Shufflecomp reviews (Monkey and Bear, A Summer’s Rose, Invisible Parties, HOLY ROBOT EMPIRE)   1 comment

Monkey and Bear, by the opposite of sublimation

A pale sky drifts above the dusty wheel-ruts. Hour after hour, the road comes from the southwest and goes to the northwest. Hour after hour, you walk past stubbled fields and scraggled forest, turning the road ahead into the road behind.

The monkey is here, your best companion. He watches you hopefully.

You are a bear. You must escape captivity with your best friend, the monkey. There’s a time-loop element similar to Look Around the Corner where the underlying story is better written but more obfuscated.

A Summer’s Rose, by Jed Brockett

“Tamlane,” she told your father, “I should have ripped out your eyes and replaced them with two eyes of wood. I should have ripped out your heart and replaced it with a heart of cold stone. You were mine, and now you have been stolen from me.”

Prose: strong. Interaction: not as much. There were many one-choice clicks and in the few instances there are choices as far as I can tell they do not matter (for example, if you choose “wrong” in the first instance you are immediately chided and put back on the proper story; if you apologize or stand firm when you first meet Tamlane there is only a slight textual variation; if you choose a wrong color of horse you again are immediately transferred to the “correct” choice).

Invisible Parties, by Psychopup

As for your resources… well, physical things don’t always translate reliably world-to-world, and walkers tend to be wary of them. Most learned skills rely too heavily on specific circumstances that rarely obtain in other worlds. The range and life expectancy of a wayfarer are circumscribed by gifts, talents in the bone, uncannily irrespective of culture, climate or metaphysics. Gifts are inborn, or hard-bargained from subdivine powers.

You’re an — alien? god? metaphor? — at a very metaphysical party. There are ‘gifts’ you can use but I did not understand them and just started applying them randomly until something happened. My level of confusion was very high and I suspect the story is resonating at some frequency my brain does not respond to properly (either that, or I was running into bugs).


The eye of Saint 43. It provides light, like a tiny, incorruptible star.

It’s a quest to kiss the ring of the Robopope. This has the most solidity of all the puzzle entries to Shufflecomp, or least the one I felt most comfortable noodling about in as if I was in some forgotten Infocom experimental title.

Posted May 31, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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One response to “Shufflecomp reviews (Monkey and Bear, A Summer’s Rose, Invisible Parties, HOLY ROBOT EMPIRE)

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  1. I guessed which one was yours from the final five! It helped that I knew who two of the authors were (most obviously the one I tested, also I happened to find a code snippet of one when I was searching

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