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Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 4/13/2023 7:50:25 AM

Going to start with The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante, but this thread is now being used for IF reviews in general.

The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante

Okay, if you haven’t played this yet, (It’s been out awhile and as usual I’m behind the times) you really should. This is probably one of the best interactive fiction pieces I’ve played in long time.

The setting is a semi-grim dark fantasy world (Probably around 1700-1800s as far as earth tech” comparison) where the class system is so ingrained into the empire that its actually a religion. You got your nobles, your commoners and your priest castes. As you might expect, the nobles get to do all the cool shit while the commoners are supposed to just suffer and take it.

The priests are supposed to basically teach people why it’s all important to follow this doctrine because if you don’t, when you die you’ll be at the foot of the twin gods in charge of the world rather than at the top of the spire. Of course if you’re a degenerate foot fetishist, this really wouldn’t be a deterrent, but that’s not something that’s addressed, so we’ll just move on.

Basic story is you play as a guy called Sir Brante who was born of a commoner mom and a noble dad. Since you came out of a common vagina though, you’re also a lowly commoner, BUT you do have the ability to change your lot in life. It won’t be easy though and just like the title suggests, there’s gonna be some suffering. Probably a whole lot of it.

You also got some siblings, an older half sister and later a younger full brother, but only your oldest half brother is a noble like your dad since he came out of a noble vagina which then died causing your dad to remarry and fuck up his social standing in the first place. Which brings about the other relative you have which is your mean old noble grandfather who barely likes his own son, let alone all the rest of you common born lot.

The story sort of tells you how its going to end since the chapters are clearly divided into sections of childhood, adolescence, youth, peace time and finally revolt. The first 3 chapters are mainly to build up the stats though there’s certainly stats in peacetime and revolt, but they’re going to rely on the others you built up since having high enough stats leaves certain choices unlocked, while not having high enough stats (or resolving certain events) keeps them locked.

Basically the Empire is going through some changes and they’re happening whether you like it or not, so you basically need to navigate how well you’re going to come out after said changes, assuming you even survive them. Speaking of survival, since this is a fantasy setting there’s some magical shit going on which is actually somewhat beneficial. Most people get 3 “lesser deaths” and if they die the 4th time, they die the true death. However, there’s some exceptions to this rule and it might be one of the bigger plot holes in the game, but what the fuck, it’s magic! (It’s also a good “in game” way of allowing you to continue playing without having to start over)

You can die a true death prematurely if you’re sentenced to an execution via the law or the inquisition for example. There’s some other instances too, like getting shot for example. (Gunpowder weapons are becoming more common which sort of scares the nobility) I guess you might chalk that one up to tech beating magic.

I should also mention there is only one other fantasy race in the game and they’re sort of the reason of why things are like how they are. These are called the Arknians. They’re described being superior to humans in every way, and as having blue skin but pictures of them don’t make them look any different than humans. They don’t even have pointy ears or anything, though with having blue skin, these obviously dark elf stand-ins. (They are pretty arrogant and smug in general)

Arknians themselves are completely above the fucking laws and can pretty much do whatever the hell they want since they founded the empire and set up this caste system in the first place. However, of course humans breed like rabbits and it got to the point where they didn’t really have the numbers to rule over all of them, so that’s when they started making some of the more loyal humans nobles to oversee the rest, and it was just a downward spiral from there…

Besides the divine magic of the gods that happens, there are a few actual witches running around with the more traditional arcane magic. They’re generally considered dangerous and burned by the inquisition when found out though.

So you go through your childhood and such making choices and eventually you get the major branching path of what lot you’re going to follow. Do you try to become a noble, pursue a priestly path or just remain a commoner? This is where your game is really going to start being different. You won’t see every major character in all these paths, so there’s definitely replay value, plus there’s different endings and minor ending outcomes to various characters based on what happens.

Becoming a noble for example is going to see you really trying to balance your family’s reputation/wealth and your career. While being a commoner is going to put you more immediately in touch with the rebellious movements. Being priest puts you more in direct conflict of the split in faith that’s going on and which side you’re choosing in that regard.

Yeah, things are tough all over and by the end, you’re going to have to pick a side and hope you made the right connections and allies.

The artwork that accompanies the game is cool. You can play "ironman" mode where you can't replay a chapter or "blind" choice where you won't know what your results will be from your choices. Personally I played it this way the first few times, but I'll probably turn them off in later playthroughs so I can more easily see how to get other outcomes.

And I’d be lying if this game didn’t remind me of something I would write, (Though this has way less swearing) so of course I enjoyed this a lot. And it wasn’t all hung up on all the goddamn romance  faggotry bullshit that is all the rage nowadays. Not to say that there aren’t a few waifus in there but when you play it, you definitely can tell that wasn’t the main goal of game. (Thankfully)

Anyway, yeah you should definitely play it if you haven’t already.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 4/13/2023 7:50:37 AM

Road 96

This is one is a bit different in terms of "IF" since it's arguably an adventure game with some CYOA components rather than "IF", however considering what passes for "IF" on the Intersexed Fiction Forums, this probably has more choices than the average "Trans and Suicidal" thing they're praising at any given time.

The premise of this game is you're one of the many faceless teenagers trying to escape your country which is a dictatorship. The game is also set during the 90s, so that does away with any smartphone/internet shit that could potentially get you out of trouble/help you in some way. There's also a minor inventory and food stat to keep an eye on. Money is useful, though keeping your health up with food is very necessary since if you run out of energy, you get found by the cops and thrown into teen jail ending that run.

You'll actually play as multiple teens since if your teen gets killed, captured, or escapes, the game isn't exactly over yet. You pick a new teen who has completely different adventures.

These adventures you have are in the form of mini-scenarios. Remember, you're hitchhiking to the border (Or potentially stealing a car, riding in a taxi, etc), so you're going to encounter some interesting characters along the way. These include several ongoing major ones that are all pursuing their own goals and most of these characters are connected with each other in some way. From the obnoxious news lady, to the criminal duo, to the politician's rebel daughter, etc. This is where most of your CYOA style choices are going to be, as you interact with them. There's also some mini-games like driving or figuring out a small puzzle.

