This is my original comp review, preserved for historical purposes. Updated commentary may be available on my page for the game.
Ventilator by Peregrine Wade is an entry in the 2016 ifcomp. You find yourself in an unbearably hot hotel room; perhaps the ventilator will help to cool you...
(The post below may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.)
This game aims for humor through absurdity and exaggeration, and it's hit or miss--mostly miss. The game tells you in the introduction that "There are no flies in the air, but that is only because they have all passed out on the floor.", and indeed when the game starts there are flies on the floor (which "look highly dehydrated")--a nice touch. I was amused, too, that when the cat flies onto your face, your inventory describes it as "a cat (being worn)". On the other hand, the description of the bar as "A minibar. Just a minibar. Not a spaceship. Not a portal to another world. Not... well, you get the idea." falls a bit flat, as do most of the other jokes in the game.
When you leave the room, you encounter a "left-right corridor" (and can, indeed, go left or right) rather than the usual compass directions. That's weird--what other directions would the corridor run? Up and down? I guess it's an objection on the part of the author to the use of compass directions in IF; trying to move south at one point gives "You don't have a compass." It's not consistent on this, though. Sometimes compass directions are accepted, and trying to run gives "You'll have to say which compass direction to go in."
On this point, I don't think it's a problem for IF to use compass directions. They are, after all, descriptions for the player, not the player character. I'd be much less happy if an IF game more 'realistically' forced me to move around by manually turning and walking forward. Tank controls in IF! Is it an idea whose time has come?
The puzzles, such as they are, aren't very hard. There's a timed 'puzzle' at the beginning--you must turn the fan on before you lose consciousness--and some of the later ones are probably timed as well, but the game is basically just railroading you into progressing through the game. There's little enough to see and do, so I don't suppose this really detracts from it.
After I got my bearings I examined myself and my inventory. The description of the shirt ("...just like Stephanie, before that stupid argument messed up everything.") made me think of Adam Cadre's 9:05 and I momentarily hoped that the events of the game might belie the tone, but it was not to be.
After beating the game, you're presented with a list of suggested amusing things you can try, and I poked at a couple of them, but didn't have any motivation to try them all.
Ventilator isn't entirely bad. The implementation is generally competent with some attention to detail (e.g. the flies are gone after you turn on the ventilator--blown away, I presume), and there are a number of endings and optional actions. It just didn't entertain me. Not recommended.
This review is based on 2016-10-20 version.
Play time: 18 minutes.