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2 Stars IFReview Rating Concrete Paradise

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 04:29 

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Tyson Ibele


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IFR Overall Rating
3 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Rating: 2
House or Office: Not quite, but there's the Mandatory Toilet anyway.
Played to completion?: Yes, with the walkthrough all the way.

This breaks two cardinal rules of good game design. One is that it has you try to solve puzzles, but what actually happens is the result of some totally coincidental action. You have to crawl into the vent system not so that you can escape through the vents but so that someone can find you when you come back out. You have to try to turn off the lighthouse, fail, and then be arbitrarily struck by lightning.

Two, it gives you all the puzzle solutions right up front in the form of really, really stupid hints: they shouldn't work, but because of Game Logic, they do. How do you know the secret password? Because it was in the kid's book as a magic word, of course. Naturally. Not only that, but you get to read all three books, revealing the arbitrary solutions to the game's three arbitrary main puzzles, at the very beginning, so you know exactly what situations are coming up that you will have to try to get yourself out of.

This is a senseless world, devoid of causality. But given that you can get thrown in an Alcatraz-equivalent for jaywalking and that you can successfully flush a glass bottle down a toilet, well, I guess it's at least consistent about the senselessness.

It also takes place in a moral vacuum, since there're no problems about stabbing a guard who has a wife and kids at home and who doesn't seem to be notably evil, just In the Way. I didn't want violence to be the answer this time, but it was.

Emily Short Profile

IFReviewer Rating
10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Emily Short
Gender Female

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