With each new teen, the events in the game march on which involves the election. Your actions can influence how that turns out eventually. Your actions also end up determining what might happen to the characters you ran into in the game. Escape gets harder as well with each new teen since the government gets stricter on the border crossing. The game ends when the story finally reaches it's conclusion of the election which can range from a new person getting elected and making the country freer to a complete rebel protest being crushed by government troops. (Along with various characters living or dying)

I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. It's definitely look different than the Sir Brante game I mentioned, but even with the brighter colors, comedic moments and somewhat cheerful look, this game has sort of its own dark tone about it. I mean you're trying to escape from a tyrannical government that's throwing disobedient teens into a prison pit. Not to mention you can die at the hands of not just the government, but also a psycho that's running around as one of the characters, so despite it being having more of a PG-13 rating than R, it's not like this one doesn't have it grim bits.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Road 96 is awesome! One of my favorites definitely. It's pretty unique among games right now. If you have an xbox and a few coins left lying around, their gamepass is only 1 dollar for the first month! Just make sure to end the subscription right after your done playing, after the month is over it reverts back to 9.99 :(

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Looks like there's a prequel called Road 96 Mile 0 that's just come out, but you only play as Zoe and some guy named Kaito.

Might download this one too.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Sure has been an.uptick in actually talking about writing and IF lately. This is one I'll definitely play the next time it's on sale.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

I watched the trailer, the art is indeed really nice. It actually reminds me so much of those woodwork prints or the drawings of Frank Utpatel in Shadow over Innsmouth. High contrast and heavy focus on ink work.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by Sherbet on 4/13/2023 1:39:19 PM

Mothmen 1966

This was the other one I played through recently. This one is probably more in the visual novel category than a traditional CYOA. Pretty sure there’s only one winning ending, but there’s a few choices that lead to death, so I’m counting it as an IF.

Mothmen 1966 is the first of what looks to be starting a series of “pixel pulp” adventures. The art style of the game is made to look like the graphics of an old 1980s computer game. That alone is probably going to turn away some people, but it’s mainly what drew me to it in the first place.

As you can tell by the title, the story is taking place in 1966 and involves the cryptid Mothman. Multiple of them, in fact it isn’t even just mothmen, there’s some other weird hybrids running around too. (The Jersey Devil also makes an appearance!) 

You’ll play as 3 different characters throughout the story which unfolds pretty similar to what you might see on an old Tales from the Crypt/Darkside episode (Or any of those old horror shows) There’s an older gas station owner taking care of his grandma, a young couple on a date and a weird writer as the main characters and dealing with the mothmen who start showing up in this rural location. You only get to play as the gas station owner and the couple. Though really I would have rather just played as the gas station guy or the writer had he been available.

The choice stuff is broken up with mini-games, some of which are optional (Like the solitaire game) or move the story along (Like small puzzles that if you fail to solve, you die) 

I’d say there was really only one puzzle mini-game that was annoying since it was required and tedious due to how the control scheme is. The control scheme for the mini-games also acts like an old computer design, so its a bit clunky than it needs to be at time. I get what they were going for, but it probably could have had a less “immersive” design and not lost anything.

Since the main draw is going to be the story, I’ll go ahead and say if you’re into cheap b-movie horror stories then you might find this to be a good use of your time and money. It’s pretty cheap.

I didn’t mind the game over all, though I think they could have had a few alternate “winning” endings without changing the general story too much. Like having certain characters survive/die similar to something you’d see in Until Dawn. There's some bloody death scenes, so that was a cool.

The version of the game I had, also had a free demo of the next pixel pulp adventure called Varney Lake. There was actually a good sized bit of the beginning for it too. That one was set in the 1950s with a group of kids. (Someone really likes solitaire variations as mini-games at that company since there’s one in here too) The friends are hanging out until some bullies are looking for one of them, so they run into an old barn where they meet a vampire that's hiding from the sun. Demo ends about there, but looks like the full version is supposed to be out this year. In any case, it was sort of a nice bonus since I wasn’t expecting any sort of additional stuff to play when I downloaded the Mothmen game.

There’s a third pixel pulp adventure in the works called Bahsen Knights. Have no idea what that one is about, but says something about religious fanatics in the description I read.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
I will probably post a review of the Curious Expedition 2 in here soon if End doesn't mind other people using the thread. If I can ever just get through the campaign. The various crashes and performances issues have me locked into an abusive relationship with the game but it is VERY good besides that and I know it still loves me.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Yeah it's fine. I'd rather see this at the top of the Lounge with reviews than Ant's retarded flop shit.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Didn't realize there was an ending that lead to becoming a God. I guess there is a way of beating the system despite all the grimdark mortal life.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

I did a play-through with no going back and not being able to see future choices and I got pretty far into it before I got my true death. Honestly was pretty tilted that Grandpa gave me one like one chapter in and you can't really get any revenge given him burning the entire house down. I did the lotless and noble path. The noble path is honestly a lot better in terms of writing in my opinion especially if you're able to keep the family together and get the unity sub ending, probably one of the few interactive steam games where I actually gave a shit about the entire family and making sure most of them were in most graces except for maybe Nathan and Mother who really didn't have as much writing quality as the two other siblings and Dad got. Got my final death in the trial and sentencing that one Ark freedom fighter guy but honestly think it's pretty easy to avoid getting killed since most of them are pretty obvious.

9/10 game though super enjoyable and reminds me a lot of suzerain.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/2/2023 9:55:09 AM

The Innsmouth Case

Probably haven't explored a lot of the paths in this one yet, but so far this one has captured my attention enough to have me trying to find all the different endings. (Got 3 so far and it looks like there's a bunch more if the achievements are anything to go by)

As you might be able to tell from the title, this is a Lovecraft related IF, but it doesn't go in the creepy/horror direction, it goes in a more humorous one though you definitely can still die a horrible death which is usually accompanied by mocking narration. In fact the narration really doesn't let up with mocking you (and everything else). Due to the mocking narration I'm probably also enjoying it since it reminds me of something I'd write (with way less swearing of course).

