11 of 22 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 16.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 15 @ 12:10pm
Updated: May 15 @ 4:07pm

Trial & Error - The Game. If you want a brief summary of the pros and cons as well as my personal rating, scroll further down, otherwise read my more in depth reasoning below.

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I am a huge fan of puzzle games of any kind, and honestly, the first two dozen or so levels of this game are really fun. I like how the game branches out and lets you pick and choose between different "kinds" of levels with different mechanics.

It is all fun and games for a while, the different puzzle mechanics (basically drawing a path from start to end, picking up passengers and delivering them to the same colored houses, with some twists added in later on) seem natural, intuitive and a lot of the puzzles are difficult but still doable.

Sadly, at some point it all falls apart. The bigger and more complicated the levels get, the more you see the biggest flaw of the game - the fact that it eventually all becomes trial and error.

It is extremely hard to really "plan" a path in advance when you are essentially being crushed under the weight of the many potential solutions a level can have. When I see 12 creatures in the left and boxes strewn everywhere, there is no way to really create an intuitive solution in your head; what ends up happening is that you use trial & error, continoously trying out different paths until you get lucky and get the right one, or give up out of sheer frustration.

Even when a level has only few elements, it is still often very hard to plan a path. There is, and that is the biggest flaw of the game, just no way to look at a level and solve it in your head, leading to, as mentioned, Trial & Error being the only solution. And, as Trial & Error will have it, finding a solution in the end is based on luck. And I don't want luck in my puzzle game.

This is made even worse by the fact that there is no hint mechanic of any kind in this game. If you can't do a level, well, you are out of luck. There are only incomplete walkthroughs online at the time of writing, even months after the release of the game, only covering the levels that are easy enough to solve alone anyway - seems some of the levels are so frustrating (and not "fun" frustrating, as the description states, but just frustrating) that even walkthrough writers just gave up, imagine that.

Long story short, at some point you will face an insurmountable barrier. Either you will get lucky and find the right solution to a level quickly, or spend hours and not make any progress due to how unintuitive the level design (and, subsequently, finding the solution) is.

That makes the game experience very unsatisfactory and solving later puzzles just isn't rewarding, since you either solve them only by sheer luck or succumb to frustration, but in either event, your skill doesn't matter, only luck does. It just isn't a fun puzzle experience beyond the first two dozen levels or so, which show a promise of the game that could've been.

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--Rating--

Pro:

- very cute artstyle
- very minimal music and sound effects, but it works well
- easy to understand gameplay...

Cons:

- ...that sadly falls apart after a while due to unnecessarily unintuitive design
- many levels have no clear solution or even a way of thinking up one, leading to frustration and, due to that, no satisfaction even after beating a level since your skill in puzzle solving didn't matter much
- no hint system of any form that could give you at least a tip after being stuck for hours

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In summary you can say that, while the game is really fun at first, it quickly falls apart the more complicated the mechanics become and, even more so, when these mechanics start to intersect.

The game isn't difficult because of the puzzles, but because of the basic design; it is simply unintuitive in the way the puzzles are solved. Even as a huge puzzle fan, I had to quit out of frustration after almost 17 hours of playtime, and I will have to sadly leave the game forever incomplete in my library, else face immense frustration and no satisfaction after brute forcing my way through a level (maybe, eventually. If I am lucky). This is not how puzzle games are supposed to be.

Personal Rating: 4/10 (Below Average)
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4 Comments
American Currency May 21 @ 9:28pm 
Don't get me wrong; identifying the problem you need to solve in the levels isn't the issue, the actual solution is, at least many times.
strav May 21 @ 4:51pm 
Not to boast but, done 48 levels so far (with all monoliths), nearing the bottom of a fine californian wine and I don't know what you're talking about. Every puzzle I encountered so far had a clear logical obstacle that could be seen with a minimal amount of fiddling. Now the solution to that obstacle often did required some lateral thinking but it wouldn't be fair to call it trial and error. I get what you mean though and I'll correct this statement if by completing the game I encounter levels that just required a dumb brute force attack.
American Currency May 15 @ 3:53pm 
Thank you! I clarified some stuff and edited it a bit more to make my point a bit clearer.
Zihamiya May 15 @ 3:43pm 
Good review!