Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

IFComp 2015 Review: Various Web Entries (part 1)

Posted by Reiko on November 21, 2015

This is a review of games from the 2015 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here. All of these games are produced in web-based systems (probably Twine, but I’m not sure).

Crossroads
Author: Cat Manning

I don’t have much to say about this one. It’s the sort of thing that can mean almost anything depending on what you want to make of it. It’s quite short and replayable. I get the impression that it was written as a sort of catharsis for something. It may well resonate more with others than it did with me, as there’s really not much of a story here.

Time: 15 min
Scoring: base 7, +1 for multiple endings, -1 for shortness, -1 for psychological vagueness
Score: 6

Second Story
Author: Fred Snyder

This is a short piece about a retired thief who’s been yanked into one more job. It’s pretty straightforward, really, so I don’t have much to say about it. The bit with the ladder was annoying, as trying to put it down or against the wall doesn’t work; it has to be put “on the fire escape”. The puzzles are interspersed with longer cut-scenes, which in this kind of story works very well.

Time: 20 min
Scoring: base 7, -1 for shortness
Score: 6

Seeking Ataraxia
Author: Glass Rat Media

Another psychotherapeutic piece attempting to get everyone to understand a particular condition. Seems like every comp has one or two of these nowadays. This one explores the anxiety generated by OCD tendencies. It’s very short and there aren’t very many choices, so it’s quick to play through. Ultimately, while it explores the headspace of someone with OCD, it isn’t much of a game.

Time: 15 min
Scoring: base 7, -1 for shortness, -1 for lack of game
Score: 5

Duel
Author: piato

Another short piece, this one a strange duel of memories where the PC must choose the right order to use his own memories in order to counter his opponent’s memories. There’s no backstory about why this duel is happening or what happens afterward; only the battle itself matters.

Time: 15 min
Scoring: base 7, -1 for shortness, -1 for lack of story, +1 for battle interactions
Score: 6

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