The setting at first seems like it might be taking place in the 1930s or 40s, due to the whole private detective noir feel, but it soon becomes apparent that it's taking place in a more modern time. Though Innsmouth being a eldritch horror town, its still a bit stuck in the past. The main premise is that you're tasked with finding a lost little girl in the town of Innsmouth. So you go there and start your search and hilarious comic horror ensues. Or if you're like me you got your first ending by NOT taking the case which I always appreciate an option to do. Honestly that short path reminded me a bit of what Ogre does with some of his stories even where the game tries a few times to prod you back to the "right path" but if you remain determined to not follow directions, the game says fuck it and you'll get an ending for it.

Innsmouth isn't quite entirely just some remote town filled with fish people abominations, there's actually a thriving tourist business here which already makes the setting a bit different than the usual way its portrayed. If anything Innsmouth seems a bit less isolated than it usually is which I guess helps with the humor aspect like there's just this place that people visit for fun despite all the eldritch horror running about.

While the obvious Deep One inhabitants and their big fish daddy Dagon are the main antagonists here, you can bump into the other Lovecraftian beings as well like the Great Race of Yith. Haven't encountered him yet, but I'm sure Cthulhu will pop up in some branch since it wouldn't be a Lovecraft based game without him. (Pretty sure I saw a faded squid face silhouette on the achievements list too) 

Anyway might follow up with another post on this after playing a bit more later, but yeah so far it's been worth playing.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
I'm seeing on Steam the devs have another game called Plan B from Outer Space. I'll probably wait on a sale and grab them both.

Usually I vaguely resent attempts to make the Cthulhu mythos funny, like it just misses the point. But the jokes in this one seem genuinely funny.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Oh cool, I might check this one out then too. This one is also way cheaper than the Innsmouth one, which was already a lot cheaper on the phone rather than steam.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by Sherbet on 5/2/2023 2:41:31 PM

Varney Lake

Now I mentioned this one a bit before in the Mothmen post since there was a little demo of it in that game. I’ve played the whole “game” proper now.

And I use the term game very loosely since this one was definitely more in the visual novel category even more than the Mothmen one. There’s several chapters, but you might only get one choice selection per chapter at most and most of the time with those it’s just a list you’re going down until it funnels into the only choice that moves the story ahead. 

You don’t even get any death endings like you did with mothmen (at least I never encountered any), so you’re pretty much reading a book with maybe a few alterations on a couple things since I didn’t unlock a lot of the gallery scenes so there’s probably some minor stuff I missed. I did get one of the secret scenes (out of 4) though. Could be a case where the few minor choices you get eventually unlock "the whole story" with replays.

While this isn’t much of a CYOA, let alone a puzzle based story (Doesn’t even have those this time around) the story did interest me enough that none of that mattered much. 

As I mentioned before, the premise of this one is basically about 3 childhood friends who encounter a vampire while spending their summer at Varney Lake. While this takes place in 1954, the story jumps between this event and 1981 which involves the friends when they’re older and talking about the even to a reporter character who was in the Mothmen game. You actually play as him this time, in fact you play as several characters just like you did in the mothmen game. 

Besides Lou (The reporter character) several other characters from the Mothmen game pop up. While you wouldn’t really need to play that game, you’d sort of miss out on some of the references. Several in fact and honestly, I feel like you might not even enjoy this one without having at least played through Mothmen 1966, because all this one really has going for it is a storyline. As I said, there just isn’t much gameplay here so the main thing that’s going to keep you engaged is the story and the connecting lore from the first game. If you didn’t like Mothmen 1966, you probably wouldn’t like this one.

There’s actually stuff going on which doesn’t quite get completely explained and just hinted at within the story, so I assume they’re planning on fleshing out this little Pixel Pulp world they’re creating with these games. 

Speaking of which, this one also came with a demo of their next Pixel Pulp adventure called Bahnsen Knights. That one is a bit odder with a religious cult and an unknown year. (Might be taking place long after the other two games though) The character you play as in the demo seems to have infiltrated the cult but you don’t learn too much more than that. Actually even got a death ending in that demo so that one might have more choice.

Anyway I’m intrigued enough to buy that one too when it comes out.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/8/2023 8:41:16 PM

Plan B From Outer Space

Much like The Innsmouth Case, I probably haven’t come close to exploring all the paths in this one yet, but again much like that game, it’s captured my attention enough to have me trying to find all the different endings.

As you might be able to tell from the title, this one is scifi based, but instead of putting you into the role of some human going against aliens or something similar, it actually puts you into the role of a shape shifting alien instead. It definitely goes for the humorous tone right from the start, even more than the Innsmouth Case.

The basic premise is you’re an alien that crash lands on earth and you’re attempting to find a way off the planet. You land in some backwater town in Bavaria where they’re celebrating putting in their first cellular tower so their village finally joins the 21st century. You’ll generally be sneaking about taking the various forms of the locals (including animals) to better accomplish your goal.

The whole time you’re sneaking about, you’re always in contact with the helpful Automatic Ship System or the ASS for short. And yep, the story will tend to word that acronym in sentences multiple times exactly how you expect it would in a game like this.

While the main paths are similar in some respects (Like go to the Dam to re-power your ship or go try to use the new tower to contact a rescue ship) there is a slight difference based your very first choice. Picking that you just came back from a mission destroying an enemy base, puts you in the role of an “invader” while picking the choice that you just came back from a mission saving an endangered species gives you a more explorer/scientist mindset. There’s also an early choice where you get to pick one piece of equipment to take with you. Taking the blaster opens up different choices later on than taking say the scanner.

I actually only got killed once in the four endings I’ve found so far. And even in that one, I had the ship self destruct to take out the loathsome humans.

