Comp 09 Overview

I’m categorizing games, for people who just want a quickly consultable list.  I’ll make this list sticky for the duration of the Comp.  It updates somewhat behind what I’ve played.

Best Games

Resonance – all-around excellent; clearly the best game here, although not my personal single favorite
Broken Legs
Byzantine Perspective

Most Fun

Duel That Spanned The Ages
Byzantine Perspective


Duel In The Snow  (by orders of magnitude)
Spelunker’s Quest (also deeply weird)
Earl Grey (surreal)
Gleaming The Cube (abstract)
Byzantine Perspective (nifty)
Duel that Spanned the Ages (whacked)

Best Narrative Voice

Resonance (properly subordinated to the narrative)
Ye Astounding Castle (deliberately self-conscious and disruptive immersion)
Broken Legs (best-characterized PC)
The Ascot (dynamic)

Best Writing Style

Snow Quest
Ye Astounding Castle!

Most Realistic / Immersive

Resonance (immersive)
Duel In The Snow (realistic; detailed)
Snow Quest (The strength of the writing style puts you there, but the moderate, yet constant, difficulty of the puzzles fosters meta-game thinking that breaks immersion.)
Broken Legs (The vividness of the PC characterization, and thoroughness of the implementation, pull you in; the wrongness of what you’re doing pushes you away.) 

Most Depressing / Horrifying

Condemned (both; but mostly depressing)
Duel That Spanned The Ages (horror sf)

Most Important

Resonance (study everything, but especially how the confidently and bluntly the game directs the player, making game play very smooth)
Gator-on (study how puzzles are created out of game-physics)
Duel That Spanned The Ages (study how combat is handled)
Eruption (study how, despite fulfilling every objective criteria, as a game this thoroughly fails)
Byzantine Pespective (study the creativity of the central puzzle)
Interface (study how balanced this game is between the narrative and the puzzles — with slightly better PC characterization, it’d be a classic)

Most Puzzley

Byzantine Perspective (most creative and fun)
The Ascot (most clever and evil)
Broken Legs (most integrated with a compelling narrative)
Ye Astounding Castle (best use of classic IF puzzles)
Gator-On (most integrated with the world-physics)
Grand Quest (puzzle fest)

For Narrative

Broken Legs

Most Balanced (simulationy puzzles vs. narrative)


Emotionally Interesting

Beta-Tester (troll entry; hateful to the player)
Condemned (succumbing to self-hate)
Hangover (overcoming self-hate)
Invisible Man (innocent hatefulness)
Broken Legs (visciousness)


Grounded In Space (Freudian-Heinleinian)


The Ascot (fun)
Trap Cave (German; demo of the author’s node-scripting language)


Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 11:26 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Talking about the “disruptive immersion” of Yon Astounding Castle is very interesting, since the (jarring, I admit) voice is integral to the motivation of the protagonist in the game — once you get to that part of the game, I would argue that the voice is wholly immersive, more akin to Failsafe or Slouching Toward Bedlam in its use of the text.

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