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Most frustrating adventure game ever played! 

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Joined 2008-04-21

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What’s the most frustrating game ever played? I nominate Orion Burger, not cause of it’s difficult level, that award goes to Nippon Safes who gives you no clue at all what to do. But Orion burger is so frustrating cause if you take too long figuring out what to do, you’re kidnapped by aliens and have to start over.

My 2nd nominee is Darkestville castle cause the puzzles are completely illogical and constantly makes you go, oooh how was I ever supposed to get that. Yes even more frustrating than Discworld 1. And extra frustration added cause you’re playing as the most non evil demon ever!

     
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Joined 2017-12-19

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Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist is a very strong candidate here.

In the (even more) retro category the (dis)honorable mention goes to Zim Sala Bim.

Out of relatively recent games I would nominate Bolt Riley - A Reggae Adventure.

The second CD of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Harbinger
is worth mentioning as it spoils completely a game that is kind of nice on the first CD. You go from the familiar space station to a 3D maze with shooting bots and stuff, not good.

     

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I’ve always been interested in playing that game but never gotten around to it, why should it be avoided?

     
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Jon_wachter - 19 January 2020 06:54 AM

I’ve always been interested in playing that game but never gotten around to it, why should it be avoided?

Freddy Pharkas is divided into chapters, and every chapter has some kind of invisible timer(s) which will cause death and game over until something is done before that. Of course there is no indication on how much time is available, and even doing something that is part of the correct solution won’t give any extra time.

IIRC, in the final battle against the antagonist there were three segments with each having some kind of separate timer against death, so if you solved one, good luck, it only started another one.

The game fails to be funny too. Even though it’s Al Lowe game, it just doesn’t have much humour in it. I suppose visiting brothel is supposed to be funny, but apart from a couple of funny lines spoken there, there’s not really much in it. Oh yeah, there’s also a chapter where everyone is queuing to the outhouse because everyone has an upset stomach for some reason. Laughing now? Didn’t think so.

There’s also a chemistry puzzle, which is one of those annoying copyright puzzles, where you need to check stuff from the manual to get it right.

I would suggest reading the manual of disease descriptions though, there is few funny parts in there. Much funnier than the game itself.

     
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Those are some bizarre complaints. First off, timers are standard Sierra fare and for someone like me who found King’s Quest timers annoying as hell, these are much fairer. The chemistry puzzles are an example of creative copy-protection - far better than “what’s the word on page 3, line 4 of the manual?”. And the game was considered funny - just read some of the reviews online. It’s a good game, not frustrating at all in my opinion.

There are far more frustrating games. Return to Zork, for example, which has a ton of unwinnable game states. For example the plant at the beginning of the game can be killed if you don’t water it, and then you find you need it alive towards the end of the game. But this is Zork we’re talking about, so maybe that should be expected.

     

Total Posts: 84

Joined 2008-04-21

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Well tbf frustration is very subjective, some might even get frustrated playing monkey Island.

I seem to remember that there were games early on that had dead ends where if you had forgotten to do something or done something wrong, you were screwed. I believe Kyrandia had a few of those but the games were so good it didn’t matter.

I think the most frustrating puzzles I’ve ever played were in Simon the sorcerer 3D. I literally spent years trying to complete the shooting duck game before I got it and walking across the quick sand wasn’t a walk in the park either. Esp if you did it before you should and had to do it all over again haha. But still a great game!

     
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Joined 2017-08-27

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Add “Shadow of the Comet” to this list of “you should have done it a long time ago and now you screwed”; plus cases of some of the most wicked pixel hunting; plus a million permadeaths you, obviously, won’t even think of getting… until you die.
Oh, and a maze like a cherry on top.
Not a bad game by any means, but ridiculously frustrating.

     

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Ooh yes mazes and deaths could be added to Kyrandia 1 too. Although if you run out of fire berry’s you have to blame yourself a little. Recently been playing book of unwritten tales 1 and lots of pixel hunting there too. Easy puzzles but lot of pixel hunting instead.

     
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cyfoyjvx - 19 January 2020 07:46 AM

For example the plant at the beginning of the game can be killed if you don’t water it, and then you find you need it alive towards the end of the game.