I think I like this one even more than the Innsmouth Case. Since this is the company’s second game, I’m looking forward to any new stuff they put out in the future.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Just an fyi for anyone that was interested, both Innsmouth and Plan B are 90% off on Steam right now.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by TharaApples on 6/7/2023 10:14:56 PM

A Better World

Just found this one and it's been a fun one to waste time with even if it really goes off rails with a lot of the scenarios. It's not quite an IF in the traditional sense, but it sure as hell has more choices and outcomes than the typical CoG faggotry.

It's a simple concept, you start off with a few key important events in history and you pick one of them to change and see what happens. Then you get more events and see how you can fuck up the timeline even more.

That's it. You can have things from the Aztecs fighting off the Euros and establishing a bloody empire over North and South America to preventing flight being invented so Al Qaida uses a mega underground drill to destroy the twin towers instead.

You can even get really bizarre scenarios like death rays being invented and used in WW1, Bill Gates owning 51% of humanity to discovering lost dinosaur civilizations underground.

You have a karma system, but generally it doesn't mean shit since its subjective anyway. One person's dystopia is another one's utopia right? In any case, it doesn't always make sense even within the vague guidelines of the game. Committing genocide can be balanced out a lot easier than you might think most of the time. You can actually get timelines where you exterminate humanity, so far I haven't seen a way to reverse these events once you get them. You can generally still change events before the extinction level event, but that's it. Of course you could fuck thing up even worse and get such an event even earlier which will change things, but that probably isn't what you had in mind. (So far the earliest I've found is the Black Plague. Spanish Flu is another and of course the ever popular WW3)

There are a few downsides to the game in its current form though, which is there are a few events that are buggy. I've found that the Vietnam War one in particular can cause some issues since as you change events, it's very possible to pick a changed event within that same year but the game still believing that the Vietnam War is still going on and gives you the same options. This can cause an error (Or temporal paradox in the game terms) which causes you to have to reset all your progress.

The other is, there are only so many outcomes that were written, so eventually you'll probably run out during your run which will result in getting "kicked out" and you get a final score screen and a chance to save your timeline and add your name. This is basically the "end game" status, but it's fairly abrupt whenever you stumble upon it.

The third one is the timelines can be really fucking inconsistent at times with what countries are doing okay and which ones are all fucked up. China comes up to mind where it can get nuked by 8 bombs wiping out all its culture save for Taiwan, and then goes on to own half the moon. (Which America buys them out anyway)

While it's certainly possible for a country in real life to bounce back from getting fucked up, sometimes in this game it really stretches believability. (And of course that's before the war with the dinosaurs)

Still despite those drawbacks, it's still fun to play. For me it reminds me of a combination of a card game called Chrononauts and the IF game Seedship. Hopefully it might get updated and expanded at some point.

So whether you want to hold back technology and make Magellan discover Antarctica instead or expand the slave trade to India and have the first man on the moon in the 1800s, there's still a wide variety of outcomes.

Anyway, here's a link to it

A Better World

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

I have recently been playing through Starbound again and stumbled across an arcade cabinet in a desolate abandoned space ship that to my shock contained a small and pretty short sample of IF.

Here is a screenshot of the start of the game within the game:

Here is more about the air hockey driven story in the game: clicky

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
I dunno why, but finding games stuffed into other games is always something that makes me smile.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Haha I saw Starbound and was so confused on how it was considered an IF.

I have not seen that in the game yet but it looks a bit like a visual novel just based off of it's graphics?

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

It is a visual novel with minimal graphics (just slide ins and minor facial changes as the only animation).  There are a few choices which apparently can lead to 2 different endings.  I've only had time to go through it once (I have almost 600 hours in on Starbound and this is the first time I have ever seen it), but apparently it has a couple variables behind the scene that flip based on choices made in trying to romance the only other character in the story.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

I love that. I'll be on the lookout for it every time I explore from now on.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

If it helps I found it at one of the purple swirl markers around a Frozen star.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Okie dokie 

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago

Yeah, it's always a nice surprise when you get a IF style mini game pop up in another one. The old Space Rangers 2 game was a rare one where they shoved in as many genres as they could from space ship sim to real time strategy. Even some light RPG elements.

The big one though was all the text adventure bits they had in the game. Some of the missions you had on planets would pop up in CYOA form. It certainly made the game more enjoyable for me.

Some of these even had a few puzzley elements to them. You had stuff from picking the most fuel efficient path on some Mad Maxesque planet, to participating in a cooking contest and trying to figure out the ingredients, along with appealing to what the judges liked best.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/25/2023 7:35:03 AM

Curious Expedition 2

Well I thought Mizal was going to do a review of this one, so I held off, but since she's failed to do so, I might as well post the review I posted elsewhere (With some more unfiltered wording here)

So this one isn't quite an "IF" but I'm including it here since fuck it, there's enough choice stuff and I already included a couple of other games that barely even have that.

CE2 is basically a Jules Verne/HG Wells island exploration style game (randomly generated) with turn based dice combat (and skill checks) and party management. You get a party of adventurers to explore a mysterious island and try to complete whatever mission you're trying to complete, be is discover some location, get some artifact or just take a survey of the island.

Level up your explorers so they can pass skill checks/fight better. It should be noted that you're all doing this more for the glory rather than the fortune. Your expeditions are mostly funded by the organization/university you're working for. You typically get a budget to buy common equipment before each expedition. Any loot you might get from the island is usually going towards "glory" which is sort of your currency to buy the better/fancy shit. Equipment in general is returned if you don't use it for that mission. Of course stuff like weapons or clothing/armor you found you usually can keep in your inventory. (Or even sell)

The downsides would probably be is you don’t really get a lot of backstory on your characters, they’re just people of various skills and professions. It’s not like where certain backgrounds can cause specific events. Though the characters can have certain traits that can cause issues. These can range from kleptomania to RACISM (and sexism!) It’s not really a major CYOA based game either though there’s lots to do like steal from temples, fight or trade with the natives, fight or tame wild life, stumble on ruins, dig up treasure, etc.

