Competitions

This is not about IF Comp

Posted in Competitions, Mind and Heart on December 8th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 5 Comments

I didn’t vote. Actually, I only played three entries. But I did ship my prize to the prize chooser.

There are two reasons for this. One is shameful: I’m lazy, and when I start having a lot on my plate, I crash and burn and brilliantly succeed in doing nothing. That also happens when I have almost nothing on my plate. Actually, there is only a very fragile structure inside which I function. When something changes that structure a tiny bit, I become boring, pathetic, self pitiful, and useless. Oh, I also try to rationalize the consequences of this laziness to the best of my efforts, so hurray for that!

Now that I got that out of my chest, let’s move on to the above mentioned rationalization reason number two: I stopped knowing what to do when voting for a general competition. It all started with my first random entry: Gijsbers’ Kerkerkruip.

Kerkerkruip didn’t interest me. It’s not that I thought it to be bad, it’s just that it belongs to a party that, within IF, has no appealing to me. So, what to do? Score it low? I decided not to score it at all.

Second on the list was The Play. I kind of enjoyed it, and I felt ready to assign that enjoyment a number, which I did, and I was now a bit happier.

Thirdly, Pata Noir came crawling for my attention. Half way through it, it hit me: I had decided not to score Kerkerkruip, on the grounds of it being out of my “competence to compare” box, but I couldn’t compare Pata Noir to The Play any better. Sure, I could compare small things, like oxford commas and fragile characters, but not the whole thing.

Still reading? Well, I’m now going to talk about cartoons, so be warned.

A few years back, a friend of mine was in rage over the fact Rattatouille won Best Animated Feature Film over Persepolis. I asked her why, to which she replied “Persepolis is such a better movie!!!” Well, is it? How do you compare the two, when the only thing they have in common is that they’re not made out of sequential photographs? Heck, you can’t even compare the quality of the animation, since they rely on completely different techniques. So, is there any sense in such an award?

This overwhelmed me right in the beginning of the comp. How to compare those three things? How to compare a puzzle fest to an all-narrative piece? A parser thing to a non-parser thing? How to assign a number to whole package? And so I delayed my decision, and eventually the need to vote went away – because the Comp ended, of course.

This is not to say I suddenly found IF Comp to be useless. It is the biggest IF promoter out there, it gives authors a reason and a deadline to write their works, and it offers them a huge amount of feedback. On the other hand, I’m actually in love with the concept of thematic competitions, things a bit like IntroComp, in which a common ground, being it technical or content related, is expected and compared. Yes, more of those would be cool.

“Well, here it is, I’ve rationalized it to dust. Now I can keep on pretending laziness had nothing to do with it,” I end up saying.

“Well, ok, you stated reasons not to vote, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t explain why you haven’t wrote a line about any of the entries. You ended up not contributing to a single author’s work in any way,” I firmly reply.

“Oh,” I sigh in response, and then I hesitate for a second, and then I rehearse an intelligent reply only to realize there isn’t a quark of intelligence in it. I give up. “Yeah? So go fuck yourself,” I yell to myself, as I walk away, hands inside pockets.

The hands represent the shame. The pockets represent large amounts of text in which the shame tries to hide.

On Comps and Reviews

Posted in Competitions, Mind and Heart on October 1st, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 3 Comments

IF Comp 11 is around the corner, and G+ just told me there will be about 40 entries this year. The thing is getting bigger and bigger, right? So I started to wonder about the point of writing reviews. Not that I have written many. Or any. What I write here is as reviewish as my curry chicken is fine cuisinish. So, what are these things most of us write?

Most reviews are statements of the personal feelings one has about a given title. Let’s call this one Review Type Alpha. To my little eye, these reviews have license to be both spoilery and evil. Things like, I think the prose was shitty, the NPCs laughable, the puzzles childish, and so on. The reviewer is just stating his opinion of both the game as a whole, and details of it.

Other kind of review is the one which aims at a possible gamer, not the game itself. Review Type Beta, or something. This review should try not to be spoilery, and should refrain from being evil. The reviewer is writing something to help a lonely and lovely player, during a stormy night, decide if he wants to play carrot adventure or eggplant adventure. It is something like a book review or a movie review should be on a magazine.

