think it would be fair to describe this as an escape room game. You wake up in the dark and have to navigate from their until you exit the room.

This is exactly the kind of game that works well with La Petite Mort (the four hour competition): has a concept that wouldn't work as well in a longer game, has a constrained setting to allow for more detail.

I didn't encounter any implementation problems at all, which is pretty impressive. Definitely had a fun time with this little puzzler.

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