I Need A Hero: Part 2

I Need A Hero: Part 2

To start, my top three unpredictable encounters:

3. After trying many weapons to take down a Tyrannosaurus Rex conjured by my doppelganger, a meteorite caused its demise because science.

2. While trying to use an already-existing plane to destroy a lighthouse, I used adjectives to modify it. Sadly, using “weaponized” did nothing but tape a sword to the side of it. Setting the plane on fire and sending myself on a suicide mission did the trick though.

1. After a seal said he was thirsty, I stuck him in a bathtub. He then morphed into a sea serpent. An angry sea serpent, as the game specified.

Now that I’ve gotten a laugh in to soothe my Monday headache, let’s get down to business. I mean, playing. I mean…let’s just move on. If only putting Magikarp in water made him that strong that fast.

What makes this installment different from past Scribblenauts‘ games is that the quests and problems are procedurally-generated. While this made me initially feel like I wasn’t getting anything done–if you die, the world resets with new objectives–the game is set up to make the infinite possibilities feel necessary. See, only the home worlds of Batman, Superman, and the Green Lantern are accessible without using in-game currency, or reputation points. Each world has its own kind of points, meaning you have to consistently play in each to be able to progress.

The initial missions are what you would typically expect out of Gotham, Metropolis, and Oa. Batman fights the Joker. Superman deals with Lex Luther. The Green Lantern fights Sinestro and his minions. But to me, the most fun I have had so far has been with the origin stories. Ignoring the calls for help for locked areas of the DC Universe because I’m an unfeeling miscreant, I went and played through Batman’s and Superman’s coming-of-age tales. Each goes through the loss of their parents, their call to action, their eventual acquirement of the superhero identity. Despite predictable and what is probably the most linear part of the game, I loved the interactive storytelling of comic book classics.

What was frustrating was when the game’s punishment for a lack of creativity–half the reputation points–collided with the linearity of the stories. For the foreshadowing alone, I gave Bruce Wayne a stuffed bat toy when he needed comforting after his parents’ death. Two scenarios later, and I needed to give him something that would inspire him, leaving me with only one option–a bat. After trying everything I could, including a baseball bat, I had to suck it up and take the reduced compensation.

The lack of choices did allow me to act out my own comedy show the same way the open-ended nature of the rest of the game did as well. Batman needed a way to exercise and my repeated attempts to give him a Thighmaster, and Suzanne Somers as an aerobic instructor failed. Baby Superman looked like he was twerking, but the game was not happy with me giving him a stereo. I haven’t played the Green Lantern’s yet, but watch me have to give him his real ring and not a green Fruit Loop.

Now off toto wreak more havoc than every iteration of the Joker combined. Stay tuned.

I Need a Hero: Part 1

I Need a Hero: Part 1

I was so stoked to finally get to start this game, and it is so easy to make shenanigans happen that this post is practically going to write itself.

The game starts with Maxwell and his sister arguing over who is better–Batman or Superman. To settle their argument, they decide to enter the DC universe but are immediately trapped there. They have to go around the different cities created in the DC comics and do good deeds to gain reputation and starites to get back home.

Sadly you get docked points for repeating words which means I can’t summon Cthulhu for everything. Of course it’s not always a good idea. The worst was when I summoned him to fight Sinestro for me, but Sinestro immediately killed him and used his ghost to attack me. My small child body could not handle the wrath of a tentacle monster spirit.

I get a huge kick out of adding adjectives to Maxwell to make my own superhero. Whenever I don’t want to bother backtracking, I give him the ability to fly so I can get everywhere more quickly. I did learn the hard way that using the word “invincible” is cheating. By this logic, Superman is a little unfair bastard.

The game doesn’t always follow the logic you would expect in a series with infinite possibilities. I don’t know why, but at the moment Maxwell has a clone running amuck who can also conjure items. To fight him you have to counter whatever he brings to life. He was riding around on a giant wasp, so I summoned a huge can of bug spray–it did nothing. After trying to be clever and it not working, I just resorted to my rotating roster of real weapons to win.

With a game falling solely on the player’s creativity, this installment sometimes has limited possibilities. Along with what I described above, another task was to take a traffic light to a museum. I tried to do more than just carry it but my efforts were futile. I tried to pull it with a dog sled and a tow truck, but the museum didn’t want to spawn for me until I just carried it there. This could be a weird bug, but I don’t know how it happened in the first place.

Also, a little piece of advice–black holes do not discriminate between good and evil. They will devour all.