Lets go for a Review Type Gamma, as a review that aims the author. It addresses issues that both work and fail in a game, but focusing on what could be done to improve upon it. These reviews don’t bash per bashing, but they are written in that pleasant way, almost like a professor talking with his student about some paper. Yes, I know some professors are hard core violent when doing this, but the point is always trying to get the student to improve the present work or refrain from messing up future ones. Many times, these are the most annoying reviews to read, if you’re not the author.

So, Alpha, Beta and Gamma.

Beta reviews are the ones I like to see in IFDB, not in blogs about comp entries. A Beta review aims at the possible player of a possible title, but, during a competition, a reviewer/voter should try playing them all, not just the ones who sound good, so what’s the point of a Beta review during a competition?

A competition isn’t a betatesting playground, so Gamma reviews shouldn’t be expected by the authors. Bitching around a reviewer for not having submitted bug reports, or not having sent private emails with suggestions, not only it is stupid, as it is also stupid. So, don’t be stupid, is what I’m trying to say.

Competition related, I think Alpha reviews are both the appropriate kind, and the most common ones, since they’re there to justify the score given. They are also excuses to do many things, such as blowing off some steam, being hateful just for the sake of it, making fun of others, showing off how funny and smart and educated and creative and prosaic and capable of solving the Schrödinger equation you are, etc. Many dislike this. I don’t. I love this. I love that a review is something on top of being about something. So shoot me.

But are Alpha reviews helpful to an author? Well, here’s the thing: a review, being Alpha, Beta or Gamma, is always helpful to the author. Let’s take the “This is plain shit (TIPS)” review: is it helpful? Yes: it tells the author that a particular person disliked everything about that game. If the same reviewer liked a title with which the author identifies himself with, then it tells the author that it probably failed his attempt, but a TIPS review coming from someone who loved the latest Nicholas Sparks, may tell you you’re on the right track and fill you with joy. What about a TIPS review from someone who only writes TIPS reviews? Is it helpful? Good Lord, yes. It is there so that authors can polish their filters. You see, we have to build, alter and maintain filters throughout our lives, mainly on the Internet, where everything that can happen, will eventually happen. Having good filters is a sign of intelligence, so if you always take a TIPS review to bed, regardless of its origins, then, I’m sorry to tell you, you’re a dumb fuck.

But what are the most violent reviews of them all, as far as an author is concerned? I don’t think that are the ones that insult your work. Again, a Sparks fan insulting you work should make your day. The worst reviews are the ones who point out flaws with which you agree, but that you failed to address when writing your piece, and you failed it either because you didn’t see it as a flaw yourself, or just because you’re just not that good enough to work it out. Those hurt like knives. Saw knives. Saw knives piercing your eye balls. Saw knives piercing your eye balls and a bucket of nitric acid down your throat. By the way, you know what’s the pH of a 200 mL solution with 1,26 g of nitric acid? It’s 1,3!

IntroComp2011: Chunky, Gargoyle, Despondency, Parthenon

Posted in Competitions on July 27th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 1 Comment

I’ve just found myself with a lot of work to do, and so I have been unable to write about these four remaining entries (yes, four, which means I just lost my Kinder collection) the way I wrote about the others. I still wanted to tell the authors what I felt about them. So here it goes, spoiler free, four games, four paragraphs.

Chunky Blues by Scott Hammack and Jessamin Yu

I’ve found the chunking mechanism great, and I would definitely would like to see it used again, but it will be hellish to balance well. In this particular case, I’ve found one of the easiest combinations in the first puzzle to be the hardest, just because I found it so obvious I would never thought of chunking those pieces together. The story itself put me off, and some moments, like talking to a completely random NPC about an important aspect of the game, made me grind my teeth (Is that the expression? Teeth grinding? Heck, I’m too tired to google at this late hour.)

Despondency Index by Ed Blair

An entry with three moments, none of which I cared about much. The first one not being atmospheric enough; the second one not being… nothing enough (is that a possible expression? ‘not being nothing enough’?); and the third one being a twist moment that threw everything that happened before out of the apartment’s window, right when the monster from Cloverfield happened to pass by – or so it seemed.

Gargoyle by Simon

The best part of Gargoyle is not being Exile. It aims higher, but in the end it also falls harder. I cannot help but thinking that Gargoyle is Petal Throne’s weak sister: you start with the creature’s growing up, you decide a few important aspects of  his character, and the off you go to the land of battles and knights. The thing is, it rushes through all of it like it’s running from the plague. Petal Throne chose a moment in the PC’s youth and explored it well; Gargoyle tries to give you (almost) all of the growing up process, and fails.

