Oh Hello there, Earth which I dropped off the face of!

Posted in General Ramblings, Interactive Fiction on April 16, 2011 by preacherjohnposits

Query:  If one is in the process of reviewing IF-Comp games, and then gets hit with months and months of “irl bullshit”, so much so that Spring Thing rolls around before you remembered to post the last five or so reviews…  is that actually an achievement, rather than a failure?  Is it conceivable that one could *not review* something so fervently that, in a metaphysical sense, they have in fact reviewed things?

Anyway, it’s Spring Thing and I am excited by Spring Thing.  So what I am going to do is review some Spring Thing, and then post the “lost reviews” from last comp.  Sorry those took so long, but it’s been a rough couple of months for extra-curricular joys and hobbies.


One Eye Open: More teeth than a dental landfill.

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 18, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

We’re continuing with the scary games.  It stopped raining awhile ago, but now I am home alone in the middle of the night, so there’s that.  Let’s get on with One Eye Open, a glulx game by Colin Sandel and Carolyn VanEseltine.  I’ve heard some rumblings about this game, but I’m trying to put them out of my mind for the review.

Since I have no other rss buffer text, let’s turn to another excerpt from my unpublished novel “Deltoidclese: Laser Barbarian in Space“.  May god help us all.

–       “The Dame wears red,” grunted Deltoidclese, mentally to himself in his mind, as he fondled his laser-sword under the space-desk in his space-office. “Lots of red.  And a big pointy red hat with a white felt ball on top.  And she has a beard, although Deltoidclese has nothing but sympathy for glandular disorders.”
–       All of a sudden the self-same Dame, sitting across the space-desk from our hero, erupted: “You’ve got to help me, Deltoidclese!  Space hoodlums have stolen my sleigh!”  And then big ol’ tears began to roll down the Dame’s face and off her beard, pooling on her huge jelly-bowl-like belly.
–       “This close to the holidays?!?” Deltoidclese thundered, “By Space-Crom!  This. Will. Not!  STAND!”  And then he stood.
–       “You’ll take the case?? How can I ever thank you enough?” expulsed the Dame joyously.
–       “With your tongues,” replied the muscly brick-shit-house of a space-barbarian.  “Both of them.”

I’ve already squicked myself out and I haven’t even started the horror game!  That’s great!

I hope you’re happy, lone rss guy. Spoilers under here, go play the game!

The Blind House: Flowers yes, puppies no.

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 18, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

Today, our beautiful valley in the South Bay has been blessed with rain.  Lots of rain.  The kind of rain that that arrives courtesy of towering gray clouds pressing so closely to the ground that you could reach up and poke one with a broom if so inclined.

This is scary game weather.  Let’s play some scary-looking games, starting with The Blind House by Maude Overton.

I won’t lie.  The cover art to The Blind House gives me the creeping willies.  If this game turns out to be full of flower-garlanded puppies, I will be disappointed on a primal level at the misrepresentation. Something tells me I will not be disappointed.

I’m writing this bit after playing the game: this is another one of those reviews/discussions filled with spoilers that you will probably not want in your head before playing it yourself.  So be warned, spoilers ahoy.

Go play the game before clicking here, or you’ll grow hair on your palms. Wait, that was something else.

The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 16, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

I’ve noticed that the recurring themes of this comp are the Bible and Communism.  Something weird going on in the ol’ collective unconscious, I guess.

Up now we have The People’s Glorious  Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, a z-code game by Taylor Vaughan.  If I have to refer to the game by title again, I’m abbreviating to “TPGRTAG”, because typing it the first time gave me carpal tunnel syndrome.  Observational evidence collected in the last minute says that if you shout the abbreviation at someone you live with (i.e. “TupgerTaag, sexy lady!”), they look at you like you’re having a stroke.

You’ll also note that this is the first review without some kind of subtitle, largely for the same title-is-long-already reason.  Rest assured that it has one in my head, perhaps something like “You see no nuclear wessels here”, or “Oh, I won the people’s bodies, alright.”  Just imagine it there after the title, please.

Let’s crack TPGRTAG open and see what’s inside.

TupgerTaag! I mean, spoilers below this cut!

IF Comp 2010: Master Post… Of Dooooom!

Posted in General Ramblings, IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 15, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

This is a sticky’d master list for those of you coming in via the main page, in case you’re looking for a specific game review.  Links will be added as I keep playing through the games.  Here are the reviews in the order I played them so far, plus other useful shwag:

Links for specific games under the cut!

The 12:54 to Asgard: No, I meant the ACTUAL fertilizer

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 15, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

Next up we have The 12:54 to Asgard, a z-code game by J. Robinson Wheeler (another regular name in this here community).

