October is my favorite month. It’s got my birthday, my wedding anniversary, and Halloween. It’s when the corn maze opens and the World Series is played. It’s when fall stops namby-pambying around and settles in for good. It’s when, years ago, I found myself alone just after dusk. Everything was still and expectant and lonely. A cool autumn breeze disturbed the branches of the tree in my parent’s front yard; I was reminded of the mystery and majesty of the death of the year.
But all that pales in comparison with the best thing of the month:
Yes! It’s that time of year again. Time for terrible treasure hunts and surprising stories. It’s time to celebrate the heights and singular experiences that Interactive Fiction can achieve; as well as the hilarious, painful, and perplexing lows.
This year is already cracking up to be several shades of horrible. We’ve got two (TWO!) sequels to 2006’s The Bible Retold; something called The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, which sounds like it could be this year’s joke entry; A quiet evening at home, whose blurb reads: “They say you should write what you know. Sorry.”; and new games from the authors of my two least favorite entries last year. Whew!
I’m hoping that there’s some hidden gems in this mess. An Interface or Rover’s Day Out or Yon Astounding Castle! Unless I’m missing someone, there doesn’t seem to be any big names entering games this year (I think I’m most disappointed Lea Albaugh didn’t submit an entry). This year’s Comp is a big unknown. I’m fine with that, last year’s was too, and it had some pleasant surprises.
I’m going to try and review all the games this year with the exception of the one Window’s entry. This might be unrealistic as my newborn son demands a lot of attention. But since I’m going to be up all night soothing him (and changing him and burping him and holding him until he falls asleep) there will be plenty of opportunities to play some IF. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pull a Paul O’Brian and disappear because I had a kid (also, it’s kinda hard to disappear when you’re not updating your blog anyways). Participating in this competition is one of the highlights of my year. No little bundle of joy and poop is going to pull me away.
Hey… that’s not a bad way to describe the Comp. A bundle of joy and poop.
Let’s see what surprises the bundle has for us this year.