Parthenon by Charles Wickersham

I’ve read someone claiming to be Parthenon’s author, and swearing it not being a prank. The message came across so heartfelt, I ended up believing it. There is nothing new for me to say that hasn’t been said already. Nothing, but absolutely nothing, worked for me with this entry, and the twist finale didn’t make up for the rest. I didn’t got the what-the-hell-this-is-not-Parthenon! enlightenment from the beginning. It only clicked when, at a given point, I’m at a cliff near the sea, which got me thinking “Wait… this can’t be right! I shouldn’t be able to suicide myself jumping from the Parthenon to the Mediterranean!” Yes, a suicide thought cleared things up for me. That’s sad. For me, I mean. I should go and get some sleep.

IntroComp2011: Speculative Fiction

Posted in Competitions on July 25th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – Be the first to comment

Yes, IntroComp is over, the ceremony was held, but I’ll finish what I started.

As some of my one point four million readers know, I’m from, and living in, Portugal, the country which Moody’s downgraded to junk a few weeks back. Someone told me I should worry about this, but I’m actually happy with the news. You see, in 2008 Moodys gave a pop quiz test to the Lehman Bros and they passed, with a multiple A score and a letter of commendation. Five seconds later, the Lehman Bros broke, but-raping the entire world in the process. Moody’s (and friends) representatives were given a scary interview about the matter, with scary interviewers gazing down at them with scary eyes. It will be so scary, the interviewers said, these mean bastards won’t do it again. During these interviews, these representatives weeped, held one another, and went on record stating ‘ You can’t blame us for this! We were just giving our opinion, it is just an opinion!’ And, my dear Moody’s, your opinion is so on the money, that I can’t help but thinking that following a rating of financial junk, Portugal’s treasure will rise to the mesosphere, giving birth to the real space age, founding the Intergalactic Empire, and finally bringing us those damn light-sabers.

> speculations after this accurate diagram

Speculative Fiction by Diane Christoforo and Thomas Mack

There are two ways to make a piece of work a good piece of work.

The first one is by creating ground-breaking moments, or an overall ground-breaking work. Ground-breaking, of course, doesn’t (just) mean it is different from everything out there. To accomplish ‘difference’ is easy: you make a list of what everyone does, and do the opposite. Ground-breaking is hard: you’ll have to accomplish something that is going to create or redefine a genre, that is going to inspire or dictate how others are going to do things from then on, it is going to be copied, recreated, and so on. These are commonly the works that people talk about after a decade, but are also the works that may or may not age well, since they’re main triumph may just have been to open ground to others, others who may end up creating better works with that new paradigm. And so here we have our, let me think, Photopia.

The other way is to create a piece that doesn’t redefine anything, that actually works inside the same canvas everybody works, following the same rules and paradigms, but doing it remarkably well. These works tend to always age with class, since their strength isn’t the novelty of it all, but how  finely crafted they are. And so here we have our, let me think, Savoir Faire.

Speculative Fiction is a good piece of work that falls into this second paragraph. It does not try to do anything different, it does not have a novelty gimmick, but what it does, it does well. It is a good humored story, with a strong, snarky prose, good pace, and one puzzle that works. It’s about a raven and his wizard master. This wizard is unconscious inside a prison tower, locked for having been creative with the state’s finances. Yes, the parallelisms with 2008′s circus are obvious, from the title, to filling the kingdom’s vaults with money which doesn’t exist, and one instance of  good old insurance fraud, but that’s sadly where this intro falls short. Giving the humorous tone and the wizardish setting, one would expect that all the nonsense of our narrow minded capitalism, along with the sheer stupidity of the finance system (I will soon have an economist here telling me ‘I just don’t get it’), would be absurdified to the point of  speculative tears, but the truth is most jokes are language jokes, the laughs come from the prose, not from the situations, and the absurd of it all gets normalized by comparison.

So, when this intro ended, I can say I was hooked. It was the best entry I’ve played. The first five minutes were wonderful, and the rest of the entry quite enjoyable. No, it isn’t a masterpiece, but I will sure try to get my fingers on it when the full version comes out.

