(But for games that are pretty bad, so you might not be bothered…)
Somewhat perversely, I like to try play the worst games first, and get them out of the way. I score not according to a strict system, but vaguely according to puzzle fun, plot, and implementation competence, with a good helping of bias for what I want to encourage and discourage in future competitions. So far:
- The Absolute Worst Game in IF History – if there is some reason for this, or a hidden joke, I didn’t get it. I decided not to play it for any longer than the author spent writing it. 1 point.
- Buried in Shoes – well at least there’s some kind of story here, if it is beyond me. Implementation seems to be on the verge of competence. 4 points.
- Freedom – straightforward linear puzzler. Spartan but completable. 4 points.
- Lighthouse – uh oh, the blurb says “my very first game!”. Unfortunately, it lives up to this claim. And there’s just not enough here. 1 point.
Thus far, they were all zcode games. But the real seam of submediocrity normally lies in the standalone games…
- The Hall of the Fount of Artois – ah, the hackneyed “solve puzzles in a spooky old house” genre. It suffers from that basic failure of not handling any remotely interesting (or in many cases, mundane) things I wanted to do. Puzzles are get-X-use-X type, and room descriptions are almost irrelevant since there is no scenery and no searching, just items to be collected and used. 3 points.
- Nerd Quest – oh dear: again, roll-your-own systems invariably suffer from a) paucity of handled actions, b) spartan descriptions and lack of scenery. I couldn’t even “examine” anything. 1 point.
- Project Delta – the menu interface robbed the game of thought; then I briefly thought the inventory system was interesting; then the “game” ended. There is not enough here to enter into a competition. 1 point.
Here’s hoping for some better luck soon. Fairly bad this year so far, and that’s even without any efforts from Dunric as far as I can see.