Dingo's Reviews - Brimstone Manor (Up Next: AI - Aftermath)

Hey, all! To help celebrate closing in on 30 reviews completed, I’ve got a poll for you that closes on Oct 21st. You can help decide semi-randomly what reviews are going to be making a linejump. The instructions and process are in the Strawpoll description below. Let me know if you’ve got any questions!


I have no idea what I’m voting for here, so I’ll bow out. I have my own ideas of what should be bumped up, but since this doesn’t really do that… :woman_shrugging:

Enjoying the reviews, though!


25 because I like Pirates of Donkey Island

16 because the idea of reviewing Samurai of Hyuga Book 2 before Book 1 is hilarious.


A Mummy Is Not An Antique
By Randy Condon

“Misfortune has already devastated me,” you say. “I produce antique appraisal shows for PBS. What’s going on?”

Who ever thought that Antique Roadshow might have inspired a better story than the man who spent over £100,000 on a Tesco brand olive oil bottle? How did I miss this title?

General Story:

You are a PBS Antique Roadshow-esque producer smack dab in the middle of (unsurprisingly) an antique show. Providence drops a mummy in your camera lens, and hijinks ensue. Can you make sure you get enough footage to make your name in the PBS hall of fame? Or at least get to Netflix?

This story lulls you into a false sense of serenity, and then sprints towards the finish dragging you along with it. Dialogue is Edgar Wright levels of snappy, filled with puns and wordplay. Action clips along at about the same pace. And now that I think about it, I could 100% see Simon Pegg as the MC and Nick Frost as… wait… I feel like I need to go back and read the story again because there might be more parallels than I thought.

Format and Typos:

Great readability, one typo in a response that I reported.

Game Mechanics and Stats:

Game tracks your injuries (in a humorous fashion), but you only really deal with Empathy and Ambition. Ambition dovetails into a lot of choices that improve your ‘film quality’ as you try to follow the saga of the Mummy in the AntiqueCon. Other than that, though? There isn’t a lot of management in stats.


You ‘might’ get one or two plays out of this based on variability. There is a lot of (great) text and dialogue, but not much in the way of interactive choice beyond how it varies your next page. You are pretty much along for the ride on what is a great story with mild interactivity. The five endings are pretty much relegated to the epilogue, and you’ll make the choice as long as you meet the prerequisites there.


  • Sometimes it is very hard not to judge a book by its cover.
  • Too little Brenda.
  • I understand that not every story has to have romance, but I honestly think that a whirlwind fling with some of the characters would have been both hilarious and thematically appropriate.


  • Not kidding when I said I got some Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead vibes from how the story and dialogue were fashioned. This is high praise considering Hot Fuzz is my favorite movie ever.
  • Fast paced, but keeps your attention throughout. Constantly working towards an end goal.
  • Absolutely hilarious writing. Another story where I had over twenty different quotes I wanted to use, but had to narrow it down. “We LUV Brenda”!

Game Rankings and Completed Reviews


Feels good to get some external vindication after all these years.


I’ve included my process below, but as a heads up, I’ve already completed both of those reviews. Any of the ranking lists will contain a link to the completed review.

Just as a heads up, the numbers don’t correspond to a specific title. They are going to be used as the amount I count down from entry 30 (31 in the excel file) to randomly select title to move up into the 36-40 slots (barring any series being selected).

Example being that right now, if the poll was to end and I randomly chose for tiebreaker: 25 - 41 - 16 - 49 - 46, the linejumpers would be like below.

(31+25=56) - Paranoia
(56+41=97) - The Lost Heir: The Fall of Daria (Meaning the series would move up)
(97+16=113) - The Fielder’s Choice
(113+49=162) - Creme de la Creme
(162+46=208) - Apex Patrol

That’s just tentative, but it shows what process I decided on. I’m trying to avoid giving the most popular titles priority on purpose, it’s why I chose random order to begin with.


That is not even remotely clear in the poll lol.

People don’t care about the numbers. Put in the titles of the games instead.


The numbers in the poll don’t correlate to any particular games though :thinking:


They should!

@will I dunno, that would kinda ruin the whole point of the list being random. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:


Let me just get this straight: Your poll is to move games up in the ranking. The ranking overall is random. In the poll, there are five choices of numbers, but those numbers don’t correlate with any particular game. So you’ve randomly assigned the order of games, and you’ve randomly assigned five games to move up the ranking, and we don’t necessarily know what games will be moved up the ranking. What exactly is the purpose of the poll? The order is already randomised. Why present the poll as a meaningful choice if the poll numbers don’t actually correspond with specific games?


As I understand it. Dingo just wanted to add a bit of interactivity for the review readers as a way to celebrate reviewing a certain number of games. The poll is likely meant to be a way for the readers to affect the list while also not losing the spirit of randomness that it is supposed to have.

It’s okay to criticize it, but I think people are overreacting a bit. After all, every game on the list will be reviewed at some point (presumably).


I think you’re misinterpreting my confusion – why would the poll be about moving numbers around if we’re not meant to know what games correspond with those numbers?