IntroComp2011: Bender

Posted in Competitions on July 19th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – Be the first to comment

Do you recall last year’s Waker? Or the movie Jumper? Or the game Twister? Or the ice-cream Twister? Following on the tradition of the above examples, Bender is a piece about bending. Well, maybe not bending as you might imagine it, like bending iron or bending roads, but more like bending the laws of physics — and logic.

> bend bender to reach spoilers

Bender by Colleen Boye

Truth is, Bender is more related to Jumper than with any of the remaining examples. It’s the story about someone who has a power. Others have similar powers. The ones who have these powers have a —er kind of name, both specific and general enough to mean basically anything. It is Bender (in this game) and Jumper (in the movie), but it would go fine with Breaker, Timer, Summoner or Dancer. Bender is particularly interesting, since nothing remotely resembled to bending (other than bending logic) happens when the powers that be use their powers.

The first part of the game got me stuck for a while. Good ol’ Gargoyle coughed me a bunch of question marks with different colors all over the place, together with some black, white and gray squares. This was my map, and I was to bend my way through it. I started by getting this bend thing all wrong, and the game didn’t help me get going. The messages I got after trying to bend a wall to where the wall already was where vague. I insisted on “> bending north”, trying to bend the north wall, but I should be “>bending east” instead, to place the wall east of my position. It took me a while, and a few desert deaths, to get my bending going, but I finally got my bleeding ass to the jeep.

At this point I was thinking “Why is this IF? Why isn’t this a Flash game?” The answer came flying in the form of a girl with medicine hands, who I immediately imagined being Olivia Wilde. She ends up rescuing our hero in a very traditional IF way, revealing she’s also a bender in the process. She bends different things, with completely different physics implications, so this bending business is quite open; fully open, one could say.

So, when this intro ended, I got mixed feelings. I found Part One (better known as The Flash Sequence) to be annoying, but I welcomed being dropped right into the action from the beginning. Part two actually had text, and it wasn’t all that bad, but this kind of plot puts me off big time.

IntroComp2011: Of Pots and Mushrooms

Posted in Competitions on July 19th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 1 Comment

Now, do tell me what is the first thing it comes to your mind when you have an entry with “pots” and “mushrooms” in the title. Be sincere. Of course: SPAM comments! I thought the same thing!

I was going to give this entry a “WHAT?” review, a review in which I would just add a “WHAT?” after almost every single paragraph in the game. But since the title violently makes me think of SPAM comments, I’m going to replace every “WHAT?” with one of the few SPAM comments I daily get in this place. Enjoy.

> all caps spoilers after the children’s illustration

Of Pots and Mushrooms by Devi and Maya

So, here we go, the WHAT?-replaced-with-SPAM review:

You’re a Chinese samurai imprisoned in Japan. You have to get back to your family. What will you do?

I always thought commenting was stupid, but for this blog i shall give it a go. Im loving it!…

This game contains achievements.

You have unlocked the About achievement!

Happy birthday to Assata Shakur, July 16, 1947. In exile and still fighting for the minds and liberation of the People…. ???????????? I give EXILE virus to him…lol…so happy…he’s downloading exile’s song nau…

Also, there is a gambling simulation that can be very addicting. Please remember, the money you earn is NOT REAL. Characters may or may not be based of people, fictitious or otherwise.

EWVPtP zzlpxfyvylcw, [url=http://laobryvgqopq.com/]laobryvgqopq[/url], [link=http://wxcqjjivggib.com/]wxcqjjivggib[/link], http://lbvixreiffwr.com/

Before you can utter a word, the guards come rushing in, killing the kid,

This is a good blog. Keep up all the work. I too love blogging and expressing my opinions. Thanks Thomas Sabo,Tiffany Jewelry.Gucci Jewelry http://www.classictiffany.com/

“Ugh… You’re DISGUSTING!” He hits you with a police baton.”

I’m outranking you in google. Want to find out how? I’m making use of the SEOpressor plugin for wp. Try it right now here.

You hit him right in the chest and he falls down dead.

do penis pumps really work…

[…penis male enlargement exercises are one of the methods to make a bigger penis. Through these exercisesthe penis becomes able to fill with more blood than before.

"Hey, there's an old rusty sword in the back here. I figure you'd have more use for it than me; it's not like anyone else around here will buy it. You want it?" [after buying stuff in a store which the PC is visiting for the first time, mind]

Look at me!

Well, what do you think? Do you trust this man? He is a foreigner and might just messing with you for the loooolzzzz.