Now that I have full access to the Batcave, get ready for me trying to steal all of his rich man gadgets to rule the world. Stay tuned.

Girls Against the Machine: the Finale

Girls Against the Machine: the Finale

A miracle happened last night–I finished the game. I finished Girls Like Robots and much celebration was to be had. Of course I only kept from falling asleep in my desk chair by creeping myself out with Criminal Minds on Netflix.

So some of my explanations make sense, let me explain how I will refer to this game’s level breakdown. The game has three acts which are each divided into several sections; then in these individual sections are multiple levels with similar mechanics.

More odd love-hate relationships bloomed in Acts II and III. The only thing the girls like more than their robot lovers is pie. The only people the loner is not indifferent to are the robots with pedo-mustaches. Fish and robots are “mortal enemies.” Seriously, that’s a direct quote from the game.

The weirdest new mechanic has to be the cows. For reasons unbeknownst to me because I skipped all of the hours of cutscenes, the children take a field trip to have a picnic on a volcano and then end up on a combustible train. The only way to milk the cows–and no, I don’t know why they need to be milked in the first place–is to surround them with angry people. The worst part? Instead of being normal, the cows spray their milk everywhere. If you are ever running low on porn filled with square-shaped teenagers, have I got a game for you.

For a game that I found so boring, the game would not stop changing. Every section had a new puzzle that was mostly isolated to that section alone. It would start with five or six tutorial levels that specialized in handholding. The game would even force you to do the wrong thing so you could see what happened instead of inferring the obvious. Then the difficulty level would spike back up to where I was sometimes randomly clicking to maximize the characters’ happiness. To me, the best mechanics happened for the shortest amounts of time. One section had the students getting thrown off of the back of a truck, and it was a race to get them back in the best position. Here the game went back to its original set of rules and added speed. This felt like a more natural progression than adding new characters and relationships every few levels.

Mainly I’m glad to be done with this monstrosity–no pun intended. Now I can enjoy Scribblenauts Unmasked that I picked up on Steam this weekend. I wonder how many times I can use black holes to solve my problems. Stay tuned.

Girls Against the Machine: Part One

Girls Against the Machine: Part One

This So Cute Bundle is officially the bane of my existence.

I started another one of these fluffy games called Girls Like Robots. The main goal is to fill the happiness meter by making sure everyone likes who they are sitting next to. The girls like robots. Nerds like the girls. The loner likes…bugs?

The implied commentary on high school cliques is part stereotypical and part creepy. The girls hate the nerds that love them but make semi-orgasmic sounds whenever they get near a robot. You’d think this game was made by the sexually-experimental sector of Japan.

Like the others in this bundle, I have a hard time working on the game’ s puzzles for longer than fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. The first act drags on and on with ten separate sequences of puzzles to solve. I checked online though, and this is the longest one of the game; I’m hoping to power through this by my next post on Wednesday.

What keeps slowing me down is my desire to perfect each level. Despite not enjoying myself, the sound effect that accompanies the announcement of your score is heartbreaking. It is this melodic note progression, but if you don’t receive a perfect score, you only hear a fraction of the score. It leaves you feeling incomplete until you go back and fix your mistakes.

Also your scores add up throughout the game though for what reason, I don’t know yet. You get a point for each star you get per level with a maximum of three, and each point’s representative symbol does into a “Bag of Happy”. It sounds like what the school’s drug dealer would call a grab bag from his mother’s medicine cabinet.

Everything about this game is weird. The school it is set in sounds like an acid trip. Before the shutting the game down, I did see an option to skip a level. I’m going to have to look into that.

Also, I bought Scibblenauts Unmasked on the weekend’s Steam sale, so hopefully I can play with Batman very, very soon. Stay tuned.

What Have I Done? Humble Bundle Gone Wrong

What Have I Done? Humble Bundle Gone Wrong

For the first time since I started this challenge, I played two different games that make me regret taking this on.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought Humble Bundle’s So Cute Bundle, thinking it was full of fun puzzles games. Instead I have come across two frustrating nightmares that will be a terror to finish. Commence overly-dramatic ranting now.

The first is called Triple Town which was ported from the phone and released on Steam for no reason. Playing it on PC felt like a waste of time. Though it works fine, it feels like the kind of game I would kill time in the bathroom with, not sit at a desk and play. What you do is try to build up your city through a match-three puzzle mechanic where each piece builds off the next. Three plots of grass make a bush. Three bushes make a tree. Three trees build a house. As someone who grew up wasting time on flash versions of Bejeweled and managed to fall into the Candy Crush time vortex last year, this should appeal to me on some level, but I could barely play for thirty minutes.

