Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

IFComp 2014 Review: Milk Party / Krypteia / Raik

Posted by Reiko on November 12, 2014

This is a review of games from the 2014 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here. More web games, but these I liked more, overall.

Milk Party Palace
Authors: Alon Karmi & Glenn Parker

This is the second game so far to start with a “wake up and be late to work” kind of scene, although fortunately this one doesn’t recur. Someone must have been on something when designing the situation for this game: collect milk for Alec Baldwin. Seems more like a game jam concept than a full competition game. And the individual scenarios for collecting the milk gallons are even more improbable, although quite simple to get through.

I’m not sure if I actually reached an ending, though. After acquiring all the milk and talking to everyone at the party, the next prompt said “Next Part” but did nothing when I clicked on it. Very weird game. The blurb advertises three endings, but I’m not particularly inspired to replay to find others. It’s probably worth a look if you like zany humor.

Score: 5
Scoring: base 4, +1 for humor

Krypteia
Author: Kateri

I really liked this one, but I don’t have a whole lot to say about it. There’s a mysterious, dangerous forest to explore. The mechanic of exploration and increasing stats is familiar, but the execution is interesting. Depending on what you equip, you can lean toward the wolf (attacking) or shadow (hiding) method of getting by monsters. Each has its own dangers, of course. Multiple endings make this very replayable.

The visual execution is also very good. The text turns different colors depending on what’s going on. There are pictures with each location, many of which shift subtly from a forest to a town visual. The font is different when emphasizing the use of the wolf or shadow abilities. And there is an auto-completing map of the forest. It’s all very slick. Because of that, I don’t have anything to complain about. It was enjoyable, very polished, and it clearly has dual interpretations.

Score: 9
Scoring: base 7, +1 for map and visual execution, +1 for multiple endings

Raik
Author: Harry Giles

Oh dear. The entire text seems to be written phonetically in Scottish-English. This would be fine if I could get it to read it to me audibly, as I’ve known enough Scottish people that I don’t have much trouble understanding them verbally. Or if it was mostly dialogue in context, maybe. But I’m not sure I want to wade through an entire game written that way. Oh good, you can switch to normal English or switch back at the end of each page. On the other hand, they aren’t the same story. The normal English seems to be more of a fantasy quest story, and the Scottish seems to be more of a modern-day slice of life story. Odd juxtaposition, that. It keeps switching back and forth so it’s really hard to tell what’s going on. Maybe that’s the point? I’m not sure I get it. I played to an ending but I’m not sure if it was the best ending or not, because I couldn’t really tell what was going on in the Scots story.

Score: 6
Scoring: base 7, -1 for switching back and forth between stories so often

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