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The House on Sycamore Lane

by Paul Michael Winters

Mystery
2019

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Member Reviews

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3 star:
(2)
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Number of Reviews: 4
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1-4 of 4


Enjoyable traditional haunted house mystery, December 27, 2019
by Stian
Related reviews: IFComp 2019
The House on Sycamore Lane is a very traditional haunted house mystery. It’s also riddled with bugs and typos. Despite this, I actually quite enjoyed it. None of the bugs I noticed were game breaking, and they also did not stand in the way of solving the puzzles. The puzzles were generally really nice, albeit a tad easy. What I liked about them were how they were integrated in the story, that they always felt reasonable and that they give a nice flow to playing the game. The story was nothing special, but decent enough and provided a certain level of immersion, enough to make it enjoyable. Some extensive testing and a good update could turn The House on Sycamore Lane into a rather good piece of IF.

Potential to be a good horror game, December 4, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
From the start it is obvious this is going to be a fairly standard, beginner IF. Room descriptions are sparse, what to do is almost always obvious. Still, I was hoping that it would be a fun ride. Unfortunately, there was not nearly enough beta-testing. Spelling and grammar mistakes abound. At one point you’re told if you have the right tool you can pry some nails and yet the game doesn’t understand the verb "pry." There are several other unimplemented synonyms. The game’s worst sin, however, is that this is supposed to be suspenseful yet you are frequently told how you should be feeling (e.g. “you are on edge”). As always, show, don’t tell.

This has the skeleton of a well-designed entry into the horror genre. The backstory is interesting and several of the puzzles are fun. But first it needs a rewrite.

Good game with minor issues, November 20, 2019
by Denk
Related reviews: inform
This is a quite good game with a few issues here and there but nothing serious. The story is simple but sufficient for a small entertaining puzzlefest. There was one puzzle, which made me look at the walkthrough since I was impatient to get on with the story. I immediately regretted it, since it was a fair puzzle. The rest of the puzzles were fairly easy, despite technical issues here and there and so I managed to complete it within 90 minutes. I enjoyed it.

A long, ghostly mystery parser game with some cleanup issues, October 2, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour
I give stars based on five criteria: being polished, being descriptive, emotional impact, interactivity, and if I would play again.

Polish: This game is severely lacking in this area. There are numerous typos (such as 'wet' for 'west' in one room), synonyms aren't implemented, disambiguation needs work (like trying to look at the books in the library while holding the textbooks).

Descriptiveness: This certainly isn't a lushly described game, but some of the images were vivid, especially the doll room. The author did a great job of ambiance, in my opinion.

Emotional impact: I felt the eeriness of the house a bit, and the sadness of the story, but I think both needed more work.

Interactivity: The differences in functionality between trowel, pliers, and mallet were hard for me to grasp. Alternate solutions often didn't work (for instance, why don't (Spoiler - click to show)the shears work for cutting after you weaken the vines?).

Playing again: This game doesn't draw me back in for replay.

So that's a 2/5. I think that all of my concerns could have been resolved by having several playtesters, including ones experienced in playtesting games. I'd love to see a more polished game by this author, and would volunteer for playtesting it!


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