IF Competition: The Lighthouse

Another IF Comp review, following my format for this comp. There is a cut, then any spoiler-free comments I have, and then spoiler space, and then more detailed feedback that assumes the reader has tried the game.

But first, we have some obligatory filler to try to make sure that the RSS summary does not accidentally contain any review. Filler, filler, la la la…

Okay. Here we go.

There is basically nothing here — no plot, no real puzzles, few descriptions, barely any implementation. A learning exercise for the author, at best. Please do not submit learning exercises to the IF Competition.

8 thoughts on “IF Competition: The Lighthouse”

  1. It’s certainly not much of a game, and it’s certainly not much of a story. On the other hand, the fact that it’s plausible, finishable, and comprehensible is, alas, enough to place it above two of the other entries I’ve played so far.

  2. I think that the organizer should not admit games like this

    I disagree. It would be very hard to write a rule about minimum game quality that could be applied consistently and objectively. (The Spring Thing tried to do this, but most of those elements of the rule set got stripped out in later years because they took too much time for the organizer to apply. On the other hand, Spring Thing tends to attract fewer entries with less genuinely bottom-end material.)

    I do think that in future years I may apply a strict no-untested-games policy to my own playing, though: if I can’t find some names of beta-testers listed in ABOUT or CREDITS or somewhere else obviously signposted, I’m quitting and moving on to the next game.

  3. It would be very hard to write a rule about minimum game quality that could be applied consistently

    Sure, but this game, and some others, are jokes, not entries… and it’s easy to discover that, at a first look.

  4. Yeah, the problem is about where to draw the line with more borderline cases. Do we pitch out Rybread games? Games with promising stories that are just fatally undertested? I don’t see any way for this to go that wouldn’t lead to charges of unfairness.

  5. Yeah I’ve thought about that as well and there’s really no way to avoid stuff like this without tossing the baby out. At least it takes you like 5 minutes to realize what the game is (if not to finish it) so it’s not like a horrible waste of time, more like a speed bump (unless you’re REALLY strict about that ‘2-hours playing each game’ rule).

  6. Would Aisle be admitted under those rules? There’s more involved in ‘beating’ Lighthouse than Aisle.

    I don’t think I would want any controls over entries, but I am certainly in my rights as a judge to vote it low. And I hope the author read reviews of his game.

    Also, am I the only one who picked up the button-box, then went around and won the game in every room of the game?

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