As you might have guessed from earlier entries, I don’t need a lot of logic to believe in a game, but this one’s scenario has zero. Besides the fact that planting three trees will never transform into a house, the only threat I encountered so far is harmless. Two different kind of bears are forced into your encampment–what they call levels to try to make it sound more important than it really is–but never attack anyone or eat anything. They just wander back and forth, waiting for you to trap them so they turn into gravestones. What’s wrong with having them around? All they do is pace back and forth in front of your house like a stray cat.

Sadly, it is also an endless game. This is the kind of game where I need a goal besides a score. I tried looking online for some kind of timeline for game progression and found zilch. With so little motivation, I’m just going to have to pull up something on Youtube or Netflix for entertainment and blitz through the achievements. That’s the only way I can think to deem this one finished. I’m just really wishing I hadn’t bought it.

After this, I switched to another game that came in that same bundle–Woodle Tree Adventures. This one I played for even shorter than the previous game for one reason and one reason only: fixed camera angle. Here we have a third-person platformer where the only goal I know of is to collect fairy tears like some Disney villain, and the camera is is not adjustable.

The game starts in this large open field where a giant tree tells me to go check my house for something important. In an open area with no sign of life, it should be easy to find something tall enough to live in, right? Instead the camera stays in one place, letting the protagonist turn in circles without your view of the game ever changing. The only way to find anything is to walk and walk and walk. This is not Lord of the Rings, people.

Then after finally making my way home at a slower pace than a college student on Thirsty Thursday, I enter the first true platforming level. The camera angle acts like you’re playing a side scroller where you only need to be able to see enough to move left and right when in reality you have free reign. After attempting the same jump three times and spending five minutes backtracking, I was ready to break everything.

In case things weren’t unpredictable enough already, this level incorporates enemies too that can kill you just by touching you only once. Because you can’t look where you’re going, it’s impossible to avoid them. I would also like to know how in the world a bunny whose limbs are as floppy as its ears can murder me that easily.

Now off to kill some time with the iPad version of Hearthstone which is currently eating up my time. Couch plus card game equals the best way to wind down right before the weekend. Stay tuned!

What Have I Done?

What Have I Done?

For the first time since I started this challenge, I played two different games that make me regret taking this on.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought Humble Bundle’s So Cute Bundle, thinking it was full of fun puzzles games. Instead I have come across two frustrating nightmares that will be a terror to finish. Commence overly-dramatic ranting now.

The first is called Triple Town which was ported from the phone and released on Steam for no reason. Playing it on PC felt like a waste of time. Though it works fine, it feels like the kind of game I would kill time in the bathroom with, not sit at a desk and play. What you do is try to build up your city through a match-three puzzle mechanic where each piece builds off the next. Three plots of grass make a bush. Three bushes make a tree. Three trees build a house. As someone who grew up wasting time on flash versions of Bejeweled and managed to fall into the Candy Crush time vortex last year, this should appeal to me on some level, but I could barely play for thirty minutes.

As you might have guessed from earlier entries, I don’t need a lot of logic to believe in a game, but this one’s scenario has zero. Besides the fact that planting three trees will never transform into a house, the only threat I encountered so far is harmless. Two different kind of bears are forced into your encampment–what they call levels to try to make it sound more important than it really is–but never attack anyone or eat anything. They just wander back and forth, waiting for you to trap them so they turn into gravestones. What’s wrong with having them around? All they do is pace back and forth in front of your house like a stray cat.

Sadly, it is also an endless game. This is the kind of game where I need a goal besides a score. I tried looking online for some kind of timeline for game progression and found zilch. With so little motivation, I’m just going to have to pull up something on Youtube or Netflix for entertainment and blitz through the achievements. That’s the only way I can think to deem this one finished. I’m just really wishing I hadn’t bought it.

After this, I switched to another game that came in that same bundle–Woodle Tree Adventures. This one I played for even shorter than the previous game for one reason and one reason only: fixed camera angle. Here we have a third-person platformer where the only goal I know of is to collect fairy tears like some Disney villain, and the camera is is not adjustable.

The game starts in this large open field where a giant tree tells me to go check my house for something important. In an open area with no sign of life, it should be easy to find something tall enough to live in, right? Instead the camera stays in one place, letting the protagonist turn in circles without your view of the game ever changing. The only way to find anything is to walk and walk and walk. This is not Lord of the Rings, people.

