Wrapping up IF Comp 2010

So, the results are out for this year's IF Comp. The top three games are Aotearoa, Rogue of the Multiverse, and One Eye Open. While I didn't make it through these top three, I'm not surprised to see Aotearoa win. It seemed like a very strong entry just from the introduction, and I'm still planning on playing it.

As for the other games I didn't get to... several I started to play and then chose to quit. The horror games, for example, got skipped (I'm just not into creepy zombies and such) and I left them unrated. As time ran out, I gave up on my random list to try to play a few games I had been looking forward to (like Revolutionary) but I still couldn't get to everything

Of the games I played, Death off the Cuff and The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game were my favorites. They placed the highest of the games I played: fifth and seventh. Not too shabby. Those would be my recommendations as must plays for this year's comp, at least until I get to the top contenders.

Congrats to the winners and thanks all for another year of IF Comp gaming fun!


If Comp: The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game

Author: Taylor Vaughan
System: Z-code 
Blurb: Blurb: Sure, there's only five of you against a world full of reactionaries, but you have Revolutionary Spirit! You can't possibly fail. Nothing can stand in your way! Now if only you could find your Revolutionary to-do list...
Time Played: about an hour
More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...

If Comp: The Chronicler

Author: John Evans 
System: Z-code 
Blurb: A short game with a few interesting tricks. 
Time Played: not long
More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


If Comp: Gigantomania

Author: Michelle Tirto
System: Glulx
Blurb: Living under the Stalin era, in four parts.
Time Played: 1 hour

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...

IF Comp: A quiet evening at home

Author: anonymous
System: Z-code 
Blurb: They say you should write what you know. Sorry.
Time Played: About 30 mins

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


IF Comp: Oxygen

Author: ShadowK
System: Glulx
Blurb: An explosion rattles the Aegis mining station and the oxygen tanks are leaking. Who gets the remaining oxygen and who will perish? The choice is up to you, a lowly technician trapped in an access conduit.
Time Played: 45 mins, to multiple endings

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


IF Comp: East Grove Hills

Author: XYZ
System: Z-code
Time Played: 20 mins

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


IF Comp: Death Off the Cuff

Author: Simon Christiansen
System: Z-code 
Setup: You're a detective about to do the dramatic reveal-the-murderer bit. Too bad you're still not sure whodunnit.
Time Played: 45 mins

More (pretty non-spoilery) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


IF Comp: The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep

Author: Ben Pennington
System: Z-code 
Blurb: There is dissent in the ranks! One of your sheep makes a run for the next field, jumping gracefully over the hedgerows. You stand up quickly and collect your crook. You need that sheep!
Time Played: About 30 mins with replays

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...

IF Comp: Heated

Author: Timothy Peers
System: Z-code 
Blurb: Get to work early, don't get too angry and get your raise.
You've been a slacker for long enough, and this is your one opportunity to really wow the boss!
Time Played: About 30 mins, with multiple play-throughs.

More (with spoilers) after the break, you may wish to play before reading...


IF Comp: Blurbs and Intros

Every year, before I get started on my in-depth game playing for the IF Comp, I like to take a bit of time to ponder the blurbs (on the game info/voting page) and the introductions or openings to all the games. Here's my thoughts after doing this initial overview...

Blurbs: As usual, it's a mixed bag with the blurbs. Some authors don't provide any text, and yet I'm still intrigued (like with Mite, I'm excited just because it's Sara Dee, or Pen and Paint, because it's subtitled An Interactive Scribbling). Others totally suck me in with their titles and/or intros: How can I not want to play The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game? Or Flight of the Hummingbird? (These lighthearted entries are especially appealing in a year that seems loaded with heavy, life-or-death survival games). Also, what's with all the non-English titles? (Some seemed made up to me, but then turned out to be real, like Aotearoa and Erebus.)

Intros: I like to play the openings and just a little bit into all the games to get a better idea what they're about and to whet my appetite for what's to come. This involves checking out cover art (if any), reading the opening screen(s) and typing a command or two (or ten). Usually I try ABOUT or INFO whether prompted to at the beginning or not; I also do a quick X ME and I(nventory) and maybe a fun command like JUMP or SING to test for non-default responses. If I'm feeling so moved by the opening stuff, I may try a few more commands, examining or getting or going.

Playing the intros is always more informative than just reading the blurbs. Two games warned me they are for mature audiences (thanks for that, I'm not your audience so I won't be playing or voting on these). There were three games I played to an end (obviously not the ideal ending) in just a couple of minutes! (I quickly managed to incite a mob, have a flight mishap, and wet myself.) I'm most excited to return to Aotearoa (even if tutorial mode is a bit agressive in its helpfulness) and Death off the Cuff (which makes much more sense than how i first read the title as Death of  the Cuff). I liked Oxygen's intro way more than its blurb and am more interested in East Grove Hills now that I've seen the beginning. I'm still looking forward to Hummingbird, Pen and Paint, and Revolutionary.

So, on to the in-depth playing!


Another year, another IF Comp...

The 2010 IF Comp games are out, woo hoo! Only 25* this year although there are several authors I recognize -- I'm OK with quality over quantity. Also, almost all of the games are available to play online. Sweet!

(If you haven't heard of interactive fiction, or IF games, you've been missing out! Remember the old Infocom text adventures? Yes, people are still writing and playing games like that. Think imagination over 3D graphics, puzzle-solving over shooting everything in sight. And the IF Comp is the big competition of the year. So go play the games already!)

*26, actually, apparently one game was left out at first by mistake. 


Greetings, Programs!

I like games.