Within a circle of water and sand by Romain: This started out with a wall of Pacific-Islands--fantasy text. I was having Island of the Blue Dolphins flashbacks, and wasn't sure if the game was going to treat its subject respectfully. But as soon as I got into the actual game, things picked up, and this became my favorite Comp game so far. I'm not going to spoil the plot, although the player will figure it out before the protagonist does; it's a fast play-through that you then loop back through, with some really nice conveniences -- skip the intro, yes please; optional places you can go only partway back in the decision tree -- excellent; even when I knew I'd need to go all the way back to solve it for real, I could quickly drag out some more information (which the game would hold onto me seeing, even as I restarted). Nicely implemented, short and sweet. A definite must-play. And the slightly generic coming-of-age fantasy setting makes sense once the twist is figured out; plus it's a cultural milleu we don't see much in IF, and that's great.
Tower by Ryan Tan: A fantasy-environment (ish? With an elevator?) mystic quest, it had some nice descriptive sequences and intriguing glimpses into the protagonists' larger story. But it ended abruptly, especially since I "solved" the final puzzle accidentally, and then had to go read the unlocked about-text to figure out how I was supposed to do that. Perhaps actually railroading the player into not being able to pick the correct answer until they have the clues? Not sure. And I'd have liked a little more of the backstory or what happens next; flesh out the sketch a little more.
Bullhockey! by B F Lindsay: I was really excited for this one; the blurb reminded me of Hunger Daemon -- a classic quest-style game with a silly modern setting. Unfortunately, the implementation let it down -- it's a sprawling game, from what I saw of it, and once I hit up the walkthrough for the initial guess-the-verb puzzle (the stairs), I wandered around for a while. But I didn't feel the urge to pull out paper and pencil and really get to mapping, because I kept hitting things that didn't seem fully implemented. I'll probably go back and pull out the walkthrough again and get some more of the game unlocked before scoring it, because I know I didn't see very much. It needs a good solid set of beta-testers; it feels like there's a fun, if derivative, game in there under all the dirty laundry.
smooch.click by Devon Guinn: Some of the fancy features this was using didn't work well on my phone, but this is a cute little not-quite-one-turn game. It's definitely a lot of fun, although the delayed text annoyed me enough that I didn't find as many potential endings as were out there. Definitely good at capturing the awkwardness of first kisses. Cute, short.
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