Well, we don’t know which games the numbers correspond to, right? So it’s a kind of lottery, basically.


Dingo explained his logic behind the numbers a few posts back.

I admit that it was a bit confusing at first, but this explanation and example cleared things up for me :smiley:


The Haze Under Windbrooke
By Jesse Freeman

In fact, the city is still choking on it. The atmosphere of the police station was dealt with well enough, but things still feel bad.

Nostalgia can often fight with format in a title. Something that you have every feeling you should like can end up becoming a slog when there are typos or if it is formatted in a way that limits readability. I realize I’ve used that word multiple times in my Format and Typos section with the assumption that most people would understand what I was implying, but I’d like to talk a bit about it here.

Typos are easy to understand, but format readability can sometimes have the following problems:

  • Dialogue cannot be followed easily, and it is difficult to ascribe text to an entity
  • Sentences don’t flow into one another, so it creates… a… halting… tempo. (You can imagine clap emojis if you want)
  • Actual format sometimes can hurt readability as well, such as writing in screenplay format.

General Story:

You are a young teenager who finds out they have powers and can fight a war against unseen opponents plaguing your city. Use your training and find out what happened to the world and your parents, after a mysterious haze settled on the city of Windbrooke.

The story starts post ‘in media res’, with you fleeing an attack that has left you injured. You make one of the few choices in the title at this point. Was it a vampire, a werewolf, or a mob of humans that injured you? You flee to a guardians home, sans parents, and learn that there was a somewhat under-described ‘night of rage’ that caused some massive riots the night your parents went missing. Shortly after, you find out ‘something’ has given you powers to fight back!

The simplest paired concept I can describe this story with is Persona meets Ghostbusters II. This is where I was talking about how the nostalgia of the themes made me truly want to like this title, but I could not get into it. Negative feeling energy haze pervades the area, and you find out you have powers when you shift to an alternate dimension. Shin Megami Slimer.

Format and Typos:

If you thought this might not be the kindest section after my introduction, you could win a cookie redeemable on February 31st.

This is a personal bias, so weigh what I’m about to complain about against that.

I do not like when paragraph breaks are made between sentences constantly.

As in, each sentence is in its own paragraph.

It reads haltingly and for some reason my brain drops all knowledge of the sentence that came before it, so I find myself having to reread the previous lines multiple times.

Readability is extremely low, in my opinion, but even objectively, there are many typos and capitalization errors.

Game Mechanics and Stats:

Early on, you choose what caused your injury (suggesting that you might become a vampire, werewolf or ‘something else’) and what a friend of the family has trained you in, either archery or swordplay. These choices are, as far as I can tell, the only choices you specifically make that alter your character’s stats. You get a rank of ‘3’ in whichever one you choose, but I saw no choices that tested any of them. Mostly you are choosing your combat flavor during the first few chapters.


Pretty low. Two sets of combat flavor, but I don’t think I’ve hit ‘Next Page’ without a choice breaking it up in the past three titles as I did in this title alone. It makes me assume that there was a strong idea for the opening of the title, but the last few chapters were created only to have a ‘complete’ story.


  • I could not get into the groove of reading this title. Each page was written as halting thoughts from the MC.
  • Variability is super low. There are a few instances of choice, but often they are ‘one and done’ and all you’ve accomplished is flavoring how the rest of the novel is presented to you.
  • Typos were pervasive. Some of the egregious ones I reported were that the ending screen asking me to rate the title said “We hope you’ve enjoyed playing GAME NAME” and that there were multiple typos in the splash page announcement screen.


  • Theme was strong and could carry a title.
  • The haunted descriptions of the other dimensions are one of the few things that work very well with the halted thought writing style. It breaks up the flow, makes the world feel lopsided and wrong.
  • The demo is long enough to understand whether my issues with formatting would also affect you.

Game Rankings and Completed Reviews


Oh boy, you’re gonna have a bad time playing my games then!

Apologies in advance! :sweat_smile:


Just to be fair to the author, authors don’t have control over the "we hope you enjoyed playing…’ page, so that one wasn’t their fault, although I guess you’re reviewing the finished overall product so it’s fair to count it as a negative, whoever’s fault it is!


It’s possible that I won’t have as much problem with it. For the most part, it comes down to how well the sentences flow.


Presumably because if he said what they corresponded to, it would just be the most popular titles that got voted up, and that may not be what he was shooting for.

I know on my end, I’m very torn. The fanboy in me would like to see some of my favorite moved way up the list. My ego would prefer seeing my two stories get bumped up, since one’s around 200 and the other almost at the end. But most of all, the Hustler who once upon a time went to journalism school at UGA to be a film critic wants to see some of the really atrocious ones move up the ranks. Because it’s a well-known fact of life that few, if any, positive reviews are quite as gleeful to read as ones where the reviewer truly loathed what they just consumed, and is willing to let you know it.

But hopefully for stories whose authors who aren’t on the forums, so they don’t have to know what a lambasting they are taking.