I’ve been playing some of the games from the 2009 IF Comp. These are text-adventure games, arty to various degrees, meant to be be judged in under two hours of play. The games can be found here. My reviews will be categorized under “IFComp.”
A general statement: I’m not trying to judge the competition comprehensively, though I may wind up doing so. Mostly I’m looking for a game to be diverting. In fact, I’m not paying attention to the two-hour limit, because any game that gets me to play it for two hours is going to be full of win. I stopped playing some of these games in the middle, well before the two-hour mark. Part of that is my short attention span; so be it. I’m going to be talking mostly about the experience I had, which is in large part going to depend on whether the game did something to frustrate me, which means that a relatively well-crafted game can get docked for the one uncrafty thing that I wind up banging my head against.
I’m also not great at puzzles. I like it when I can figure them out, though. If I can’t figure them out, I like it when, after I peek at the solution (or hints), I think “Oh! I should’ve thought of that.”
To avoid spoiling games for anyone who happens by, all my reviews will be after the jump, and the really spoily parts will be after a spoiler space. They’ll also start with some filler text, probably the first couple of paragraphs above (which will get repetitive; sorry).
A couple of general notes (non-spoily, but under the fold anyway):
I couldn’t start the one ADRIFT game I tried (The Ascot), even after downloading an ADRIFT plug-in for Zoom. So I’m not playing those games.
I also found the main IF comp page confusing; I don’t believe there’s a direct link to the list of games above, is there? I suppose this is partly because you’re encouraged to download the games, but I spent a little while wandering around the page before I found that list. (This probably indicates how bad I am at IF — if I wind up wandering around a web page, lost and frustrated, how much more lost and frustrated will I get in a game which is supposed to puzzle you? Oh well.)
Also, the play online page doesn’t tell you which games have supplemental files. This got me for one game which was a lot easier to do with the map that was supplied.
OK, grumblings aside, the IF Comp is a nice thing. Onward to some reviews.