Looking back at this years competition I’ve made some observations. I had no game in the comp (maybe next year, I’ve got some ideas that might take me that long to develop if I start now….I’m just that slow), so I was able to be objective with the entries. I did have every intention of writing more reviews, but just didn’t manage to do more than a few. But I truly enjoyed most of them and congratulations to all that took the effort to put out something.
Going into the competition, I was at first a little dismayed at the number of web-based CYOA style games. I’m not a huge fan, I like the old-style parser games with lots of puzzles. But interestingly enough, despite that, I actually started with the web folder in the downloaded games and started playing those first. My thought was to just “get them out of the way”, but I was actually presently surprised that a few of them were actually enjoyable.
Still, I looked forward to the parser games and I wasn’t really let down, out of the top 5 in this years results, 3 of them were in my top 5 (I actually didn’t enjoy the winner, Coloratura, as much as everyone else seemed to and I was a beta-tester on the game in the #5 spot, Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life, so I didn’t vote on that one.)
The ones at the bottom, were pretty much what I had down there. I felt Reels was not great (though, it wasn’t my last choice). I am surprised that a few placed much higher than expected. Their angelical understanding, was one I just didn’t get, it was one of the first I played and I see their was an update after I played, but not sure what was changed. The early version seemed buggy and the story was just too abstract (or perhaps just too deep for my way of thinking at the time). After reading many positive reviews and considering how high it placed, perhaps I should give it another try.
I also didn’t really enjoy Trapped In Time, the story and implementation was fine, in fact if I was in the mood to read a CYOA book, then this was perfect….I just didn’t think it fit in the theme or spirit of the comp….my opinion and no disrespect to the author who I’m sure spent a lot of time and energy putting this together. I guess I would have just liked to see the next step and put this into a CYOA system. I may sit down on a cold winter day and go through this though the way that was intended.
I have some more thoughts in regards to the results based on parser vs other that I find slightly interesting, but may save those for another post.