reviewed Gardens of Vextro
I loved this game! (And it's free!) It's an ordered collection of 8 games made by a group of friends, with the condition that each installment is influenced by the story of all previous games. In some ways it's sort of 'epic' in that sense - kind of like how all the stories of Live-a-live or something are related, or something...
It's cool to see the way each game makes use of similar motifs of the white flower, or spatial conceits like a labyrinth, but while expressing each creator's personalities.
Buried Flower - John Thyer - I liked how this built a sense of suspense and also violating whatever flower-grave you were delving into.
Labyrinths - lotus - A short visual novel about a house that slowly empties, their parents disappearing one by one, someone recalling memories of livelier times, also with a kind of sci-fi framing to it.
The Aleph Hustle - LeeRoy Lewin - This reminded me of click-to-move flash games, and with that minimal interaction set managed to convey strongly the sense of a looping and disturbing labyrinth. I won't spoil the twist...
Make Like A Tree - NARFNra - A charming/absurd dungeon crawler that has some neat formal tricks as well as a funny change in tone.
another reverie - saori - A thoughtful and mellow, yuri-inspired (I think) RPG Maker 2k3 aesthetic game that is set outside of a labyrinth, two protagonists who have just finished an adventure and are getting to know each other, revealing potent truths about themselves.
Wet Cemetery - nilson - A 'house-exploration' Twine game that explores someone's time or long history living with parents, relationship to gaming, and body image (and more)
Wellness Related Time - Zeloz Mk. II - Felt like a condensed distillation of Ryukishi07 magic-isms applied to this magical college campus setting. It's fun how it builds the skeleton of this deep magic system in the span of a short visual novel.
Pangea's Error - Sraëka-Lillian - A world map exploration RPG with a Brandish-like rotation gimmick! Learn of the history of a massive world while finding weapons strewn about. I haven't finished this one yet.
Reviewed on Feb 22, 2023