Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Ratings and Reviews by Ivanr

View this member's profile

Show reviews only | ratings only
1-10 of 106 | Next | Show All

Cheer Up, by Sam Thursfield
Ivanr's Rating:

Captain Piedaterre's Blunders, by Wade Clarke
Ivanr's Rating:

No Sign Should Remain Inert, by Lucila Mayol
A little bumpy, June 7, 2018
"No Sign Should Remain Inert" has a great title and some interesting writing, but it's hobbled by a stilted vocabulary (I suspect that English is not the author's first language) and a somewhat abstract and hackneyed premise (amnesia, paralysis, some sort of implied abduction(?)).

The game comes with an elaborate map, which suggests that there's more to the game than what I experienced (I couldn't really get past what I guess is the first couple puzzles; in particular, I can't figure out how to (Spoiler - click to show)get out of the bed, even applying all the obvious verbs to everything I can find). However, it's pretty unclear how to proceed, and the general hints provided were not enough for me to figure out how to make progress.

This has the feel of a first game, and I want to applaud the author's enthusiasm and express my wish to see more from them, especially if they're able to connect with a good editor of native fluency.

Also, if anybody knows or can figure out how to get past that first section, let me know, since I'd be curious to see the rest of the game.

Sub Rosa, by Joey Jones, Melvin Rangasamy

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Old-fashioned difficulty, joyfully original world, June 2, 2018
I generally have a policy of not rating or reviewing games that I haven't played to completion (and worse yet, this game famously has a big Twist Ending of which I am totally unaware), but Sub Rosa is so difficult and yet so enjoyable that I feel compelled to break my policy, so that I don't have to wait until 2050 or whatever to express my appreciation for its writing and worldbuilding.

Because those are really this game's main strengths. When I first played Sub Rosa during the 2015 comp, and got about a room and a half in, I was practically buzzing with joy at how fun, how original this game is. A couple years later, I've calmed down a little, but it's still an absolute joy. As others have mentioned, the library is a particular highlight, but really there's great stuff all over.

However, it is an old-school hard if-puzzle game. I keep losing my save files, not because of any extraordinary technical issues but just because I'm not used to sticking this long with a game that makes you save. Normally I give up on puzzle games pretty quick, but I like the writing in Sub Rosa enough to stick around.

I do wish that the walkthrough was a little bit more comfortably spaced, or that there was a more robust in-game hint system, so that I didn't have to deploy cat-like reflexes to avoid spoiling half the game when I just wanted to get unstuck from one puzzle.

Anyway, excellent game, good enough to convince me to bend my typical preferences and practices in order to stick with it. Like For A Change, this is worth playing even if you're not really an old-school IF type. I'm certainly not, and I'm enjoying it anyway.

Suveh Nux, by David Fisher
Ivanr's Rating:

An Evening at the Ransom Woodingdean Museum House, by Ryan Veeder

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An effective ghost story, with some issues, May 25, 2018
Overall, "An Evening at the Ransom Woodingdean Museum House" is a very effectively spooky ghost story, which deftly builds up suspense and manages a delicate atmosphere.

Uncharacteristically for Veeder, the map is a little bit hard to navigate, especially outdoors, and I thought that (Spoiler - click to show)getting back into the cupola from outside was seriously underclued; it wasn't even clear to me what I was supposed to be doing at that point, and I had to really run down the clues.

Worse, right at the climactic ending of the game, the author sees fit to suddenly insert a really direct explanation of the game's themes into the narration, totally killing both atmosphere and subtlety. It's like dropping a grand piano on us labeled "HERE'S THE SUBTEXT BY THE WAY, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT". This is especially puzzling since the game deploys and refers to a lot of traditional elements of Gothic literature, which sets us up to expect some more sophisticated handling of these well-worn themes, or at least not to expect them to be hollered explicitly at us. Oh well.

Also, for the "tricks that only work once" file, this games makes freakily effective use of (Spoiler - click to show)deceptively pretending to undo. This mechanical trick fits perfectly with the game's spooky atmosphere.

So, a good campfire story, although with some avoidable hitches. Worth a play.

HUNTING UNICORN, by Chandler Groover
Ivanr's Rating:

Craverly Heights, by Ryan Veeder
Ivanr's Rating:

The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Fun and puzzly, April 17, 2018
I'm normally not a fan of toughie puzzle games at all, but "The Lurkening" managed to draw me in, and had me keeping a notes file and drawing increasingly elaborate maps on notebook paper as I struggled to map out the final steps of the solution. What fun!

Ryan Veeder's characteristic light touch of cleverness suits this game perfectly, making the map pleasurable to traverse again and again; there were even a few genuine laugh moments, like when (Spoiler - click to show)the grimoire in the department head's office turned out to be in Swedish.

For what it is, this is practically the perfect game, and it's just the right length for a fun hour or so of play.

Episode in the Life of an Artist, by Peter Eastman
Ivanr's Rating:

1-10 of 106 | Next | Show All