Berrost's Challenge: played 2 hours
Clearing the screen each room is a bit annoying.
Pausing after each snippet of conversation is annoying.
Working with the spigot was guess-the-verby.
The game had a moderate level of betatesting; I didn't run into any directly glaring problems like in Dracula's Underground Crypt, it still had plenty of rough edges. Still, even with its flaws, I did enjoy it.
When Machines Attack (played 1 hour)
Exits aren't always reciprocal. They don't even always match what's listed in the room description! That's usually a killer in itself.
I made an error carving the sheet metal, it kept mentioning that I'd ruined my sheet and I'd have to trash it. It didn't give any sort of description as to what was wrong, so I started to get a bit frustrated at that point. (As it happened, I'd left it in curved mode, and should have been able to make additional straight cuts. And when doing a curved cut from west to north, how does the machine know whether it should center the circle at the center of the square or at a corner?)
When looking for a list of betatesters, I noticed that the author mentioned he'd written a game in last year's comp. I looked it up. Press Escape to Save. At that point I lost all confidence in the game and played from the walkthrough.
Which I did, until I got to the point where I was supposed to take the flashlight and couldn't.
He's improved since last year, but the game's still unplayable.
Score: 1 X
Afflicted (Played one hour)
- Good list of testers, and "x me" was overridden.
Overall, this is the first solid game of the comp. Alternate actions were thought through (mostly; the mirror could have been done better; there's obvious foreshadowing that wasn't followed through on).
An unfortunate side effect of the alternate endings and optional side-tasks was that the game feels short.
(Final restaurant rating -113)
General competition thoughts: The 20% mark
So far, I've found one great game, two decent games, and four "author should've known betters". Well, one "author did know better but did it anyway." I've given Xs to one-third to one-half of the games in past comps, so this comp is slightly below typical in quality.