12:54 to Asgard is a fun title.  It conveys a definite whimsy, a potential for menace, and yet it tells you nothing. Are Norse gods involved?  An alternate universe train journey? A long Galatea-style ask/tell conversation with someone named Yorgenborg Horgenshmorger?  Only one way to find out, as always!

But first, goddamned rss buffer text.  Here’s a quick IF reenactment of practically every large-scale war fought in Europe:

>invade Russia
***You have died***

Wasn’t that fun?  Let’s get on with the game.

Oh mah baby, she love them spoilers, she put them under this ol’ link!

A plea from those with large hands and small keyboards

Posted in General Ramblings, Interactive Fiction on October 15, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

This is a mini-rant unrelated to any specific game, but I figured I’d throw this out there while I have potential author attention.  If you’re using an ask/tell system in a game, either use one of those extension/framework things where the game remembers who you’re talking to (where you can just type “ask about x” after the first time you actually name the npc), or give your npc’s bloody simple names.  One of my hypothetical nightmares as a player is a Galatea-style long conversation with a character named something like Yorgenborg Horgenshmorger (of the Massachusetts Horgenshmorgers, of course).  Please, please don’t do things like this.  Unless you specifically want us not to talk to that character, in which case kudos on a successful application of player psychology.

Mite: Not So Friggin’ Huge

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 15, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

I haven’t posted reviews in a couple of days.  Partially this has been due to a strange combination of overwork and laziness, and partially this is because one of my online thingers got hacked.  So I got paranoid and changed all my passwords to everything.  And now, of course, I can’t remember my new passwords to anything.  But I eventually remembered this one!

So up now we have Mite, a z-code game by Sara Dee.  Sara Dee is also responsible for Madam Spider’s Web, a game which I am currently mixing up in my head with Plotkin’s Spider and Web, which is causing some vaguely amusing visual imagery of a giant house frau spider strapped to an interrogation table.  Anyhoo.  Let’s keep the buffer text short today and play this game.

Spoilers. I’m trying to hold them back, but they just. Keep. COMING!

Lost Sheep: Found!

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 11, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

As you might guess from my last rss-buffer entry, I’m not particularly church-going.    Aside from involuntarily dropping the f-bomb in polite company like some kind of syphilis-maddened avante-garde poet, I have the odd luck of going to church (any church) when the normal pastor is out sick and they have temporarily replaced him or her with Embarrassingly Crazy Preacher From Dimension Y.

The last time this happened, I was visiting a friend’s church nearby, and sure enough the normal guy (who was supposed to be giving a sermon on the importance of cultivating unconditional love and tolerance) was out sick.  His replacement for the day spent a solid hour giving a very heartfelt, impassioned speech that every single “negative” mental state humans have (anger, anxiety, lust, depression, what-have-you) is literally a demon trying to invade our souls*.  By the end of it, half of the congregation was face-palming, and the other half were desperately fashioning tin-foil hats.

So these days I generally just stay at home and try to be as good a person as possible to other people.

All that aside, I like bible stories.  And I’m always interested to see how people repackage and retell their favorites.   So up next we have The Lost Sheep, a z-code game by Ben Pennington, based on a very gentle parable.  Let’s take a gentle look.

Toot toot! Spoilers comin’ through!

Leadlight: Kickin’ it oldschool.

Posted in IfComp, Interactive Fiction on October 10, 2010 by preacherjohnposits

I should probably be reviewing one of the bible games next, since I had planned to space those out a little (so as not to unintentionally compare one to the other), but I’ve been semi-subconsciously avoiding them.  Not because I’m anti-bible (was raised Christian, and much of the second half is the basis for my own ethical system) but because I have a tendency to swear like a sailor. That might well piss off some otherwise reasonable people in the context of reviewing a bible game.  Unless the bible game itself was full of hurtful cuss-words, which would be kind of unique.

Anyway, I’ll hit one of the biblical games tomorrow and try to work on my swearing problem.  In the meantime, I’m going to kick it old-school style with one of the weirdo-interpreter games, Leadlight (a… wow, an Apple II game, by Wade Clarke).  It most definitely does NOT look like a bible game. At least not New Testament.

As most of you know already, weirdo-interpreter games can be kind of… bad… so I’m approaching this one with a bit of trepidation.  The artwork is purdy though, so I have some hope.  And I know that other people tend to skip the weirdo-interpreter games, so maybe if it is good I can get the word out or something.

Anyhoo, on with the show!

This line right here? Spoilers under it. Spoilers and a whole lotta candy corn.