Незнаю, что здесь windows mobile 5 для samsung i710 скачать всетаки не то, что нужно, но может имеется другой вариант, а то там не получается, да и вообще устал искать.

This is the end…. for now. Play again, or wait for the second installment to see if you can find the Indian prince and your family!

What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of various subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.

Now, you have to admit SPAM comments do know how to make one feel good. I’m in love.

IntroComp2011: All Things Considered

Posted in Competitions on July 16th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 5 Comments

I’ve just submited my votes. No, I haven’t wrote my thoughts on all of the entries; yes, I did play them all; and yes, I’ll try to write about them when I get a chance. I’m not going to post numbers here, but I’ll throw some names into some drawers, with no particular order.

So, if the full version becomes available, I will…

… caress that download link with little delay:

> A Choice of Zombies by Heather Albano

> Stalling for Time by Dominic Delabruere

> Speculative Fiction by Diane Christoforo and Thomas Mack

… check the homepage, but I’ll probably find better things to do:

> Bender by Colleen Boye

> Chunky Blues by Scott Hammack and Jassamin Yu

> Choice of the Petal Throne by Danielle Goudeau

… give it a second chance, if the author takes a six month leave from work to polish it between now and then:

> The Z-Machine Matter by Zack Urlocker

> Seasons by Poster

… play it if the alternative is to adopt and give love to a peacock:

> Despondency Index by Ed Blair

> Both Exile and Gargoyle by Simon

… play it if the alternative is to have my friends and family pecked by an angry mob of peacocks, with rabies:

> Of Pots and Mushrooms by Devi and Maya

 

And that’s it for this year’s bunch. These are all the entries* in 2011 IntroComp. We should now raise our glasses to the authors, the voters, the reviewers and lady Jacqueline for putting up with all of us. A hard task. Cheers.

* No, I’m not forgetting about any of the entries.

IntroComp2011: Seasons

Posted in Competitions on July 11th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 3 Comments

Playing Seasons made me realize I forgot something of great importance, probably the most important thing of all important things, judging by the MPAA criteria to rate a movie, at least. Here it goes:

FUCK

If you think being exposed to words like the above creates a micro black hole inside your intestines, then you should steal your chocolate cookies from another jar.

> more explanations after the warning

Seasons by Poster

Start Seasons up. Fool around for a few turns, get lost, whatever, then type ‘FUCK’. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(waiting)

Yes, the game gives you a “The world shatters.” response, and then it closes on your face. Now start it up again and type ‘QUIT’. You’ll be asked if you really want to do it (which you will, sooner or later), and then the game just stays there, without closing. Now, if I go as far as saying this was the high point of Seasons for me, will you guess how much I liked it?

If you guessed I didn’t liked anything about it, you’re wrong.

As it stands, Seasons isn’t an intro (again!), but an unfinished, sandboxy, surreal, confusing, buggy, ultrapoetical, incomprehensible game. After half an hour into it, I’ve found handfuls of programming errors, one NPC of little impact, a few interesting spooky moments (I’ll get into that), a lot of over-the-top descriptions (I’ll get into that also), and no point whatsoever about what am I suppose to be doing.

But let’s talk about those descriptions. Imagine a field with grass, except for that dirt line without grass. For this reason alone, let’s call this dirt line a ‘path’. But calling this “a field of grass with a path” is dull, so let’s go for “a field as a green gift of wobbling illusions, wrapped with a fragile ribbon of gold and promises, longing for the twirl of an infant’s finger to pull into existence, only to reveal the bones of our fathers, a sign of our failures to come, while the air fills your head with screams of shame and shouts of blame, as if Santa Claus is the curse of the misfits.” There, much better. Now repeat for every tree, leave and log cabin you find, and you have Seasons. Yes, I’m exaggerating. No, I am not.

Now let’s talk about those moments who actually made me think there’s something here to come back to. Every once in a while, you see things which are not. I’m not talking about the dreams, those are trivial, but about looking at yourself buried in the dirt, or the face with the mask inside the cabin. These are little moments which made me think that, with a lot more restraint and player guidance, this could be made a creepy and interesting piece.

So, when this intro ended, I was mildly curious as to what is to become of it when it grows up, but sadly for Seasons, it isn’t an intro. And other than incomplete, Seasons highly experimental trip is not betatested, and it will be rated low.

