And here is the bit where, traditionally, I post my best-of-comp recommendations, as well as some thoughts about the field overall. To avoid spoiling, actual content goes after the break.
Saving John is a hypertext game about traversing the memories of a dying(?) man. It’s not terribly long to read through, but the author recommends several encounters with the text for best effect. Review after the break.
Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life is a parser-based adventure with an Indiana Jones theme you can presumably already see coming just from the title. Expect ludicrous archaeology. (One day, ONE DAY, someone will write an archaeology game with commands like LABEL POTSHERD and CLEAN BONES WITH SOFT TOOTHBRUSH and METICULOUSLY DESCRIBE SOIL TEXTURE IN NOTEBOOK. Jacqueline Lott, I’m looking at you.)
Coloratura is parser-based science-fiction/horror, with a fair number of puzzles, as well as feelies, cover art, and design notes. It took me somewhat over an hour to play even though I sometimes resorted to hints.
Machine of Death is a choice-based short story about a world in which people can get cryptic predictions of how they will die, but not when, and where the predictions are so vague as to be functionally worthless.
The House at the End of Rosewood Street is a surreal, parser-based game centered on the life of an odd-jobs man. It’s one of the more sizable games I’ve run into in the comp so far.