This post is part of an ongoing project to bring more voices to the IF Comp conversation. I have been reaching out to players and authors who aren’t part of the intfiction community, and also to some veteran intfiction denizens who might not have time to cover the whole comp but who are likely to have especially useful feedback in particular areas.
In this post, Brendan Desilets, a middle school teacher with extensive experience teaching using IF, kindly covers Jason Ermer’s IF Comp game Untold Riches, which was designed for classroom use. (Here’s Brendan’s website on IF in education, which I recommend to anyone with a broader interest in the subject.)
These previous reviews are also part of this project:
Kane County, reviewed by gamebook author S.A.
Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box, reviewed by Justin DeVesine
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.)
So this year I’m only reviewing comp games that I can basically recommend. If this makes you sad because you enjoy reading reviews where I did not like something, you might instead enjoy my reviews of Tender Loving Care or Lifeline 2, which have the benefit of being commercial games that can fend for themselves.
Hereafter, thoughts on Untold Riches and Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box.