They also shoved romance into the game and sometimes various party members can randomly fall in love which I know is something the lesser IF communities are a fan of here for some strange reason. Just sort of gives a small bonus while the relationship is in play and sometimes flavor text stuff at time. And yes, in case anyone is wondering for inclusivity, the party members can be the BIG GAY with each other. (Once again proving you can be a racist, sexist turbo homo)

You can also have animal followers like dogs, donkeys or even dinosaurs if you manage to find an egg and hatch one. Usually the animal followers are better since they just carry loot and fight without all the loyalty/personality issues.

Of course there’s bad things that can happen just besides the usual dying in combat, like party members fighting with each other or even stealing and leaving if the loyalty gets low.

There’s also a sanity meter that you need to keep from going into zero while you’re exploring otherwise bad things will happen like in one case, my thief party member ATE the fucking priest party member and then later on turned into an abomination which I had to kill. (That was towards the end of the last campaign mission too, glad I managed to still pull off a win, because I was playing Ironman mode the whole time would have been pissed to have lost that close to the end)

I had the 3 DLC along with the base game so I had more stuff with the game like adding steampunk robot companions, highland style islands, another one added more magical islands complete with furry versions of those Jap raccoon dogs that have oversized ballsacks that they beat people up with. (Okay they don't actually do that in this game, but it would be hilarious if they did)

There is a campaign to play through, but you can definitely just play the non-campaign mode where you just continue to go through your adventures. I originally was going to buy the first Curious Expeditions game which had more of a retro pixel art style that I greatly prefer, however this one looked like it had more "to do" so I went with this one and got used to the Tin Tin art style this one had. (Not that I hate the art style, it actually works for this game)

There more stuff I haven't mentioned, but if all of what I did mention sounds fun and interesting to you, then you should definitely go ahead and get it.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Yeah fuck this game, the adventure is 75% staring at black screens until your laptop crashes.

It's everything I want in a game except for that part, those brief periods I actually got to play it in between the 5000 poorly optimized scene transitions.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 5/25/2023 7:35:09 AM

Griftlands

In further liberal use of the term “IF” Griftlands qualifies for this thread so here we go with this review since I’ve finally played enough of it.

This one has been described as a mix of different genres, RPG, Rougelike, and one of my hated forms of play, deck building (Ugh).

However, when I watched some of the gameplay, I figured I’d give it a go. The art style sort of helped since it reminded me of the 1980s Heavy Metal cartoon, though with less nudity and drug use, but don’t let that deter you, it’s still a good game without those things.

Anyway, you get 3 different characters to play and each has their own story to go through. The story takes place on a generally corrupt planet with a bunch of factions vying for control. From the criminal organizations to the government to religious cults.

There’s a lesbian bounty hunter looking for revenge, then after playing with her a bit (Win or lose) you unlock an old war vet working as a spy, and finally you’ll unlock an alcoholic alien who got disowned by his family.

Those story plots are always the same, however there are choices you can make on who to side with/help/kill/etc which will branch into different paths. Also you’ll get random encounters and different people to potentially deal with in new playthroughs, so there’s definitely a lot of replayability.

Besides picking a few choices here and there, you’ll also be doing a lot of fighting, though not necessarily with your fists/guns, you also have negotiations for when the combat is all about talking your way out of having to use said fists/guns. Negotiations are generally never lethal, though failing one could lead to actual combat which definitely can be.

Regular combat isn’t always lethal either, in fact you get the option at times to not kill your enemies if you beat them. While it might seem like the logical thing to do is kill your enemies, it’s not always a good idea since that typically angers other people and you’ll potentially get negative statuses that can impede you later on.

Both styles have their own battle decks and you’ll acquire cards for them as you play the game, along with leveling up your skills and access to more money/items. This is where the game also really encourages replays, since you are most likely not going to win your first time playing, so bonuses you unlock carry over in the next play through.

(Yes, there is a “story mode” where you can just restart that day if you get killed in combat, but what sort of faggot would play such a mode?)

I won’t go too much into the whole deck building mechanics since I’ve never really gotten the hang of them and there are a lot of people here more into that genre that are better at it, but I did well enough with it that I beat the old vet’s storyline. Did the best with him for some reason since I didn't die once and managed to play from beginning to end (Story takes place over the course of a few days) Still haven't won with the lesbian or the alien yet, though the stories do overlap a little or at least the characters do since you're all generally in the same area so you'll bump into familar faces. In my vet's playthrough I actually bumped into the lesbian character on a random event and worked with her to take down a bounty.

Of course even beating a character’s storyline, you can always go back and make different choices to unlock other stuff. There’s even a challenge modes where you can just play around. I sort of wonder if there is some "last story" where if you beat all the character's stories it allows you to play with all three of them in a party.

Anyway, if all this sounds like fun or interesting to you, it’s worth playing if you haven’t already.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
I came to this thread to talk a little about Sir Brante, but I see you already have. I've played the first two chapters and adore the world, talking myself into actually buying the full game.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago

It's definitely worth getting. I need to go back and do another playthrough at some point.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
I think I will, do you have any other recommendations for IF's similar to this one? I don't have really any expierences with them outside of the site.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago

Haven't seen any quite like this one unfortunately.

If you're looking for IFs that are just fun to play along with having a lot of choices/paths, the two I already mentioned in this thread The Innsmouth Case and Plan B From Outer Space are also worth playing.

I dunno if you've ever played the "Sorcery!" series, but I'd recommend that one as well if you want more of an epic adventure though its in 4 parts. Suranna was supposed to post a review of that one, not sure what happened to it though.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
Commended by mizal on 6/7/2023 5:40:00 PM

Alright, downloaded some IFs and they were all free. Currently working my way through them all, but I might as well write up a review for the one I finished already.

Interactive Horror Stories

This one actually gives you 7 different IFs. Of course these are a bit of a mixed bag. A couple of them only really have 2 different endings while a few others have 3 or even 4. All of them can be played and replayed pretty quickly. Hell you can play ALL of them within a shorter period of time than it would to play some of the longer stories on here.

The Doll, After the Funeral, Crystal Skull 1 & 2, Evil Beneath the Ground, Madness in Infinite Loop, and Ouija are the IFs.

