Here are my thoughts on the 2013 French IF Competition. The theme of this year's competition was one of two things, either female protagonist or Africa.Please note that the comments below aren't so much 'critiques' as they are 'the thoughts that ran through my head while I was playing the games.' Should you be interested in how I assign the numerical ratings for each game, I'm using the same scale I use to rate IFcomp games, and those methods can be found here.Clicking on a title will direct you toward more information about that game. If you're new to interactive fiction, I would recommend a visit to A Beginner's Guide to Playing Interactive Fiction before you download anything.For those who would prefer to read the reviews in French, my (no doubt poorly translated) reviews are here.
This game wasn't very interactive, but I never the less found it to be very immersive. The idea that I'm all alone with little to do but sit and reread all the old emails, thinking about the events that have brought me to this point in time... it was very well done. This was probably my favorite game in the competition, but different games have done different interesting things and in different ways, making it difficult to make a comparison.
Pleasure to Play: 8Quality of Writing: 9Programming: 8REVIEWSTOP
I'm not a big fan of games filled with lots of puzzles (blasphemy, I know). I like a little bit more story, and don't want to be held up by obstacles so much. But the sounds made up for this a great deal, because it made things very immersive. I believe that some very light music beneath the sound effects (to fill in the silence between them) might have improved things a touch, though possibly they would have just made the sound effects less powerful. I wish my little brother had had more of a personality, but of course that's much more difficult to implement. I also felt that the timer was far too cruel (too short), particularly because of all the exploration and searching that was required.
Pleasure to Play: 7Quality of Writing: 8Programming: 8REVIEWSTOP
This is a nice, small game that is relatively easy to complete. I liked it, but I ran into trouble at one point and I had to ask for help from a friend who had already played the game (AKA "L'Autre Jack", also known as Jack Welch. Thank you, Jack!). I think this rough spot could have been avoided. Sometimes >ASK SOMEBODY ABOUT SOMETHING is required. Other times it's just >TALK TO ANIMAL that's required. So, for example, at the end of the game, I tried to ask about very specific things (the tree trunk, the water, for assistance), when all I had to do was something very, very general: >TALK TO THE KING OF THE ELEPHANTS. That's it. Not >KING OF ELEPHANTS, HELP ME . Not >ASK KING OF ELEPHANTS ABOUT TREE TRUNK. Just >TALK TO THE KING OF THE ELEPHANTS. And often, when I was on the right track, I was told not to bother a particular character because > ANIMAL, FOLLOW ME or >ANIMAL, HELP ME hadn't been implemented. Basically, it was this inconsistency of the conversation that gave me trouble. Otherwise, super cute game!
Pleasure to Play: 7Quality of Writing: 8Programming: 6REVIEWSTOP
I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to do in this game I didn't really even know how to get started. This frustrated me and reduced my overall appreciation of the game. I wanted to understand the game by myself. But the verbs I needed (such as >THINK ABOUT SOMETHING) were hidden in the help text. I was afraid to look at the help text because I was afraid that it would contain hints and that I would learn too much too soon. So if you make another version of this game, mysterious anonymous French-speaking person, please consider mentioning the additional verbs just below the banner text, in plain view. Other than that, I think I would have liked this new approach to telling a story!
Pleasure to Play: 6Quality of Writing: 7Programming: 7REVIEWSTOP