IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 08:56
The premise is, indeed, that you're in a dilly of a one-room puzzle box. A very puzzle-box like game; you're presented with random objects, with no particular rhyme or rationale. When you play with them right, you're presented with more objects.
This was fun for about two-thirds of the game. I even enjoyed the toggling-lights puzzle -- partially because it was at least a little variant from the usual, and partially because this was the first game I played. (If I see another one, there may be trouble.)
But, as you can tell from my faint praise, it got old. Two-thirds through would have been a good time for some hints early in the game to come together -- foreshadowing -- or something. Cast things in a new light. This didn't particularly happen.
I wound up going to the hints for the last several puzzles. Some things were said only in one place, or not emphasized, and I never followed up on them. A few actions were rather unobvious as well. I wasn't engaged enough to examine everything three times looking for inconsistencies. Sorry. I did enjoy the game, honest. But a puzzle box has to be astonishingly evil and twisted to hold my attention for a full game.
The implementation was somewhat sparse. The kind of thing where when you type "sit", you sit down for a second and then stand up again -- a message, rather than full implementation. This is legitimate, of course, but it's more common in realistic sequences where the game wants to keep you directed within a large range of real-world actions. I don't think it fits in with a puzzle-mechanism game, where you want to try to manipulate everything.
On the other hand, I liked the response to "jump". Heh.