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About the StoryThird in a series of anthologies of unbelievable terror, edited by Ryan Veeder, again. Also an ECTOCOMP 2020 entry.
2nd Place, Le Grand Guignol - English - ECTOCOMP 2020
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Number of Reviews: 3
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There are four mini-games that I encountered, like the other Balderstone games (with each game serving just fine as a release on their own). They are:
-A complex combat game (Spoiler - click to show)This one reminded me of Kerkerkruip. You have a large map filled to the brim with weapons. You have to fight a lot of different people, but each weapon is destroyed upon use. This was fun but difficult, it took me a while to solve some of the cool sub-puzzles.
-A small game that is more interactive than most interactive fiction. (Spoiler - click to show)This is a mad-lib game where you are asked for a series of words, then you play a game involving that series of words, and it's implemented very well.
-A story told by children.(Spoiler - click to show)This has some surprises in design. Like usual. Ryan seems to think 'What if the players tried something weird and I just ran with it?
-A more traditional game at an abandoned gas station with some narrative surprises.
I thought as I played these games is that one thing Ryan does well is making sure the player encounters every story beat on every playthrough. It's so easy, due to the non-linear nature of games, for players to miss important backstory or details, but all of these games incorporate that into the gameplay itself, which is wonderful.
The first is a ridiculous improvised romp with laughs aplenty that would feel at home on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" or on stage at The Comedy Store. The second seems like a parody of the 2008 horror IF Afflicted, with it's hygiene inspector sent to a scary commercial premises. The third, written by a class of schoolkids as a project, is absolutely pitch-perfect, capturing that childrens-storytelling tone with panache. The fourth is a substantial, meaty monster-hunting adventure with many puzzles and a neat combat mechanic that feels suitably climactic.
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This is version 8 of this page, edited by Zape on 4 January 2021 at 1:20pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item