atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4253: Oh, the poor, poor Clintons

They needed to buy houses when Bill left office. Apparently the $6 million house in New York wasn't enough, and they needed another one, and oh! The suffering!


* * *

I've been playing, on my tablet, these "Can You Escape" games by Mobigrow. I first played "Can You Escape Tower", and since have roared through the other three games. They're apparently only made for Android.

You're presented with a room that has a locked door, and the object is to solve a series of puzzles such that you find the key that opens the door using things which are in the room. Sometimes it takes thought, sometimes it's super-easy, and sometimes I flail around uselessly until I discover that I missed something--but of the fifty-odd levels (across four games) that I've played, only once was the solution to a room beyond my capacity, requiring a walkthrough.

There was one other room where I simply was not getting the puzzle and I needed a hint. The clues I had were two 5x5 grids with letters, numbers, and symbols, and I thought the two grids referred to each other. I spent quite some time trying to figure out how they related. They didn't; they were hints to two separate puzzles. Once I knew that, the solution was easy. (It would have been better if the two clues had not been available at the time. I had too much information; usually these guys are good at controlling that, such that you only have the information you need to solve one puzzle at a time, and not more.) When a player has to first figure out which information is extraneous and then solve a puzzle, the solution set should not be arbitrarily large.

Anyway, this is the kind of game I really enjoy, which is why I played Myst and Riven and Myst III. But these games suffered from puzzles which were sometimes non-intuitive, and too complex. The solution to a puzzle ought to be logical; you shouldn't be in the position of having to make great leaps of induction. (I'm thinking of the topological map thing in Riven which made absolutely no sense, but was critical to letting you get off the island. That was dumb.)

Adera is a game like this, but unfortunately its $6 per "episode" price--that doesn't free you from commercials!--is too steep, particularly for a game which has essentially no replay value: once you've figured out the puzzles, solving them a second time is trivial. (The first time you play Myst you explore everything and go everywhere and do all the puzzles; the second time, you go for the Myst book page, go to Atrus, give him the page, and about a minute, perhaps two.)

Ads for the "Can You Escape" games are pretty unobtrusive, running in a small banner at the bottom of the screen, and if you want to watch the walkthrough you first have to look at/click past an ad. Otherwise, they leave you alone. I've rated three of the four with five stars because of this; when I'm done with the fourth I expect I'll do the same.

* * *

Today is a cool, gloomy, rainy day. I don't quite know what to do with it, except that I know I need to put the new city stickers in the cars and the new plate on Mrs. Fungus' motorcycle.

Not much else to report. That's how it is.

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