IntroComp 2010 mini-reviews

The IntroComp 2010 games have been pretty good. Here are spoiler-free mini-reviews for Plan 6 from Inner Earth, Memento Moratori and Waker.

Plan 6 from Inner Earth

IntroComp entries can be divided roughly into two groups, solid and loose. Solid games have strong characterizations and story. When you finish one you have a bunch of unanswered questions and plot threads undoubtedly leading somewhere. The intro could have been taken from an already finished game. The author has a great story in mind and this is the introduction to it.

A loose entry is the opposite: it's usually (but not always) a bit buggy and shoddily implemented. It's self-contained: everything you encounter has a purpose within the intro and you're not left with loose threads that would be concluded in the full game, apart from the cliffhanger at the end. In fact there are very little hints of a story at all, conceivably because the author hasn't thought of one yet. Often a loose entry starts before the actual story: you're figuratively packing your bags for a great adventure and the intro ends just as you open the front door. The author has a great setting in mind but is not yet quite sure what to do with it.

To this date all IntroComp entries that have ever been finished have been solid.

The bad news is that Plan 6 is a poster child for a loose entry. It's a shame, because I would be moderately interested in playing the full game, but there's little hope of it ever materializing. I wish that the author proves my theory wrong.

Memento Moratori

Lea's Bysantine Perspective was built on a gimmick and so is Memento Moratori. The good news is that the gimmick is quite clever and it works. Although surely it's just lack of imagination on my part, I doubt that the gimmick is strong enough to support a longer game. The intro itself is a fully capable mini-game in itself (it even offers a satisfactory closure at the end, or at least the one ending I saw) so it would've been just as good to call it finished and release it outside the competition.

My advice to anyone who hasn't played this yet: Go play it and pretend that it's a complete game. You won't be disappointed.


Is this like Alan Wake, but even Waker? No, it turns out it's actually Galateaer with the talking statues and all.

The author participated in the last year's IFcomp with a rather unconventional take on IF which wasn't quite well received, but I'm glad Kevin didn't let this discourage himself because Waker is an excellent intro. Not much of the backstory is revealed but the game conveys a strong sense that there is an actual story there. I'm just hoping the final game won't be as strictly linear as the intro.

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