My first game of the comp is a my-first-game. Aero is a slight, light murder mystery set in an aviation club. It's mediocre, and vaguely nice. The PC is a pusillanimous detective, who thinks it's a shame to bother the main murder suspect because "he seems so busy." Sweet. Maybe sweetness is what kept me playing to the end, through basic puzzles and bits that seemed like private injokes. There are some newline problems, spacing problems and minor bugs. Not much else to say really.
It's been a while since we had a Hofstadter entry in the comp, and I can't say it's a genre I missed. GEB has a cute gimmick, but once you realise what it is (or have it spoiled for you by the >SECRETS command), finishing the game is mostly a matter of endurance -- and the game was too directionless, and the writing not interesting enough, for me to bother go around verbing every noun. In addition, it's slightly buggy, not every noun can be verbed, and the solution involves gratuitous violence towards a cow.
A witty introduction, despite the missing full stop. I have to expose some fraud -- yay, a skeptical adventure! But the writing deteriorates as the game goes on, the missing full stop turns out not to be an isolated incident, the use of newlines becomes inconsistent, and I get stuck very quickly. Consulting the walkthrough reveals that I have to use something in Todd's pocket, but
>X POCKET You can't see any such thing.
So I quit.
First of all, "English Standard Version"? Yuk. For those of us whose appreciation of the good book is confined to the aesthetic plane, it's King James or nothing, dude. But bible-belt bible aside, this is a poor game, with a patronising narrative voice, widespread punctuation problems and a lot of boring surreality I can't be bothered playing along with.
Badly-written, badly punctuated and spelled, incomprehensible sub-Rybread crap. Whatever, asshole.
At the beginning, I thought this was a Pentari Parody: I'm a would-be knight in some unrealistic medieval-style army training camp, I begin in a room with a letter and a chest, and so on. I laughed heartily. But it rapidly became clear that the game was really an earnest attempt at something, with doors that aren't implemented, doors you can pick up, pointless rooms, comma splices and so on. A terrible disappointment.
The opening of the game has some character, which made me persist in spite of the first/second-person inconsistency in the narrative voice, dodgy spelling and thin implementation. Soon the latter caught up with me though, as I got stuck in the jail cell. With little feedback on what to do, I turned to the walkthrough, and after performing the unlikely actions therein was greeted with a screen full of its/it's errors. I gave up.
Appalling capitalisation problems, punctuation problems, implementation problems and writing problems. Selected in-game notes:
>x fireplace Which fireplace do you mean, the Hearth, or the merry fire? >merry I don't know the word "merry". >x merry fire I don't know the word "merry". >[And what's this еееееееееееееееее stuff? I don't understand the punctuation "[". >x oven A old wood-fired oven. It has no apparent doors or interesting features. >[Then why mention it? I don't understand the punctuation "[". >[Does this game have any interesting features? I don't understand the punctuation "[". --- >red A strange-smelling red-colored cookie. The smell seems like a cross between cinnamon and spinach. It seems to glow! >[The cookie is getting angrier!
In the help text, this game informs me that it was "written for the amusement of it's authors". Um... yeah. I suppose it's nice of them to share it with us in the comp. It's a sad comment on Comp04 that Santoonie's mix of Tolkien and fart jokes is among the most competent TADS games, though.