A lot of them have you playing as some mother, father, husband, etc that’s lost a child or spouse.

Oddly despite the looping nature of the game, Madness in Infinite Loop was probably the best of the bunch. By all rights I should have hated that one the most, but I was intrigued enough by the Ground Hog Day premise to keep trying different choices until I resolved the mystery.

I’d say the other ones that are alright are Evil Beneath the Ground and Crystal Skull 2. Probably liked these two more due to the protagonists not being the “parent dealing with loss” theme that the rest seemed to be all into.

Ouija I didn’t care for at all since it had an odd bit where you had to keep the finger on the cursor to act as if you were moving that Ouija thing on the board. Sort of slowed things down.

The rest are meh.

However, it’s free so if you don’t mind dealing with a few ads and you’re into horror based stuff, it’s worth a play through to pass the time.

It looks like this collection was supposed to be the first of a potential series, but there doesn't look like there are any signs of it being continued any time soon, which is sort of a shame since I wouldn't mind reading through another horror anthology IF series like this one.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
Commended by mizal on 6/7/2023 5:39:38 PM

The other 2 free ones I downloaded

Past Mistakes

So going into this one based on the title and the vaguely scifi looking pics, I figured this one was going to be time travel related and I was right. Though they don’t do the whole looping until you get the “proper” ending thing like I half expected it to. There’s multiple endings, or at least 3 that I found. Despite it being free there weren’t any ads.

It’s not very long and really only a couple choices matter. It’s not a bad story, but more certainly could have been done with it.

You’re a detective working for the one world government though you’re secretly part of a resistance movement. You also got a female coworker that’s all into you, but she’s a filthy ginger so its just one step up from being gay.

Anyway you find some container from the past that contains blueprints to making a machine that couldn’t be made in that time, but could be made in the future (Where you are) Turns out the one who sent it is the brother of the dictator for life that nuked the world and set up the current one world government. Obviously he didn’t agree with his brother’s ideology so he buried this as a back up plan.

From there you take the container to the resistance and go back in time (with or without help) to stop the dictator. Now I figured it might take the multiple choice approach of WHEN you’d try to do this. After all I remember a CYOA where you did this with Hitler and it was done pretty well.

This one didn’t bother with all that. Just teleporting back to when that fucker was born and grabbing him straight out of his mom’s vertical smile.

So I suppose the major highlight is you MASH A BABY in order to change the past. You don’t even try to say given him to a different family or something. Just straight to the baby mashing.

Okay, you don’t actually mash a baby, but you do just brutally twist its head until you break its little neck. It’s okay though since it was going to grow up to be worse than Hitler. (You still die and go to hell though since that’s where baby mashers go)

Another ending involves someone else shooting the baby and then shooting himself (And going to hell). This is probably considered the best ending since you change the timeline and wind up with the ginger. Though in another ending she betrays you to the one world government because gingers are souless fickle demons.

Anyway I just spoiled the whole thing because even though its free, I probably just made it more entertaining and saved you time. You’re welcome.

Moving on…

Treacherous Trail

This one is a CYOA mixed with light RPG/rouge-like elements. The game generates a “story” and a party of adventurers for you and then you pick one of three paths (A Haunted Forest, some plains, and a desert) and you’re off.

Along the path you run through a series of encounters that can range from choices to combat. The combat is sort of easy. I played through a few times and never had a total party kill. In fact you might even recruit new folks along the way. Sort of interesting that you can gain members like trolls and vampires (flirty female one of course) in your team, though it may be alignment based since the hawt vampire chick only joined due to my party being of evil alignment. Oddly you can also start with animal party members like pigs and chickens.

Also I got saddled with evil alignment only due to defending against some bandits trying to kill me and then picking the choice to not show any mercy when given the option to spare them. What the fuck? Oh well, there didn’t seem to be any downside since some peasants were so scared of my reputation they gave me money later.

After you travel so many miles on one path you complete it and pick one of the other ones until all three have been traveled, then you win.

You get a score based on how well you did (Party members alive, gold, etc) And the game keeps track of your best party and a few other stats. You can then start a new game and do it all over again and hope you do better.

And that’s about it really. There isn’t much in the way of story and the choices are pretty simple. The events are slightly random, but after a few times of playing, there are definitely a lot of events that always happen on a path. I’d say maybe a couple play-throughs and you’re ready to move on. Again, its free though so you didn’t spend any money on it (There’s ads though), if you want to mess around with it.


Yep, these 3 recent ones were all meh at best, but they can't all be interesting or winners. You get what you don't pay for, just like coins' mom.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
Commended by mizal on 6/7/2023 9:47:21 PM

Well I didn’t want to end on that miserable trio of IFs, so here’s one on an IF I’ve actually had for awhile and hadn’t mentioned before.

Life in Adventure

Now here’s another free one with a bit more higher quality. No ad banners covering half the screen or even a lot intrusive ones that play every 2 seconds. It works more on that “in app purchase gems” thing, but you don’t have to pay for shit if you don’t want to. (I’ll get into that a bit more later)

The game has pixel artwork to accompany the text and there are stats to keep track of so it’s another one that has light RPG/Roguelike elements since the events are randomized and you probably will get a few different ones in repeat play throughs. There’s inventory as well.

Okay so the basic premise is “Being an adventurer.” That’s literally it. You just go through a series of events until you eventually reach the end of it.

Now there actually is a “main quest” though it doesn’t come right out and tell you. You sort of just stumble on it in a couple events. In fact it is entirely possible to avoid the main quest, though there’s even consequences for that choice too.

Speaking of choices, there’s definitely enough here. Some of them are going to be based on your stats and give you a percentage of success depending on the stat being tested, so even if you suck at something, there still might be a chance to succeed (and vice versa) Fighting tends to be a big dice roll. Obviously the better your stats, the more likely you’re going to beat stronger enemies. There’s always that chance you could roll a natural 20 and win though. (Or natural 1 and lose)

The game does keep track of your reputation as well, so do evil things and suffer the consequences (Or reap the benefits)

The events are varied enough that you’ll probably at least go through a couple play throughs without getting a whole bunch you did already. Even if you do, you could always try a different choice. Playing as another character with different stat strengths adds to the replay value as well. Lot of different endings since the game accounts for what you did on some of the major event quests, not just the main one. (And yes, you might even get a waifu)

Which brings me to the replay value.

