IF Comp 2015 Guest Post: Duncan Stevens on Koustrea’s Contentment


As part of the project to get more reviewers talking about IF Comp games, veteran IF reviewer Duncan Stevens has shared his thoughts on Koustrea’s Contentment. Duncan is one of the prolific reviewers of IF in the late-90s newsgroups, and has previously taken a look at Map for this series.

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IF Comp 2015: Koustrea’s Contentment (Jeremy Pflasterer)

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.)

If you are looking for other reviews, this ifwiki page contains a list of places currently carrying them.

Koustrea cover artKoustrea’s Contentment is a pretty sizable parser puzzle game. It does not come with a full walkthrough, and no walkthrough at all was included in my original comp download, so I spent quite a bit of my available two hours wandering around making little progress — but even had that not been the case, I could not have finished it on time. The author knows that this is likely and states as much in the ABOUT text for the game.

All the same, there’s some interesting stuff going on here. The TADS 3 world model is used to good effect. It may be hard to play as a Comp game, but it combines high implementation standards and some modern design niceties with an old-school taste for freedom and open-endedness.

Continue reading “IF Comp 2015: Koustrea’s Contentment (Jeremy Pflasterer)”