Haven Review: Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist

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Don’t touch things if you don’t know what they do…or try to touch as many things as you can until something funny happens. Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald plays with keeping the player gated, telling them when and just how to interact with the world, and taking note when the player immediately doesn’t listen. The game tells you to wait on something; you do it as quickly as possible. The game tells you do you something; you sit there and wait to see what happens. Confused? It’s frustrating not being able to go further sometimes. It’s just another way the game gates you from something. There is only so much nonsense the game will put up with. All I want is to push it further. You know what, this is starting to sound way too much like a straight forward analysis of the game.

You start off staring at a wall. A quick turn and glance around the room leaves you with a weird feeling like you’ve been here before. I’ve been told that the game only takes twenty minutes to play. Then why does Steam tell me I’ve been playing for five hours. I’ve been lied to. We all have. That’s all this game does is lie. It’s not twenty minutes. The game is eternal. I’ve a strange pull to head off in the same direction as I have time and time again. You can only go that way, and the game mocks you for it. There are other doors. I just want to open the other doors. But no, you can’t fucking open your own doors. Who is the stage manager? Does he really have as little control over everything as he says? Why does it feel like he can see me sometimes and is completely blind to what I’m doing at other times. What the fuck is Justin Roiland going on about now? Why am I still listening to him? Is he just doing that Rick and Morty improv thing again?

The game is a series of utterly stupid questions that will drive you mad trying find the answers. But goddammit, I’m going to fucking do it. Shit I got to the end. Time to start over. Maybe if I only turn two of those valves in the weather room, something different will happen. Nope. 2015-12-09_00002Do those even do anything? ACKNOWLEDGE MY VALVE-TURNING. Valve…is that some sort of metaphor? Fuck if I know what this game is trying to pass off as metaphors. High-concept miscellaneous interactions. This whole game is high-concept misc… Oh that’s the joke. There is really nothing to say about the game other than go play it. I mean there is a lot to say about the game. Too much to say. I feel like the best way to explain the game is to keep spouting the inane thoughts I had while playing.

There are sticky notes with numbers all over the game, and a big-ass number pad at the end. But typing in those numbers does nothing. That’s like a metaphor for the game. 2015-12-10_00006The game gives you so many snippets of ideas to latch onto. The game is a billion starts to a billion hidden puzzles, but it doesn’t give you the pay off. The whole time it tells you it’s going to, but you know it won’t. So you start over. Pick another lead and run head long into the same goddamn brick wall that you’ve been running into for the past… Jesus, have I really been doing this for five hours? This is what the game does to you. It’s that definition of insanity. Honestly, the game is free, takes 20 minutes (or longer), and can run on a wide variety of computers.2015-12-10_00013

If my ramblings have left you curious, then go play Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald. If my comments have left you disgusted and hate-filled, go play it…and then come tell me.

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Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-