Besides the randomization, the game’s design encourages you to play A LOT so you can eventually unlock more shit, especially if you’re a miser like me.

Every monster you encounter, every item you acquire, every ending you unlock, etc gives you a gem. These gems can then be used to unlock new events and even new backgrounds which will change up the main quest line. (Not the just becoming an adventurer storyline) The amount of gems to unlock new events and backgrounds is on the steep side. I’ve actually only unlocked 3 new major event quest lines and there’s still more than a few left. I haven’t even touched the different backgrounds yet as those take even more gems. This also isn't even counting the stat bonuses/perks you can buy with gems, but I'm not interested in those so much as I am in more story stuff.

While there’s definitely a lot of monsters/items to encounter to get gems, eventually you’ll get to the point where you’ve gone through a lot of the common events and gems are going to be harder to come by, so that’s either deliberately seeking out shit you haven’t done yet to get gems OR “paying to win”

Yep, you can always just pay real money to buy a shitload of gems to unlock more stuff. These price rates vary depending on how many gems you buy of course. There is a middle ground where you can watch an ad for a whopping 2 gems (The events and backgrounds cost like 50 and 100 lol) however, you can do this as much as you want, so you could inch your way up with ads and still not pay shit.

Depends on where your priorities lie I suppose. There's also a general unlock payment which allows you to customize your character and gives you a free resurrection. (Otherwise you just play with the random character you get dealt and ironman mode it) Gets rid of the ads that occasionally show up as well (Not the ones that can get you free gems though).

In any case, I’d say this one is worth fucking around with for awhile and then when you get to that point where you’re having a harder time getting gems for free, take a break from it and maybe pick it up again later (When you’ve forgotten some of the events). The game was updated with a new event available as recent as this March so it’s still getting attention by the developers.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

11 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 6/13/2023 12:07:56 PM

King of Chicago

This is another one that’s edging the “IF” category, but is probably closer than others on this list. Thought about putting this in the Ye Olde Video Games thread, but I figured I might as well put it here.

King of Chicago takes place in that whole 1930s gangster era. Obviously by the title the place is Chicago.

The closest I could say the gameplay is to is a VN. Hell, might in be an early example of one, since the original version of the game was pure conversation based and didn’t have any arcade like sequences.

Generally your character get a selection of a few choices in conversations which then lead to what happens next. Sometime this might be more conversation, sometimes it leads to an arcade sequence, sometimes it even gets you outright killed.

So you play as Pinky Callahan and Al Capone has just gone to jail, so it’s time for a new mob boss to rise to power.

However, you’re not even the boss of the Northside Gang yet, so you have to plan on taking out the “Old Man” before you can take on Santucci (Southside Gang) who is the main enemy you’ll be going up against.

There’s a cast of characters that show up in the game, sometimes more than others. The main ones you’ll probably see the most are Ben, Bull and Peepers who are all members of the Northside gang.

As I’ve mentioned the first order of business is taking out the Old Man. This can be done a few ways. You can set things up to just outright shoot him or even bomb him. Bombing something is an arcade sequence which I never could get the hang of and typically if you fail it, you get killed in the process.

Shooting him leads to a minor sequence of you pulling out a gun and aiming it before he does that to you. This is another arcade sequence that pops up after conversations from time to time. Sometimes suddenly, so you need to pay attention and be quick. (Or again, you’ll get killed)

The third way is to convince him to just retire.

Failing to get rid of the old man in a timely manner (Keep putting it off for example) eventually leads events leading to confrontation anyway and probably not in your favor. You might even get a sequence where you get thrown into the river wearing cement shoes.

In any case, however you get rid of the Old Man, the game opens up a bit more. You then get a desk where you can click on various things. One of these is a picture of your girlfriend, another is a ledger where you’re hiring more men and doling out how much money various people get. And finally you even got a small map of territory where you can plot your next take overs. Again, these are arcade sequences usually in the form of a shoot out with gangsters running around on screen while you attempt to shoot them like you’re playing Duck Hunt or another one of those type of games. (You can do bombings if you want though)

The shoot outs are easier than the bombing, though if you get shot too many times, it’s a game over. Also occasionally a woman’s shadow will pop up in a window and if you accidentally shoot her, it’s another game over. Though not an immediate one. You get some conversations leading to your arrest and then eventual execution. You even get the option of choosing your last words before you get a sequence of getting zapped in the chair.

The ledger really doesn’t do too much, though you might want to just make sure you’re paying everyone enough since if you don’t you’ll eventually get Ben complaining that everyone is pissed that you’re stuffing yourself while everyone else goes hungry. Not correcting this won’t end well.

Of course it wouldn’t be a gangster game if Pinky didn’t have a girlfriend. In this case, it’s Lola who is the one on the picture. If you click on the pic, you’ll get a scene with those two talking to each other where you’ll get some choices. Interestingly, you can go an entire game without ever interacting with her directly.

In-between doing all that, you’ll get more conversation sequences with choices of what to say, some of which are just flavor and don’t actually impact anything, while others lead to other potential action sequences. There’s also other characters that pop up like Pinky’s mom, some kid that wants to be a gangster, the mayor, Pinky’s childhood friend that became a cop, etc.

So you win by taking out Santucci and this can be accomplished two ways that I know of. One is the direct way of taking over all the territory in action sequences and then finally shooting him in a showdown.

The second way involves Lola. If you actually focus on her sequences and things are good between you both, you’ll eventually get the option of having her set up Santucci and you pop in to take him out without bothering with all the territory stuff.

Apparently there is a third way to win the game, but I never did discover it. Maybe it’s getting Santucci thrown in jail by bribing the mayor with enough money or something.

