Recent Playing

tobin_asmallfavor_titleA Small Favor. A point-and-click adventure that I found particularly engaging. My mileage varies a lot with these kinds of games: sometimes I like them a lot, sometimes the frustration level is just too high for me to tolerate. But this one worked for me pretty well. I only had to look at a hint for one thing, and in retrospect it was a completely fair puzzle that I was just failing to think through right. It is as far as I can tell impossible to make unwinnable.

Minim. It’s a set of 35 mathematical and spatial puzzles, very simple but elegantly presented. No story or anything here, but I liked this one a lot — though I think the game isn’t very well laid-out in terms of escalating difficulty, because I got really stuck for a long time on one of the middle levels and then found the rest of them pretty easy. Maybe I’m unusual, though — to judge by the JIG comments, other people had problems with other puzzles in the list.

Spirited Heart. By the author of Heileen and co-author of Summer Session, Spirited Heart bills itself as a “fantasy life sim”, sort of similar to Kudos but with demons and elves and magic. The aesthetic style will, I’m sure, immediately select for a limited audience — my eyebrows kind of went up at their own accord at the sight of the demoness character with her gown cut down to her navel and little decorative bat-wings, who nonetheless has an adorable schoolgirlish face. It’s that sort of thing. Beyond that, though, it’s reasonably smooth and well-constructed in its genre, but there aren’t enough options to make for very diverse and interesting gameplay, and it’s possible to run into a lot of random bad luck that keeps you from getting anywhere. Story elements drop into the game at random if you’re hanging out in the right places; and while this is better than having no story at all, it’s still too arbitrary to make for a compelling narrative.

I’ve also started Braid, now that it is (hooray!) available for the Mac. It is really clever, but even with the ability to rewind time, I suck at platformers. We’ll see how this goes.

2 thoughts on “Recent Playing”

  1. Just tried out the Braid demo as well, and it’s amazing. Beautiful artwork, great music (got all the tracks from magnatune :) ), intriguing story, great references to Mario and Donkey Kong, clever puzzles… Yeah, soon as I can find room in my budget for the fifteen bucks, I’ll buy it. :)

  2. Minim is, by far, one of the best three-dimensional puzzle games. I got stuck at some point, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s really catchy.

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