Showing posts with label ifcomp 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ifcomp 2017. Show all posts

Monday, 2 October 2017

IFComp 2017 review: The Living Puppet by Xiao Lin (web browser)


The Living Puppet is a creepy and classically styled horror IF about a pupeteer’s mysterious relationship with the doll that is the sole source of income for he and his wife Li Shaoxian. It’s delivered in a web browser as long passages of click-scrolling text broken up by several major decision branches that the player can choose for Shaoxian. I downloaded it to play it because the ‘Play Online’ button wasn’t working at the time and I’ve written the IFComp organiser about this issue. I played Puppet several times to different outcomes in 40 minutes. I enjoyed the game and recommend it generally, and to horror folks specifically, accepting that a couple of its presentation choices may be too irritating for some players. The game sports horror themes and one explicitly violent scene.

IFComp 2017 review prelude (Wade's)

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” said William Wordsworth in some context, at some point in time. These words from Wordsworth comprised my writing software’s randomly chosen quote for today. If it had to be Wordsworth, I’d rather it had been, “But she is in her grave, and, oh, The difference to me!” but that’s the point of randomness, to force people away from their stupid preferences.

Last year I reviewed few IFComp games because I chose to proceed in a random order, though I had little time. I don’t have any more time this year so I won’t proceed in a random order. I will pick something I want to play, and play it, and then seek to review it. I like outright horror best of all in subject matter, and there doesn’t seem to be much of that in this year’s comp. I have no disclaimers this year because I think this is the first year in my IFComp experience in which I haven't tested, supplied art or music for or otherwise helped make any of the entries.


The first IFComp 2017 entry I will play/review will be The Living Puppet because it has the cover art that most stirred my horror waters. It doesn’t have a blurb, but it does have a good title. Note that I’m not judging a book by its cover, just choosing one to read ahead of the other seventy-something.