Then after finally making my way home at a slower pace than a college student on Thirsty Thursday, I enter the first true platforming level. The camera angle acts like you’re playing a side scroller where you only need to be able to see enough to move left and right when in reality you have free reign. After attempting the same jump three times and spending five minutes backtracking, I was ready to break everything.

In case things weren’t unpredictable enough already, this level incorporates enemies too that can kill you just by touching you only once. Because you can’t look where you’re going, it’s impossible to avoid them. I would also like to know how in the world a bunny whose limbs are as floppy as its ears can murder me that easily.

Now off to kill some time with the iPad version of Hearthstone which is currently eating up my time. Couch plus card game equals the best way to wind down right before the weekend. Stay tuned!

Nevermore, Nevermore: The Raven Review

Nevermore, Nevermore: The Raven Review

I’m just going to start this off with a spoiler warning. The game is so story-based it is impossible to talk without spoiling something. Read at your own risk.

With all of the talk about police reform in today’s media, all we need to do to train incoming detectives on the police force is set them down in front of a point-and-click mystery game and force them to solve it without any walkthroughs. After spending three hours trying every single item in their inventory on every nook and cranny of the screen only to realize they are supposed to be combining objects instead, they will have no problem with combing through a crime scene. In theory it teaches people to think creatively. In reality it teaches them to be happy that real life is not that tedious.

After playing the first of three acts last winter, I sat down to finish The Raven: Legacy of a MasterThief. The protagonist, Constable Zellner, feels like a dumb-downed version of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Oddly enough, one of the characters is also an elderly writer of mystery novels. Hmmm…

Anyway, this is game is identical to the play style of what I grew up on. I played every Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie computer game I could get my hands on–and still do. While these drew me in, letting me look past some of the less-than-intuitive puzzles, this one did not start off that way. My guess is where before I had protagonists I already had a connection with–and one that built with each game and pop culture reference–this one had a leading man who felt blase.

After getting into the second act this week though, I wish I hadn’t quit so soon. In case you did not heed my warning, spoilers start here.

You gone? Lord, I hope not.

Halfway through the second act, you find out who the thief is and he shoots you. The screen goes dark. I counted to five, afraid I had ended up with the wrong ending somehow. But then the game goes back to the train station where it all started, and I’m placed in the shoes of the Raven’s lackey. Sadly at his point, I was falling asleep at my keyboard and had to be up for work, but I spent the whole day wanting to come home and keep following the story. I was willing to shake my mouse all of the screen looking for those three pixels that would trigger the riddle I needed to solve as long as the story kept going.

One of the worst cases of this needle-in-a-haystack hotspot search was towards the end of the game. Adil, the thief’s errand boy, is on the roof of the museum, figuring out how to pull off the heist with only the content’s of the backpack given to him. I had accessed the security sensor by prying open the skylight but needed something to damage it. I’m standing there in full-on climbing gear with nothing but a dirty rag, a cloth bag, and a stick of chewing gum. Turns out way over there in the corner, I am supposed to be able to see water dripping and wet the rag with it, but it was next to impossible to see. I use two monitors, one of which is actually a 32″ TV, and I still could barely make out these water droplets.

That’s what most of the puzzles were. I don’t mind environmental puzzles, but I am used to having some brain teasers thrown in for good measure. While it was certainly more realistic to play in a world where not everyone uses logic problems instead of actual combination locks, it just didn’t feel as fun.

It comes down to that argument about how realistic a game needs to be. This is a case where I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief for a variety of puzzles, but not everyone may feel that way. Some may admire this take on the genre. Both work, and both are fun; I prefer feeling like I solved a mystery, not like I stumbled into a solution.

Regardless, the ending blew my mind. Seriously, if you don’t want spoilers, stop it right now.

Man, I hope you’re here to bask in the twists and turns.

After all of this time, it turns out you were the thief. At first I called bullshit. I spend hours in this guy’s head–how can I not know?

First the man who you spend the last half the game believing it to be was merely a henchman himself. He was creating a sloppy burglary to try to lure the real thief out of retirement. When this man shot you, apparently you were wearing a bulletproof vest, anticipating his tendency for violence. Then you realize that Zellner became a cop–or whatever the general term in Switzerland is–to be on the inside. This way he can spend his time investigating the impostor without ever drawing attention to himself.

It is even more convoluted than that, but after turning it over in my mind for a while, I can dig it. Seriously, play it for the whole story. Or at least watch a playthrough. It’s outstanding. Not too often does one of these games really surprise me with the ending. Either I see it coming or it is not that exciting. Worse, sometimes it is based off a novel, but the game twists the narrative to try to make it a surprise–I’m looking at you, And Then There Were None. 

