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

Reviews by RadioactiveCrow

About 30 minutes

View this member's profile

Show ratings only | both reviews and ratings
View this member's reviews by tag: 1-2 hours 10+ hours 15-30 minutes 2-3 hours 2-4 hours 8-10 hours About 1 hour About 15 minutes About 30 minutes Less than 1 hour Less than 15 minutes Less than 30 minutes
...or see all reviews by this member
1-5 of 5


Quintessence, by Andrea M. Pawley

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Weird game about life, the universe, and a cosmic cat, October 30, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 30 minutes
This is a fairly short, choice-based work where you play a quantum particle in our universe, which is hidden away from the multiverse by the Forever Cat, forced to endure the collapse and recreation of spacetime over and over again when all you want is to rest.

Yes, this game is weird.

I was right on the edge of giving it two stars, but it was just interesting enough at the end to bump it up to three. Halfway through I was very frustrated as it seemed that the game was primarily about picking your way through the branches of the story to find the end. I suppose being forced to repeat the collapse and rebirth of the universe several times is kind of the point, but it got tedious after awhile. Once I finally figured out how to get to the semi-interesting part of the story, with meaningful choices that didn't trigger the collapse of the universe so often, it got better.

The writing is weird, but pretty solid. There isn't much of a story in the traditional sense, as much as ruminations on meaning, from quantum to multiverse in scale. Honestly, in the end what bumped it up from two to three stars for me was that after I finally achieved an ending (one of five possible endings), I had about 10 minutes left on the exercise bike, and rather than move on to something else immediately I was interested enough to go back and find another ending. Also, it helped that in the end (Spoiler - click to show)dogs were the heroes.

For those who want to find the path to the interesting part of the story, here it is: (Spoiler - click to show)This has happened to me before. - Our gravity ruptures. - Our expansion is steady. - Too far from our gravity, our awareness fractures. - This has happened to me before. - I wonder if being alone has any purpose. - I'm captured by a rogue planet. ...

Electric word, "life", by Lance Nathan

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Wonderfully written story about two friends, a Halloween party, and life, October 29, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 30 minutes
This is a fairly short, mostly linear, choice-based work. You play Perry, the quiet, somewhat nerdy, roommate of a party animal. He is throwing a Halloween party tonight at your apartment and you agreed to help, but you don't really want to be there. The night becomes much more bearable when some of your friends show up and you all take refuge on the porch, just talking and hanging out.

The author has what I think is a rare talent as a writer: to be able to convey the essence of a friendship primarily through dialogue. Reading this story made me think of Dante and Randall from "Clerks" or Parzival and Aech from "Ready Player One". I was drawn in to the camaraderie and it gave the story both warmth and impact. In the end I had goosebumps on my skin and tears in my eyes.

The story is primarily linear. You can wander around a bit at the beginning, before the story is pretty much put on rails for the second half. I do recommend reading everything, as there are some flashback scenes triggered amongst the chaos of party that give the second half added depth. Normally the lack of meaningful choices would have me lowering the rating, but this story really got to me in a special way so I had to give it four stars. I think it compares well with "Will Not Let Me Go" by Stephen Granade, even though it doesn't quite rise to that level.

Well worth your time.

How The Elephant's Child Who Walked By Himself Got His Wings, by Peter Eastman

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Well-written homage to Kipling's "Just So Stories", limited interactivity, October 16, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 30 minutes
This is a choice-based work (more on the choices later) that takes the form of a paternal figure (I imagine the grandfather-grandson scenes from "A Princess Bride") telling several anthropomorphized-animal origin stories to a child, in the mold of off Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories". Comparatively long sections of text are broken up with the chance to offer the child's response to what he or she has just heard. Sometimes this takes the form of a binary choice, sometimes it is just a piece of hypertext, the choice made for you, to get to the next page. The prose is quite excellent (while the poetry at the end is appropriately bad) and the stories are well-paced and engaging.

If this were the Short Story Database I would rate this four or five stars. But as the I in IF stands for interactive I have to rate it only three. I feel the very few choices offered in this piece mostly serve as a story selector or only end up altering a few paragraphs worth of prose, and so the interactive portion feels a little thin. However, in praise of the work I can offer the following: 1) I will very likely read this to my kids soon as a series of bedtime stories, and 2) it has inspired me to order a copy of Kipling's stories for the same purpose.

Well worth your time as a reader.

Babyface, by Mark Sample

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Perhaps the most evocative piece I've played to date, October 9, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 30 minutes
I struggled with how to rate this game. It is note perfect in so many aspects, from the prose, to the sound, to the pictures, to the interactive elements, and yes, to even the timed text, which I usually hate. My biggest complaint was that (Spoiler - click to show)the plot didn't have enough payoff. But then I decided that wasn't the goal of this piece, that it was mostly about mood and feel, and it absolutely nailed those aspects. So 4-stars instead of three. Bravo!

This is a choice-based piece, with very limited choice. It is pretty much a short story presented with a modicum of interactivity, but it makes the absolute most of those interactive elements. Text changes after you click on it (similar to Will Not Let Me Go). A few pictures and a creepy soundtrack. Even timed text, as I mentioned before, that was timed so well as to leave me in a legitimate state of suspense, but only for a second or two before the story spilled its next secret.

And the writing! Each word is measured to fit its part in the story. Again, other than my one minor complaint above, which is a bit unfair for a story of this length, this is a master class in writing and production.

I don't want to say more as I don't want to spoil anything. I will just say go play this game, it is well worth your time.

You Will Thank Me as Fast as You Thank a Werewolf, by B.J. Best

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Computer generated surrealist meandering, October 7, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 30 minutes
So I had some thoughts that I was going to write here when I was about 60% of the way through the piece, but when I finished I read the About section and now I'm not sure any of it applies. The author notes that the majority of the text for this game was written by an algorithm that was seeded with some of the author's writing from the past 20 years. The result isn't so much surrealist as it is non-sensical and the choices you are offered don't steer the story, but rather just pick the next random piece of text for you to read. There isn't any story that I could discover in it. It is just a Jackson Pollock painting of words.

Clean execution. It is also accompanied by some nice music to further deepen the acid trip feeling.


1-5 of 5