“The Pinecone” by Joseph Pentangelo.
While “The Pinecone” was a strange experience and confused me, it did so in a way that I can appreciate. It felt like a puzzle piece, missing from its box, with the full picture unable to be found. I like the surreal atmosphere and calm writing, but I am unsure if I understand it. But I actually want to understand it, and that is a good thing in the end. [PLAY]
“The Place” by Ima.
“The Place” starts with a thesis statement in the description: We are told that our choices do not matter, but also that they lead to different paths. To illustrate that, the player gets asked a lot of questions and the answers then get added into the story. That is a cute gimmick, but gives me a bitter feeling because I was told my choices do not matter, yet I am told to make constant decisions. The story itself was okay, but it did not really grip me much. [PLAY]
While most entries for the competition were actual interactive fiction games, there were also some exceptions, like the RPG Maker game “Quest for the Sword of Justice”. It took me a while to understand its objective: You have to equip yourself with enough stuff to get out of the town. Finding said items turns out to be pretty difficult, as I could only find two of them in my first playing session. Besides that, you can pet a dog, which is always a plus. [PLAY]
This is a very different type of submission for this competition, as it was made in Unity. But that is not the only distinctive feature, as “Saint Simon’s Saw” is more of a tarot reading than interactive fiction. I love the art and the card texts, as both are absolutely beautiful. I was also impressed with how seemlessly the reading flowed together. That likely took a lot of time to get right, and it was just fantastic.
However, make to right-click the cards when you give it a try. Sadly this essential information gets not covered by the tutorial. It would be a shame if players would quit the game prematurely before they fully understand how it works. In my eyes it is worth checking out at least once, as it is an interesting and clearly heartfelt project. [PLAY]