So, as Wade Clarke said a few hours before me, it has begun.
This thing is reminiscent of the Christopher Nolan's Batmans. And it's funny, because the sentence itself is almost a trope, given how many times it has been used in the industry: The Lord of the Rings comes to mind. I have to think about it, sooner or later.
I won't give any unnecessary advice on how to read these commentaries. I will try and do my best to dissect the various stories, in the hope of giving some more insight on both the means of storytelling and the mechanics of game-making. I can't promise to fully review everything this year's IFComp has given us, because that would frankly be bigshooting. Apologies to those left behind: my day has only 24 hours and I have a five years old boy. Those of you who are parents may relate.
The sequence is much random, but sometimes I will aim at stories that for some reason I want to play sooner.
The blurbs were more or less all boring (blurb-writing is the hardest part in the job, people, so don't laugh at the entrants!) but something caught my eye more than the rest.
Let it be obvious that the kind of games I like will probably influence both my goodwill in reviewing and the outcome of said reviews. As they say: we are human, all strings attached. Let's just hope I will be able to be 90% objective, when tearing apart pieces of IF: that would be a feat not to be underestimated.
For those who don't know me, and somewhat care, I'm Marco Innocenti. Graphic designer, teacher in design classes, writer-wannabe, award-winning (by mere luck) text adventure creator. I believe I can have something to say on both storytelling and game-making. This is why I hold on to the privilege of doing it. I'm almost 42, born and breed in Renaissance culture -- nonetheless educated on the street of the not-so-best neighborhoods in town. This means I may very well show limits others, more educated, writers don't have. In case you don't like my style, my contents, or my English (guess you understood I'm Italian), feel free to leave a remark here (polite or non-polite, it's not that I'm that easily offended, but of course the first is preferred) and go seek for wisdom somewhere else. There's plenty of impressive reviewers out there, and you can find an all-inclusive list here.
...But don't forget one thing: games (or stories) are meant to be played (or read). Dissections, commentaries and reviews are cool, but giving them a try firsthand is what you should really do. So: DO IT NOW.