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Reviews by MathBrush

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Heated, by Timothy Peers

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A frustrating game about frustration, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I usually take a star off of most annoying games precisely because they are annoying. But this is a game about a man where anything at all can set him off.

The game makes UNDO act differently, and tricks people who thought of other solutions to puzzles. Its puzzle solutions become increasingly unfair, although some of the most unfair ones are optional.

Sort of like 9:05 played straight, you wake up before work, worried about getting their on time, and have to go through your daily tasks before work starts.

I found it more frustrating than enjoyable. But isn't that the point?

Signos, by Mauricio Diaz Garcia a.k.a. "M4u"
A Quest game with graphics and sound about meditation, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game, in Quest, has you navigating a mostly-symmetric area apparently seeking for wisdom.

You have a book depicting the 7 deadly sins, which you can slowly fill out by various actions. In addition, there are many religious figures here, including a monk, a fakir, a buddah, etc.

Each room has an image, and many have sound.

However, the implementation is odd, cumbersome, and often interferes with the player. The pictures vary widely in quality, and the game is frankly frustrating.

I didn't finish it, but I did appreciate the symbolic quest.

Building the Right Stuff, by Laura Mitchell
A graphical windows game about exploring space, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This is a graphical game where you click on text buttons to control a spaceship. You find planets and see if they support life.

I've rated the game on the following 5 criteria:

-Polish. The game relies heavily on a graphical interface, but I feel that interface could be tuned up, especially with faster transitions and back buttons that only go back one step in a menu.

-Descriptiveness. Most of the descriptions are fairly plain.

-Interactivity. The slowness is frustrating, and the game's overall pace drags out.

-Emotional Impact. The pace lessened any impact I would have felt.

-Would I replay? No.

I'd love to see a new game from this author, though.

Search for the Ultimate Weapon, by Sharon Lynn Chu Yew Yee
A fancy windows game about chinese martial arts, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game has an overly-cluttered windows GUI that is very reminiscent of the time period it is from. The top row is cluttered with a row of icons that whose meaning is opaque and whose use is questionable.

The game has side bars, command prediction, and other such features, but they often end up hindering more than anything else. There is a time feature and changing background colors.

The story itself is interesting, but could be better. I think this game is a good example that reinventing the wheel isn't always the best.

A Martian Odyssey, by Horatiu Romosan

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An adaptation of a famous sci-fi story with a lovely soundtrack, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game is an adaptation of A Martian Odyssey, the short story, and one which I liked quite a bit before starting this game.

This game takes a long time to download (and can't be played online) because it's 50 mb, most of which is a truly lovely space soundtrack. I really liked it, and it's context-sensitive.

The game itself suffers terribly from adaptation-syndrome: content not from the actual story is not as good as the original, and you have to guess the correct action to advance the story.

Dracula's Underground Crypt, by Alex Whitington
A poorly implemented vampire hunt, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game has a vote for it on the 'worst IF ever' poll, but I don't think it's there. It's just problematic. I evaluate games on the following five categories:

Polish: Not here. The game's bugs are numerous.

Descriptiveness: Well, it succeeds pretty well here, to be honest.

Interactivity: Problematic. It's very hard to guess what actions you are supposed to do.

Emotional impact: Dampened by the obnoxious jerk professor and the overly objectified Eva.

Cry Wolf, by Clare Parker
A touching love story and tale about wolves, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I played this game last year, maybe two years ago, but couldn't pass the first scene. There are so many finicky steps, and its buggy (6 kinds of pill bottles cause a nightmare).

But, following the walkthrough, you find a touching and compelling story. I quite enjoyed it. Many of the surprises you can guess ahead of time, but there are enough surprises that I'd rather not reveal any of them.

The interactivity is really messed up, and its not super polished, but it's otherwise great.

Gathered In Darkness, by Dr. Froth
An unfinished occult Quest game with some issues, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This is a game planned on an epic scale. Only 3 chapters were entered into the competition, and the author clearly promised greatness in those missing six chapters. There was to be an entire other complex (or multiple ones), many rooms, etc.

But even these chapters are unfinished in some ways. Many things are unimplemented. Trying to guess the right verbs can be hard even with the walkthrough.

It's also a bit offputting. Woman are all nude and described like meat. Murder is casual. I'm just not that into it.

Ananachronist, by Joseph Strom
A sandbox time travel game that just need a little more love and better hinting, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This is another game that would be better off with extensive beta testing.

You have access to three time periods, and items in one period affect items in another, even in reverse form (so changing the future affects the past). There are no NPCs. This general effect can make an incredible game (look at Dual Transform by Plotkin), but this game doesn't help the player narrow down the solution space enough. There are so many actions that could be useful, but only a few are recognized.

Also, the game could be a bit more peppy. Many of the locations are the most generic thing possible in their timeframe.

The Lost Dimension, by C. Yong
An older windows game with custom interface and battle system, June 26, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
This game's main features are a fancy window with directional compass, list of actions to take, items, etc.

I found it difficult to run. I got it part way there, but not quite. From the guides, though, it's clear to see that the game mostly revolves around attacking enemies to gain experience with a few puzzles thrown in.

Games like this show the great wisdom in creating virtual machines with backwards compatibility, like Inform or TADS. Inform games have remained playable for decades (except for those using graphics and sound), as have TADS games.


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