Now I really am at a loss as to what to play next. Maybe I’ll pull names out of a hat. Stay tuned.

Nevermore, Nevermore

Nevermore, Nevermore

I’m just going to start this off with a spoiler warning. The game is so story-based it is impossible to talk without spoiling something. Read at your own risk.

With all of the talk about police reform in today’s media, all we need to do to train incoming detectives on the police force is set them down in front of a point-and-click mystery game and force them to solve it without any walkthroughs. After spending three hours trying every single item in their inventory on every nook and cranny of the screen only to realize they are supposed to be combining objects instead, they will have no problem with combing through a crime scene. In theory it teaches people to think creatively. In reality it teaches them to be happy that real life is not that tedious.

After playing the first of three acts last winter, I sat down to finish The Raven: Legacy of a MasterThief. The protagonist, Constable Zellner, feels like a dumb-downed version of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Oddly enough, one of the characters is also an elderly writer of mystery novels. Hmmm…

Anyway, this is game is identical to the play style of what I grew up on. I played every Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie computer game I could get my hands on–and still do. While these drew me in, letting me look past some of the less-than-intuitive puzzles, this one did not start off that way. My guess is where before I had protagonists I already had a connection with–and one that built with each game and pop culture reference–this one had a leading man who felt blase.

After getting into the second act this week though, I wish I hadn’t quit so soon. In case you did not heed my warning, spoilers start here.

You gone? Lord, I hope not.

Halfway through the second act, you find out who the thief is and he shoots you. The screen goes dark. I counted to five, afraid I had ended up with the wrong ending somehow. But then the game goes back to the train station where it all started, and I’m placed in the shoes of the Raven’s lackey. Sadly at his point, I was falling asleep at my keyboard and had to be up for work, but I spent the whole day wanting to come home and keep following the story. I was willing to shake my mouse all of the screen looking for those three pixels that would trigger the riddle I needed to solve as long as the story kept going.

One of the worst cases of this needle-in-a-haystack hotspot search was towards the end of the game. Adil, the thief’s errand boy, is on the roof of the museum, figuring out how to pull off the heist with only the content’s of the backpack given to him. I had accessed the security sensor by prying open the skylight but needed something to damage it. I’m standing there in full-on climbing gear with nothing but a dirty rag, a cloth bag, and a stick of chewing gum. Turns out way over there in the corner, I am supposed to be able to see water dripping and wet the rag with it, but it was next to impossible to see. I use two monitors, one of which is actually a 32″ TV, and I still could barely make out these water droplets.

That’s what most of the puzzles were. I don’t mind environmental puzzles, but I am used to having some brain teasers thrown in for good measure. While it was certainly more realistic to play in a world where not everyone uses logic problems instead of actual combination locks, it just didn’t feel as fun.

It comes down to that argument about how realistic a game needs to be. This is a case where I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief for a variety of puzzles, but not everyone may feel that way. Some may admire this take on the genre. Both work, and both are fun; I prefer feeling like I solved a mystery, not like I stumbled into a solution.

Regardless, the ending blew my mind. Seriously, if you don’t want spoilers, stop it right now.

Man, I hope you’re here to bask in the twists and turns.

After all of this time, it turns out you were the thief. At first I called bullshit. I spend hours in this guy’s head–how can I not know?

First the man who you spend the last half the game believing it to be was merely a henchman himself. He was creating a sloppy burglary to try to lure the real thief out of retirement. When this man shot you, apparently you were wearing a bulletproof vest, anticipating his tendency for violence. Then you realize that Zellner became a cop–or whatever the general term in Switzerland is–to be on the inside. This way he can spend his time investigating the impostor without ever drawing attention to himself.

It is even more convoluted than that, but after turning it over in my mind for a while, I can dig it. Seriously, play it for the whole story. Or at least watch a playthrough. It’s outstanding. Not too often does one of these games really surprise me with the ending. Either I see it coming or it is not that exciting. Worse, sometimes it is based off a novel, but the game twists the narrative to try to make it a surprise–I’m looking at you, And Then There Were None. 

Now I really am at a loss as to what to play next. Maybe I’ll pull names out of a hat. Stay tuned.

Where’s My Bear? Finding Teddy Review

Where’s My Bear? Finding Teddy Review

So last week I mentioned that one of my possible strategies for finishing my Steam library more quickly would be to start with all of the games I have previously played part of. This weekend I tried the other idea I had in mind–start new games that I know to be shorter titles.

