Tag Archives: Problem solving

Haven Review: Seasons After Fall

Seasons After fall, in the most simplistic of ways it is a beautifully orchestrated game, from the majesty of its art-work to the very core elements of its game-play. There was another game I reviewed a while back called Ori and the Blind Forest and this game is most definitely on the same level of greatness as something produced by Microsoft Studios.

You play a seed, or you are often referred to as a Seed not really sure in this aspect because at a junction the story presents a narrative that argues this point. But anyways, once you arrive you are told to visit four different Sanctuary’s and meet each Guardian as you progress through each stage. The game involves basic puzzle solving, combined with stunning artwork, soothing melodies, platform gaming and lastly simply perfect narrative.

It is a fairly simple game and I finished it with a hundred percent completion in nearly eight hours being generous with time as well. But just because its simple doesn’t mean it is any less enjoyable, the game orchestrates itself in a manner that is both enticing and provocative to keep the players entertained. If you are a young gamer and you don’t want to expose them to more violent games, or any game that in general has violence in it. Than this would be the ideal game for you and your kids.

As the game has no enemies to combat and it relies heavily on its story telling capabilities and stunning artwork. However I will say this, for younger people the puzzles will in general keep the children occupied as they try to solve them. I found a few someone challenging myself which is why it took me eight hours to complete the game instead of finishing it quicker.

But I do have to note at times the controller felt very ridged and not my controller by the actual character controls itself. If you do not maintain momentum as you play through the game the character becomes a bit more listless and sluggish making solving puzzles that require jumping a bit harder.

I also encountered a bug in the game during its second phase, I guess you could call it that triggered my vibration settings on the controller and never shut them down. So now I got a glorified neck massager to help me stay at ease. Although this can be a bit tedious in general if you just enjoy having it vibrate when you jump or fall.

The only real solution to this problem is that you can turn it off in the settings menu but it completely turns the function off, if you turn it back on it will just continue vibrating regardless and not stop at all.

The game overall though is very solid, with stages that change for each segment you complete, a amazing mechanic to control the seasons to help solve puzzles like the Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, and a beautiful and artistic world that feels as if it was painted onto my screen for me to enjoy.

Despite the game being really short, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play a very relaxing game. Seasons after Fall is more about the experience rather than the challenge and I’ve found it very fulfilling both as a game and as an art piece.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Mysterious castle

     Mysterious Castle is an “escape the room” game, where players are given a room to hunt down different keys and components to unlock a door and exit. Essentially it’s a glorified Eye Spy game. You must click on various things in the room, such as pictures and pillows to uncover the way to open the door. Mysterious Castle isn’t even a descent one of these.

With it’s poor interface, buggy mechanics, and lousy graphics everything is just kinda lost. You can try and parse through the puzzles and click on the things you think will contain keys, but that is definitely not the most efficient way to accomplish things. Where exactly you need to click on things to access them is so finicky, You could either waste a ton of time clicking on something and it doing absolutely nothing, or clicking somewhere completely different trying to access another part of the room and end up in the place you were trying to get to earlier. It’s best to randomly click until you’ve solved the level. The sound design of the game may be even worse than the game design.

Every time you click on anything it makes this really irritating pinging noise. Given you have to click on a lot of things this becomes a constant to the game. After the first minute of playing I was forced to completely turn the sound off. Occasionally, and by that I mean rarely the game will try to do point-and-click adventure style puzzles, but these never consist of anything more than Combine hammer head with hammer stick to create hammer. It’s almost insulting to call anything this game has a puzzle.

On top of that this game reuses the same puzzles again and again. Every room, has a number lock in it. Part of solving the lock is to locate all the numbers. It gets so repetitive having to remember all the numbers scattered around the room and input them into the shitty lock, time after time. Once instead of (or possibly in addition to) numbers they use card symbols. So I thought the game was going to mix up what I had to input and make it more and more interesting. But, no such luck. They immediately drop that idea and return to the numbers.

Luckily this game is pretty short. There are only ten levels to complete. Well, only nine for me. The ninth level consists of two puzzles.

One where you flip tiles around to create a picture and the other a picture of a rainbow and a bunch of scrabble tiles. You needed to spell out a word or something that had to do with rainbows. However, Every time I tried to put something in the scrabble pieces would either get stuck in their slot and not come out. Regardless of what piece I put into a slot they’d get stuck.

Clicking on them caused them to turn a funny angle and glitch through the slot they were in. The other thing that would happen is that a slot would become unavailable. No matter what I did, I wasn’t able to put anything into a particular slot, forcing the puzzle to become unsolvable. I determined that this was a fitting end to this game and decided to quit.

MC

Haven Review: RAMBOE

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Now this is one of those interesting games working on a pun for its name. In RAMBOE you are playing as a Ram! Named Boe! Because Boe was a renowned explorer who got eaten and his body devoured he found his soul roaming around in a depression and so he took over a Rams body and became RAMBOE!ram-boe-979615-h900 You get all that? Because I’m not repeating myself! The object of RAMBOE is to push blocks into a portal, these blocks posses the souls of people who have had the similar fate as Boe in which they no longer have a body and cannot move. So Boe pushes these blocks into the portals so the souls can be free again and weaken the giant Ice Giant who ate Boe’s body.

Now in terms of puzzle solving the game is fairly straight forward as it teaches you everything you need to know and how to play it. Such as staking multiple blocks on-top of each other, and how to solve the various and extensive puzzles that are put forth for you.

The one issue I found with the game though is that, the audio options don’t save outside of the main menu which has led to me talking very loud. Which you can see at the end of this article in the let’s play video we got attached.unnamed

The music is nice as is voice acting although the speech can be a little hard of hearing at times. Due to the persons accent as they try to speak. But these are things that can be easily rectified. The game visually looks a bit clunky, don’t get me wrong though the game itself plays nice and its color scheme is visually appealing but it feels like the animation could use a little work.

The game controls are also very sensitive at times making it hard to play as even the slightest touch will send me plummeting to my death. A smaller issue that could be rectified in my opinion just by making it so the character you control cannot fall to your death.

ram_boe_2In conclusion though, the game has the makings of a good puzzle game with a decent story it just needs some more fine tuning and polishing. It is available now and you can buy and play it, but we can only hope the developer will continue to support it and make it shine like it can.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
RAMBOE