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Friday, October 4, 2013

Review - The Challenge

The Challenge? Hmm... Do you think it's apt to be challenging? I'd make a crack about hypertext games not being challenging, but man that awesome PDF game sort of took the wind out of my sails when it comes to my unfounded stereotypes. I'm traditionally terrible at guessing things by their titles alone (let's just say I was VERY disappointed by Moby Dick) but let's play that game here. I'm guessing the challenge is going to be a morality tale. Where you're presented with different ethical dilemmas and you have to make tricky choices. Sort of like that other game I played a while back. That's my guess. That or maybe it's going to be a Hunger Games rip off. Or maybe none of the above. If you're curious click on the jump and let's discover it together!

Quick Take Review: Incomplete Escape-The-Room game. Can literally be played in under three minutes but you could use those minutes in more creative and fulfilling ways like composing dirty limericks or farting.

It's not a good sign when the author admits at the very beginning of the game that he spent less than a day on it. While there are many things I could accomplish in a 24 hour period, I don't think any of them would be good enough for me submit them to a competition. It honestly always baffles me when something so clearly incomplete is entered into competitions like this.

And the sad thing is that it's not like it's necessarily a bad game or poorly implemented! There are these computer graphics that illustrate the game as you make the choices, very Myst-like. The game handles whether or not you've picked up an object (in this case a knife) and uses that information to suggest new actions previously unavailable (the most amusing is the constant suggestion to stab yourself with it). I was actually pretty impressed, until, after examining everything in the room (a table, a crate, and a door) I went upstairs and the game promptly ended, telling me that the whole thing had been a "demo".

Ask not for whom the bell trolls... It trolls for thee.
Here's my problem. This could have been a fun and awesome game. The designer created it in the span of 24 hours, no small accomplishment (he had to code and create all the graphics, etc). This what he could have done with... oh I don't know. A week's work? Or a month? Why only work a week on this project and then decide that it's ready for prime time? There's definite promise and potential and I like escape the room type games. But it's hard to review a game that was just given up on. This competition is not the place to get feedback on works in progress. This competition is an opportunity to display completed pieces; pieces that their owners are proud of.

I feel like I shouldn't get my dander up because I feel like the creator of this piece is just trolling the competition. Which is a shame because he's clearly capable of more.


  1. This particular writer has been trolling the competition for years. He always sends in an unfinished piece that looks like it's been cobbled together in a few hours, and, as far as I know, has never finished one of them later.


  2. In some ways I don't know if it's trolling or a serious disconnect from reality. He seemed genuinely angry that people voted down one of his games because... the English version was mostly in German.