Much like taking out the Old Man though, taking out Santucci is on a timer. If you stall too long (Like going through a lot of conversation scenes and never going for the last territory or failing to take it over a few times) you will eventually get confronted by Ben who says the gang has lost faith in you as a leader and it won’t end well for you. I don’t think there’s an option to retire like the Old Man did either, you either get shot by Ben or you kill Ben and then Peepers kills you. I believe you can get arrested as well.

And that’s about it. It plays fairly quickly so I definitely played through it multiple times.

Now this game is from 1986, so I doubt anyone here will be playing it anytime soon though I did hear there was an emulated version available on apps. This version is the Amiga one which is definitely the best looking of the bunch (And the one I had). The original ye olde 80s Macintosh one looks like a horror show since they used digital claymation for the characters, but this is the one that had the pure conversation choice before they added more arcade sequences for the other computer versions.

You can probably watch a youtube video of it if you’re not interested in hunting down ancient games to play. There’s probably a couple versions that explore most of the options available of it.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

7 months ago

Well with EndMaster reviewing the book and digital version of the Sorcery! series and the fleeting promise of a reentry ticket to the Realm of the Gods, I guess it's finally time for me to get off my lazy, degenerate, insubordinate Mormon arse and submit my review of the game version. 

 

That's right! It's time for a SurMaster (EndAnna?) double feature with

Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

 

Now I'll be reviewing the game version of it, while End has reviewed the original book and the digital version. The game version's a little different. It's got some minigames and bonus visuals throughout it, and the UI is pretty good. But overall it's stayed very faithful the book, and I'd consider it an excellent adaptation. 

Now the game itself is split into four different parts, just like the books. I bought it originally on steam, where parts 1 & 2 are combined and 3 & 4 you have to pay separately. You are given a code to save your progress across the games. And if anyone wants to continue where I last left off in the middle of the City of Khare, my code is HESIDY. 

The game is also on the Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Playstation, as well as the app store. It's 30 dollars max for the entire game.

 

Now the game starts out with you picking your gender. Of course, you can only pick male or female (ridiculous, where is my nonbinary representation??). As far as I know, the only difference between the two gameplay-wise is your little avatar and being referred to as a 'she' or 'he'. But most of the time you are simply referred to as the 'Analander'. 

Now if I can finally remember my steam password, I'll start my revew of part 1.

 

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

7 months ago

Don't combine your names like that.

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

7 months ago

i'm a gay retard who is never hitting puberty because my nuts got crushed when i put them up my dad's ass 

Giant All Purpose IF Review Thread

7 months ago

This is the digital version you're going on about and I haven't really reviewed that version, I only mentioned some differences

Should be cheaper on the app store last time I saw. On Playstation it's half off a lot.

The Sorcery! Game

7 months ago
Commended by EndMaster on 9/25/2023 2:11:54 AM

Part 1:

The Shamutanti Hills

 

The game starts out with you obtaining the Crown of Kings, which is an all powerful magical artifact that grants wisdom and can control minds. It's also the main point of the game. You are to obtain the Crown of Kings from the Archmage of Mampang, who stole it when the next guy was about to be crowned King. The Analander (You) are on a quest to retrieve it. 

Anyway the whole you already having the Crown was just a dream and you wake up in your bed in Analand and the adventure finally starts.

 A screenshot of a video game

Description automatically generated

It's a little hard to see in the picture, but in the top left corner you can see that you have 20 STAMINA, 0 GOLD, and 0 RATIONS. In the book you pray to the Goddess Libra, but in the game you have a SPIRIT GUIDE (top right) which changes depending on your choices. It is currently the Panther. But more on that later.

You roll out of bed and head to the Outpost Settlement. At the gates of Analand, you are greeted by the Seargent of the SightMaster Warriors, and given your first choice. You can be friendly, or hostile. 

The Illustrations are taken from the book and have a clearer read to them. I also enjoy how the UI makes it look like torn pages from a book. A CYOA adventure book, perhaps.

Whether you’re an asshole or not to the man, he’ll give you an option of taking 24 GOLD. You can choose to be nice and not take it, screwing yourself over, or you can just take it and receive no bad consequences. Next he tells you to retrieve your SPELLBOOK, buy some RATIONS and spar with him one last time.

One of the best things about this game is the SPELLBOOK and the possible uses of SPELLs. In the game there are many choices you have to make. Most of these also give you the option to cast a SPELL. You cast spells by combining 3 letters. Usually there are more than one spell options you have. Some of the more handy spells are HOT or ZAP, which subsequently cast a fireball and lighting. You can use these at the beginning of duels to give yourself an edge or just blow something up. There are also defensive spells like FOF or WAL, which create barriers in front of you. Some spells need an item to be able to perform it, and some items are a one-time use like sand, which is used to create the quicksand spell MUD. Of course, you always have the option of going without the spellbook and dueling your way through the entire thing but the Spellbook gives you a lot more choices so you should at least use it for your first playthrough.

I retrieve my spellbook from the Chief Mage and pesker him about the various spells so now my SPIRIT GUIDE has changed to the Jackel. Next I head over to the traders to buy some rations. It’s 2 gold per ration and it stays roughly that for the rest of the game. You also have the option to try and haggle with him and when he says he can’t afford to go any lower because he has to feed his family you can buy nothing and tell him, “That his children will starve and he will burn tomorrow.” Any I buy 6 rations for 10 coins and move on to spar with the Sightmaster.

The Sorcery! Game

7 months ago

Dueling in this game is also very unique. Your stamina acts as your healthbar. You and your opponent both set your power in your attack by dragging your character left. The further you drag your protagonist, the more power is put into your swing. Whoever has the higher number (higher attack power) causes damage to the other person. But once you make a powerful attack, you lose that much in attack power for your next swing. You also have to option to defend, which means you’ll lose one stamina point whether your opponent does a powerful attack or not. Defending also restores your attack power for your next turn. You lose whatever stamina you lost in the battle after it’s over. You are always given the option of retrying the fight and hopefully losing less stamina.