Seltani is Andrew Plotkin’s Myst-themed multiplayer universe riffing on Twine, in which authors can add their own explorable Ages. It’s been around for a bit over a year now, and includes the Barbetween age, which I’ve written up before. It just recently picked up a couple of new ages: Ryan Veeder’s interactive museum experience Bluedorn, and Andrew Plotkin’s own puzzle age Salvanas. It’s a timely development, given the considerable interest in multiplayer IF that turned up during our recent discussion on new directions in IF.
Hadean Lands is Andrew Plotkin’s massive parser IF game about an alchemy-driven spaceship. It’s been several years in the making, after a substantial Kickstarter. And it’s now available.
I backed the initial drive, I’ve been following the dev blog since, and I spent probably upwards of 20 hours beta-testing it, becoming (to the best of my knowledge, anyway) the first person to finish the game other than Zarf himself. (Yes, I am bragging. Play it and you’ll see why.)
So I can’t really claim any sort of unbiased reviewer status at this point. Nonetheless, I would like to talk about some things that I thought about the game.
The discussion below will be mildly spoilery for information found in the very beginning of the game and in the ABOUT text. It will reveal no significant puzzle secrets, but if you want to experience the game entirely free of such preconceptions, then don’t read on.
Fifteen Minutes is a parser-based puzzle game with light narrative elements; while I wouldn’t say it’s super hard, it takes some focus and is not for the puzzlephobic. You’re likely not to win on the first try, though I also wouldn’t quite put it in the replay-to-win category, because once you’ve started making real progress, you probably won’t need to restart again.
I played it all the way through.
Threediopolis is a parser-based wordplay game with minimal story, running probably at least half an hour and possibly quite a bit more, depending on how fiercely you choose to avoid hints and walkthrough helps. No spoilers in the review.
This is the first of a couple of making-of posts about Counterfeit Monkey, in case people are interested: these are a bit like some of the making-of material I’ve published about Bronze and other games, but I’m splitting it up between story discussion and puzzle discussion.
We’ll start with puzzles. This is going to be spoilery, so if you’re still planning to play, I recommend finishing the game first.