> fuck it
The world shatters.

IntroComp2011: Stalling for Time

Posted in Competitions on July 11th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – 1 Comment

If I were to sit my lazy ass in the sand and create a list of words which make me cringe when I spot them in IF titles, stalling would be one of them. I’m not going to explain why, since I believe explaining things rips more crap holes in the fabric of space-time than Albert would have liked. I also won’t explain why, because I have a four line limit to these intros.

> a rock will spoil it all

Stalling For Time by Dominic Delabruere

There is an award here from the start: best intro to an intro. The fact that I’m about to praise this so much is probably reason enough not to trust me when I say a game rocks ass, or when I say it sucks ass. But this is me, and this is my space, I’ve payed for it, I own the password, and so I’ll exaggerate any praise I want.

Here it goes: Stalling For Time’s starting is perfect. You’re this depressing, but cool guy, standing near a creek, holding a huge rock. You have no purpose for this rock and you can’t go anywhere with it, and so you drop it in the creek and climb out of there, getting in your car and driving south to meet your uncle Ted. The absolute absence of reason to any of this creek-rock-climb scene is delicious.

There is also a very cool prose happening here, a prose with attitude. All descriptions are sparse, but I don’t see such as a minus point at all. The words flow, the scenes flow, it has a highly cinematic pace. Truth is, I don’t need a fully implemented pisser, with fully implemented descriptions of faucets, to imagine a fully gross motel pisser; I don’t need to know the numbers of the other rooms to know that they have them, and to form a lifelike picture of a motel hallway in my imaginatorium. Delabruere (heck of a name to say out loud!) seems to know this (or he’s just too lazy, but either way…), and so he writes just enough to form a clear picture of the setting. Here, pace is what matters, and I welcome it.

Stalling For Time is a “road movie”, and as an intro is a very small one, to be honest. Three (or two) fellows in a car, one of which is a Japanese kid, who I pictured as a mangarobotmonster of sorts*, traveling somewhere of little importance, because is not being there that matters. I don’t imagine this growing to be a master piece of existential depth, or a master piece of any depth, just a well paced, well written, cool journey, with just enough depressing notes to make it bearable.

So, when this intro ended, it got me exclaiming “what, already?” to myself. Part of it is due to the very short length, I know, but it still is what I expect from a good intro: to make me wish it wasn’t an intro.

* Though explaining the Run-Time error when trying to talk to him. I refuse to see that as a bug in the game. To me, that’s just the mangarobotmonster twitching erratically on the bed.

IntroComp2011: Choice of the Petal Throne

Posted in Competitions on July 11th, 2011 by leandro ribeiro – Be the first to comment

Exile danced on a throne of skulls. I’m now off to a throne of petals. I wonder how many full cycles will the good old planet Earth complete, until the folks at Choice of realize how problematic it is to name all their games starting with Choice of. Well, they could see them as a creative obstruction, something like Trier’s obstructions, and make it work. Here, it doesn’t. Petal Throne is a pink name, yes it is, but Choice of the Petal Throne, well, its a pinkyish name. See the difference?

> spoiler petals after the kiss

Choice of Petal Throne by Danielle Goudeau

So far, these “Choice of” games are showcasing an interesting care in creating a polished work from the start. Petal Throne opens up to what feels like a complex society, with complex rules and, as with zombies, real NPC, not the cardboard cut out kind. In my first playthrough, I got to be an honest and valiant lesbian soldier, growing up to be an honest and valiant lesbian general – or something. I’m facing some difficulty in writing about Petal Throne, since there’s nothing particularly bad with it, but also nothing particularly good.

The intro doesn’t travel very far. It characterizes you as the PC, it gives a glimpse of the society’s apparently complex structure, it hints to a possible rivalry plot, maybe some Tolkienesque battles, it sets up a romantic relationship, and that’s it. It’s a fairly magical, god-worshiping setting, which I find somewhat hard to like. It is a very linear experience, and all the options are of the huge-decisions-about-myself-to-make kind. There are some bites of prose that just don’t belong there – like “So, why is someone trying to kill you anyway?” -, but overall it tastes like diet rice, a very specific fantasy literature kind of diet rice, but diet nonetheless.

So, when this intro ended, I was mildly curious on what could come out of there, but I don’t guess I’ll be hitting the download link when the full game is featured in the Choice of site.