IF Comp 2015 Guest Post: Janice M. Eisen on Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!


As part of the ongoing project to get new reviewers talking about IF Comp games, Janice M. Eisen has written about Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! Janice is a long-time player of parser IF who beta-tested for Infocom.

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IF Comp 2015: Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! (Steph Cherrywell)

The 21st annual Interactive Fiction Competition is currently on, through mid-November. Voting is open to the general public; the only prerequisite is that you not be an author, not vote on games that you tested, and submit votes on at least five games. (You emphatically do not have to have played them all! In a year with 55 entrants, it is very unlikely that most judges will get through anywhere near all of them.)

Cover art for Brain Guzzlers from BeyondBrain Guzzlers from Beyond! is a parser puzzle game set in the trope-world of 1950s alien invasion movies. The author is Steph Cherrywell, author of Jacqueline, Jungle Queen! and Chlorophyll, both thoroughly enjoyable easy puzzle games. It promises to be polished, with this nice cover art and an attractive feelie as well. There were teasers for it on the IF forum months ago, and the blurb is charming and confidently written.

This is basically as good a first impression as a comp game can make.

I played to what I believe is the only winning ending. It took me most of the two hours of comp judging time, and I had to get a hint from another player for one bit, but I didn’t need to take any notes. Some players may find they want to map.

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