Direct link to all the reviews.

This site also has an RSS/Atom feed for those of you like me who still use RSS readers

About this site

I joined the "interactive fiction" community some time in the 1990's. This community was based in two different Usenet newsgroups: rec.arts.int-fiction and rec.games.int-fiction, the former ostensibly for discussing the creation of games, and the latter ostensibly for the disucssion of the playing of games. In reality, there was not much difference between the two as there was virtually 100% overlap between the denizens.

When a game was released, sometimes there was discussion about its puzzles (mostly asking for help), and sometimes even its merits as a game were disected. About halfway through the 1990's, the idea of an annual competition formed, and this resulted in many more games, which spawned many more discussions.

One of the results of the competition, besides having more games to play, was having lots of reviews to read. This was great especially for the game authors - seeing feedback is always welcome after having put time and energy into creating something. The downside was that much of the energy of the community was directed at the competition and its games, which left non-competition games starved for reviews.

From 2001 to 2009, I ran a website called "IF-Review" to try to encourage reviews of these longer games. I offered a (very small, alas) amount of money for these reviews in the hopes that it would offset the effort of playing through the games and then writing up an in-depth review of them. In exchange, I asked for the right to publish them exclusively for one week, and maintain them on a website indefnitely. Other than that, the authors of the reviews could do with them as they wished.

I already had a personal website, so it was easy enough for me to just add a subdirectory to publish the reviews in. I hacked together a perl script to convert reviews into pages, and generate indicies sorted by date, game, author, and reviewer. It wasn't pretty, but it worked well for me, and the resulting website published dozens of reviews over the years.

Fast forward to present day, and now the term for the kind of site I was publishing is "static website" - sites without a database back-end or business logic to generate the pages. Nowadays, there are many static site generation tools available and, while my hacky little perl script worked, the more modern tools which generate static sites are far superior and allow site maintainers to concentrate on the content rather than the underlying infrastructure which generates them. I have decided to use the Zola tool, which is easy enough to adapt to the review file format I had been using.

So now, without further blathering, here are the reviews of the games of the nought-ies. I hope you find some enjoyment there.