Therefore I started and finished Finding Teddy this weekend in a little over three hours.

The game starts with a little girl in bed holding her Teddy bear. Suddenly her wardrobe opens up and a giant spider legs comes out and steals her stuffed animal. She climbs into her closet C.S. Lewis-style and comes across a forested world full of giant insects and reptiles with problems all their own.

While all of these things seem like they would look terrifying, the pixelated style helped it feel more childlike than creepy. The contrast of this small black-and-white girl who still seemed to be shrouded in the darkness of her bedroom with the brights greens of this mysterious land was captivating, Though having seen this old school art choice done time and time again, this one felt polished. The game was so small that you can tell the developers took great care in every background.

And that’s almost all there was to draw. The game’s mechanic was the simplest version of a point-and-click. You can click on the left or right of the screen to move to the next location or click to interact with an object–if there are any. The trees and cave walls are virtually still while only the characters moved at all and typically only when they were prompted to do so.

This game was not to be outdone in the obtuse puzzles of early point-and-click games. The girl communicates with the world around her through music notes that look a bit like the alphabet. You then spell out words to the world around you. Now this just doesn’t pop up often enough for you to be able to guess when to use and when not to. For example there is a crying bug who I spent forever searching for an item that would make him happy enough to stop murdering me. The same way I end up doing at one point or another with these games, I looked it up online. Turns out all you have to do is spell the word “happy” for him to be, well, happy. Nothing I saw up until that point screamed that this would be necessary at all. I had only played music notes when I had specific ones to copy. And is that why bugs show up after a house party? Not for the scattered beer cans but for the lingering music? All the more reason to keep using my headphones.

The rest of the puzzles were easy enough to come by. Take the baby spider back to her mother. Take an egg back to a bird. Feed a crocodile a child’s sized dummy made of carrots. The usual kid-friendly activities.

Though taken in by this short journey, I really was more excited to finish a game this weekend besides the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover than to finish this one specifically.

Stay tuned while I continue on this adventure game streak by hunting for a master thief with a name alluding to Edgar Allen Poe. Can you guess?

Where’s My Bear?

Where’s My Bear?

So last week I mentioned that one of my possible strategies for finishing my Steam library more quickly would be to start with all of the games I have previously played part of. This weekend I tried the other idea I had in mind–start new games that I know to be shorter titles.

Therefore I started and finished Finding Teddy this weekend in a little over three hours.

The game starts with a little girl in bed holding her Teddy bear. Suddenly her wardrobe opens up and a giant spider legs comes out and steals her stuffed animal. She climbs into her closet C.S. Lewis-style and comes across a forested world full of giant insects and reptiles with problems all their own.

While all of these things seem like they would look terrifying, the pixelated style helped it feel more childlike than creepy. The contrast of this small black-and-white girl who still seemed to be shrouded in the darkness of her bedroom with the brights greens of this mysterious land was captivating, Though having seen this old school art choice done time and time again, this one felt polished. The game was so small that you can tell the developers took great care in every background.

And that’s almost all there was to draw. The game’s mechanic was the simplest version of a point-and-click. You can click on the left or right of the screen to move to the next location or click to interact with an object–if there are any. The trees and cave walls are virtually still while only the characters moved at all and typically only when they were prompted to do so.

This game was not to be outdone in the obtuse puzzles of early point-and-click games. The girl communicates with the world around her through music notes that look a bit like the alphabet. You then spell out words to the world around you. Now this just doesn’t pop up often enough for you to be able to guess when to use and when not to. For example there is a crying bug who I spent forever searching for an item that would make him happy enough to stop murdering me. The same way I end up doing at one point or another with these games, I looked it up online. Turns out all you have to do is spell the word “happy” for him to be, well, happy. Nothing I saw up until that point screamed that this would be necessary at all. I had only played music notes when I had specific ones to copy. And is that why bugs show up after a house party? Not for the scattered beer cans but for the lingering music? All the more reason to keep using my headphones.

The rest of the puzzles were easy enough to come by. Take the baby spider back to her mother. Take an egg back to a bird. Feed a crocodile a child’s sized dummy made of carrots. The usual kid-friendly activities.

Though taken in by this short journey, I really was more excited to finish a game this weekend besides the Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover than to finish this one specifically.

Stay tuned while I continue on this adventure game streak by hunting for a master thief with a name alluding to Edgar Allen Poe. Can you guess?