Opinion: do walk throughs count as cheating?

Short answer: Yes.

Most escape games will have a “walk through” posted somewhere on the internet. Usually youtube or the publisher’s website. The walk through is normally a video (though textual instructions exist as well) of somebody else solving the entire game, step by step.

I use walk throughs all the time even though I also consider them cheating. That is because escape games are GAMES and nobody should care that much. Also, I think there are good reasons to use the walk throughs.

Good Reasons to Use a Walk Through
1. If you are playing an escape game developed in another country, you may find an occasion where some crucial piece of information is just not translating very well and you are stuck because the game is telling you something that you don’t understand. This is rare but it happens.

2. You are certain that you have theoretically solved the puzzle in front of you but the first one or two steps isn’t working.

3. You have decided that a game has become tedious and you don’t like it.

4. It is a Myst situation and you have absolutely no idea what you’re supposed to do to get started.

5. You are stuck on a puzzle and don’t want to be stuck anymore.

Still, sometimes it sucks to use a walk through only to learn that you COULD HAVE solved something yourself. For that reason, I recommended:

Alternatives to Walk Throughs When You are Stumped
1. Pause. Mentally review how you solved the last few puzzles. What is the underlying logic of the game? Are objects hiding in plain sight or do they tend to be ruthlessly tucked away?  Did you recently have to combine an absurd pair of items? Or are the item combinations mostly normal? Did you already solve a puzzle but its components are still responding to clicks? You might need to make a second pass.

2. Sleep on it. Learning occurs when we sleep. That’s just a science fact.

3. Play with a friend by your side. Most people will never agree to do this with you. But if you can find someone willing, I can assure you that two heads are better than one.

And lastly, some notes on how to find a good walk through:

a good walk through
1. is free
2. has the cursor/reticle visible so you can see precisely where clicks happen
3. often, there will be unnecessary narration. You can mute it.



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Mind the Goons.

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