Block

Published by hozdesign.  I played this on android.

The Short: The latest offender.

Recommended if you like being cheated.

Description: I furrow my brow and look closely. I am watching a youtube video. The video is a depiction of the solutions — the walkthrough — to a game called Block by hozdesign. I watch carefully. The solution I need arrives so I pause the video.

I screw up my eyes. I intend to understand. I want to understand. I try to understand. But I will not understand. Because the solution is nonsensical. How do 5 ink blots in a grid translate into cardinal directions? It’s simple. They don’t.

Hozdesign creates games that baffle me. It’s possible there is some kind of steep cultural rift between myself and these creators but I don’t understand how this can happen on such a consistent basis. I enjoy solving puzzles. I play a ton of these games. I can only conclude that hozdesign does this on purpose: they create arbitrary, meaningless puzzles that have no logical solution. It’s so sad. It makes me feel sad.

If I am wrong,  please, someone — ANYONE — let me know.

Difficulty: Beyond Difficult
Difficulty Elements: — 
cascade | both readily-apparent & invisible puzzle arrays | both straightforward & esoteric interfaces | some Absurdity | both typical & unique solves

Can you Escape the 100 room I

Published by FunnyTimeDay. I played this on android.

The Short: Quite awful.

Recommended if you like blue haired maidens, shadowy cellars, air vents

Description: I don’t even want to review this game. It’s essentially a Doors Galore but with a few extra steps. Bad, undifferentiated graphics with low cascade puzzles make Can you Escape the 100 room a chore to complete. Belched straight out of Design Netherworld, this game seeks to combine some kind of medieval aesthetic with a  regular old Ohio basement. Tragic.

As long as we’re on the subject though, let me tell you about a certain bee in my bonnet. I have become quite hardened to the entire aesthetic world of medieval-esque creations. Just the sight of jerkins, wizards, or gilded chests tends to put me in a bad mood. Are there no other periods of human history worthy of recreating? Do people understand the nuanced differences between the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, High Middle Ages and Renaissance? They’re all completely distinct and, what’s more, wholly different depending on what country you’re in. I mean for god’s sake, read a book! Jesus.

Difficulty: Easy 
Difficulty Elements
low cascade | readily apparent puzzle arrays | straightforward interfaces | no Absurdity | typical solves

chotto_fusigi (aka Strange Little Searching)

Published by かもの巣窟 . I played this on android.

The Short: There is a cool central idea here but jeez Louise, that animation is painful.

Recommended if you like making your eyes bleed, magical shoe boxes

Description: Woof. Where to start. I’m not a big fan of chotto stuff to begin with but chotto_fusigi really pushes the envelope. These graphics are bad. Bad, bad, bad! It’s all very two dimensional and suffused with an offensive array of corals and pastels. The furniture is boxy, badly rendered and the zoom effects are jarring and fairly nauseating. In short: Barf.

That being said, I do have a couple of nice things to say about this game. The central mechanic in chotto_fusigi is actually kind of interesting. There is a row of shoe boxes in the middle of this game space. They are magical shoe boxes. As you go around the room, you will collect miniature pieces of furniture and if you place them into the shoe boxes, you will conjure life-sized pieces of furniture. I kind of liked this in theory but they could have done more to capitalize on this premise. All in all, though, stay away from this game.

Difficulty: Easy 
Difficulty Elements:
some cascade | readily apparent puzzle arrays | straightforward & esoteric interfaces | low Absurdity | both typical & unique solves

Bank Escape

Published by MobiGrow. I played this on android.

The Short: This might be a train wreck but nobody died so. Also, groovy music.

Recommended if you like predictable spy movies, good riffs on bass

Description: This game is pretty terrible but in that way where it is so bad I kind of love it? The graphics were conceived in the hearth, of Design Netherworld. Just picture a giant smoking factory, badly pixelated and glitching around a sprawl of copy/pasted urban scenery. That is the forge from which Design Netherworld belches forth. Sorry to get all LoTR about it but Design Netherworld is my one true foe.

So in addition to being from Design Netherworld, Bank Escape has some pretty loony toons logic behind some of its puzzles. It has also got a bad case of the Obvies. For instance, say you find a glass of water. Shortly thereafter there will be some electrical equipment with a big sign that says NO WATER. Hmmm…. I wonder what I should try next? Additionally, a lot of the items you pick up are not easily discernible. Am I holding a rod? A fan part? A lobster cracker? But the best part of Bank Escape is the music. As you sleuth around the maximum-security bank (you are a bank robber, by the way) this dubious bass line just repeats over and over again. And when you do solve a room, you’re rewarded with a gritty little guitar solo that reminds you that, at least in the realm of Bank Escape, you are one bad ass.

Difficulty Level: Easy
Difficulty Elements
: little to no cascade | readily-apparent puzzle arrays | straightforward interfaces | no Absurdity | typical solves

Escape Game “ESC”

Published by hozdesign. I played this on android.

The Short: Betrayal.

Recommended if you like true disappointments. Not the easy kind. The real kind.

Description: Okay. I am going to majorly ding on this game but I don’t want to do so frivolously.  Let me start at the beginning with ESC.

Continue reading Escape Game “ESC”