Shufflecomp reviews (Dead Man’s Party, Eight Miles High, Sequitur, Nothing but Flowers)   Leave a comment

Dead Man’s Party, by Morrissey

DETAILS: PROBATIONARY REAPER KEVIN THANTOS IS TO TRANSPORT TO THE
HOME OF JAMES PHILLIPS, COLLECT HIS SPIRIT AND BRING IT TO
THE OTHERSIDE FOR PROCESSING. AN EVALUATION OF THIS
ASSIGNMENT WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE PROPER CHANNELS FOR THE
POSSIBLE PROMOTION OF K. THANTOS TO FULL REAPER, WITH ALL
THE BENIFITS AND DUE TO SAID POSITION

Groove Billygoat had puzzles but was so crazygonuts I never felt relaxed. Sparkle, Truth, and Light My Way Home were too abstract for me to catch the puzzly vibe. This is the first entry I’d call “soothing old school”, although the responsiveness is a little sparse so it was hard to get fully immersed (in one case, doing a correct action but having one thing wrong gets a generic response; other experimental commands result in too many default responses).

Eight Miles High, by Lambert Lambert

The letters move around a lot. You can do this, or do that, who knows. Everyone is so faceless, nobody cares.

Here’s an entry I expected to see more of: experiential wandering based on song lyrics. Genuine question: is typing supposed to be disabled? It wasn’t working in my interpreter. I ended up clicking a few links and going in circles. If so I got through all the content in 30 seconds or so.

Sequitur, by Tin Foil Jenny

“Maybe this was a mistake, Salt.” A woman’s voice, the camera operator. “Argo?”

The camera finds Argo pointing his flashlight over boxes in a corner.

The video goes black and when the footage starts again, Argo is starting up some stairs with Salt behind him. A tall figure emerges from behind them. Its eyes are large and bulging. It throws a cloud of glittering powder into their faces. Both men collapse gasping and coughing onto the floor. The camera dips as its operator begins to sway. She hacks and sputters.

I question if a parser is really the best medium here. Your goal is to put a sequence of events in story order, but with a text interface and very long story segments it gets very clunky. Perhaps some sort of interface where you could zoom-in-and-out on descriptive cards and arrange them in order with mouse clicks would be more playable; as is I got too uncomfortable trying to work things out and quit before I finished.

Nothing but Flowers, by Crabby O’Crankypants

And then, normal life begins again. Inexorably. Slowly, in hints and starts. Isn’t that always how it is, the everyday takes over? But, then again, isn’t it always the case too that hints of something wondrous come peeking out again from behind fatigue, boredom, or dulled senses, like an animal peeking out from under the covers?

another existential rambling
like Eight Miles High
no branches, just
reading
&

one place
where you can
modify some lines

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Posted May 23, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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