IFcomp 2017: Preliminary Scores

I just posted my 79th review for this IFcomp, which means that I’ve now commented on every entry. I tried to get through them quickly to provide feedback early enough in the competition to be useful to both authors and players.

I’ve sorted every game according to my scoring rubric, which may or may not reflect how other people feel about these games. But first, I wanted to flag the about 15% of games that I awarded a “Je ne sais quoi” point. Probably the best way to define that undefinable point is to say that there is something in these works that I wish I could capture when I’m writing IF:

* Absence of Law
* Eat Me
* Guttersnipe
* Harmonia
* Sea Monkey
* The Owl Consults
* Unit 322
* The Very Old Witch
* Charlie The Robot
* One Way Out
* Swigian
* VR Gambler

I tend to score these games highly, but other games with good writing and high production quality have scored higher than some of these, even without the JNSQ tacked on to their score.

Here is the full list, sorted by preliminary scores, which range 1 to 11:

(if table text is not readable, try changing window width)

Entry Story Voice Play Polish Tech JNSQ Score
Harmonia 10 10 9 10 10 1 10.8
Eat Me 10 10 10 10 8 1 10.6
The Owl Consults 9 9 9 10 9 1 10.2
Charlie The Robot 8 9 9 10 9 1 10
Absence of Law 8 9 8 10 9 1 9.8
Guttersnipe 8 9 9 8 10 1 9.8
Swigian 8 10 10 10 6 1 9.8
Unit 322 10 9 9 8 7 1 9.6
The Very Old Witch 8 9 8 9 8 1 9.4
The Wizard Sniffer 10 9 8 10 8 0 9
Will Not Let Me Go 10 10 8 10 7 0 9
10pm 7 8 9 10 10 0 8.8
The Traveller 9 8 7 10 8 0 8.4
VR Gambler 6 7 9 9 6 1 8.4
Rage Quest 8 8 9 9 8 0 8.4
One Way Out 6 7 7 9 7 1 8.2
1958: Dancing With Fear 9 9 8 7 7 0 8
Redstone 7 7 8 10 8 0 8
The Dream Self 7 6 8 10 9 0 8
Sea Monkey 7 6 6 9 7 1 8
Future Thread 7 8 8 8 8 0 7.8
The Skinny One 7 9 7 9 7 0 7.8
Word of the Day 7 8 8 9 7 0 7.8
Just Get Treasure 7 8 8 9 6 0 7.6
Black Marker 7 8 8 9 6 0 7.6
Alice Aforethought 7 9 4 9 8 0 7.4
Fake News 6 7 8 9 7 0 7.4
Insignificant Little 6 5 8 9 9 0 7.4
Off the Rails 7 8 7 9 6 0 7.4
Transient Skies 7 7 7 8 8 0 7.4
A Beauty Cold & Austere 7 7 4 10 8 0 7.2
The Cube In The Cavern 5 7 7 9 8 0 7.2
The Wand 5 4 10 10 7 0 7.2
And When I Squint 7 8 6 9 6 0 7.2
Tuuli 8 9 6 7 6 0 7.2
What Once Was 8 7 7 6 7 0 7
Nyna Lives 7 6 8 8 6 0 7
Deshaun Stevens 6 8 6 7 7 0 6.8
Domestic Elementalism 6 6 4 9 8 0 6.6
Book Moss 6 5 6 10 6 0 6.6
Fifth Sunday 6 6 5 8 7 0 6.4
Salt 4 6 5 9 8 0 6.4
Goodbye Cruel Squirrel 6 6 7 6 6 0 6.2
Escape Room 5 5 8 8 5 0 6.2
Puppet 7 6 5 8 5 0 6.2
Queer In Public 6 6 5 9 5 0 6.2
Harbinger 8 7 6 3 5 0 5.8
Inevitable 3 6 7 8 5 0 5.8
Something 4 6 5 9 5 0 5.8
A Common Enemy 6 6 6 4 6 0 5.6
Behind The Door 5 5 6 6 5 0 5.4
Mikayla’s Phone 2 3 6 8 8 0 5.4
Rainbow 4 5 6 6 5 0 5.2
Castle Vourtram 5 4 5 5 7 0 5.2
Measureless 5 5 5 5 6 0 5.2
Land of the Mountain King 3 4 6 7 6 0 5.2
TheDragon Will 3 4 5 8 5 0 5
A Partial List 2 6 5 6 5 0 4.8
Day of the Djinn 4 4 3 7 6 0 4.8
Richard Mines 5 2 7 5 5 0 4.8
Hexteria 1 4 2 9 6 0 4.4
A Walk In The Park 2 4 4 7 5 0 4.4
Antiquest 3 3 4 6 5 0 4.2
A Castle of Thread 5 4 4 3 5 0 4.2
8 Shoes on the Shelves 3 3 4 6 5 0 4.2
Into Dark 4 6 3 2 5 0 4
Nightbound 3 3 4 5 4 0 3.8
Grue 3 4 3 4 4 0 3.6
Textcraft 2 2 2 4 8 0 3.6
The Adventure of Esmeralda 3 4 3 2 4 0 3.2
Moonbase 3 3 4 3 3 0 3.2
The Murder In Fog 3 3 3 4 3 0 3.2
Silver Gauntlets 3 2 1 8 2 0 3.2
Run of the Place 1 1 2 2 8 0 2.8
Etude Circular 1 1 2 6 3 0 2.6
My Night 3 2 1 3 3 0 2.4
Temperamentum 3 2 1 3 3 0 2.4
Escape From Terra 2 3 2 1 3 0 2.2
Haunted P 0 0 0 0 5 0 1

I’m not going to post my final scores publicly, but towards the end of the judging period, I will probably put together some summary. With a few more weeks’ perspective, scores may go up and down as I think about the entire field, get a bit of distance myself from the awe factor tied to visual presentation, and sift through other reviews.

1 thought on “IFcomp 2017: Preliminary Scores”

  1. Great review! I learned something from reading it. As I’m working on my next game as we speak, you can expect to see a few more of the types of stuff you liked. Thanks, RD

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