If you eat the dead plant, it will grow again after some time - there’s even a hint at the mayor’s office. Now the final bridge puzzle was designed by a sadist.

One of the most frustrating games I played was, surprisingly, Quest for Glory 2 which is often praised as the best in the series. Tried playing it several times, both the original and the fan remake, but always lost patience early into the game: fighting controls, the “3D” town maze, ways to earn money, the endless desert, linearity, time limit - everything felt so frustrating. As much as I love the series, this one was a huge letdown.

     

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Joined 2012-03-24

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Not the most frustrating adventure game ever played .. or maybe it is?, just the most recent:
Sally Face. Please developers, don’t con me into playing your interesting game released in episodes with graphics & characters I like, AN EASY INTERFACE & a story that grabs me enough to ensure that I play the next episode.
I couldn’t finish Episode 4 because of the repetitive timed sequences that were just not a feature of the previous episodes & had to follow the story on You Tube! Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up And as for Episode 5 - there was a lot of interesting ‘experimentation’ with different presentations which I loved but also lots of ‘arcade’ mini-games - I think I gleaned somewhere that you could skip them but I had just got too frustrated by then as it wasn’t an obvious thing!  Naughty

     
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Jon_wachter - 19 January 2020 08:08 AM

Well tbf frustration is very subjective, some might even get frustrated playing monkey Island.

Is there anyone who didn’t find Monkey Kombat frustrating?

Jon_wachter - 19 January 2020 08:08 AM

I seem to remember that there were games early on that had dead ends where if you had forgotten to do something or done something wrong, you were screwed.

There are probably hundreds of games like that. It was considered as good game design at one time, many Sierra games had that too. From today’s point of view it seems strange, as games have built-in help systems and they autosave even though you can’t even die in the game, but back then the philosophy was that it’s OK if you need to reload and replay several times. You might even find old reviews where LucasFilm games are criticised for being too easy with no parser and no deaths or dead-ends.

I am not totally against dead-ends, but the big problem is that there is usually no way to know that the game has entered an unwinnable state. At least there could be an alternative ending for such cases, which would be a kind of fair way to do it.

cyfoyjvx - 19 January 2020 07:46 AM

Those are some bizarre complaints. First off, timers are standard Sierra fare and for someone like me who found King’s Quest timers annoying as hell, these are much fairer.

IMHO, they completely overdid them in Freddy Pharkas. I mean EVERY chapter had a timer? Some even more than one? And where in other Sierra games timers made some sense, like in Space Quest the timer is a self-destruct sequence, so it makes total sense there, in Freddy Pharkas it’s the smell of horse s**t which at one point becomes so strong that you die. Doesn’t work for me.

cyfoyjvx - 19 January 2020 07:46 AM

And the game was considered funny - just read some of the reviews online.

Sorry that I didn’t think of reading online reviews to know what kind of things I actually find funny.  Crazy

Seriously though, it’s about context. In Leisure Suit Larry brothel and toilet humour works. In Freddy Pharkas, it just really doesn’t. It also makes Al Lowe look bad. Even though the subject matter and context are completely different, the content of the jokes is drawn from the same source. It can’t work.

Of course there are individual great ideas in the game. Like the surveillance camera in the bank is absolutely hilarious. But overall, meh…

     
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when will one come with the question; what the best remade thread?

     
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GateKeeper - 19 January 2020 06:46 AM

Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist is a very strong candidate here.

Freddy Pharkas is divided into chapters, and every chapter has some kind of invisible timer(s) which will cause death and game over until something is done before that. Of course there is no indication on how much time is available, and even doing something that is part of the correct solution won’t give any extra time.

I’m surprised seeing as FPFP is one of my all time favorite games. I realize that some of the puzzles are a little over the top. E.g. who knew that slugs were attracted to beer, and that it would kill them? Not me.

I’m also curious what version you played, disc or CD. I played the disc version and don’t recall any time limits on chapters. The CD version was different, but I thought most of the differences were with dialog. Maybe there were other differences as well.

     

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GateKeeper - 19 January 2020 10:18 AM

Seriously though, it’s about context. In Leisure Suit Larry brothel and toilet humour works. In Freddy Pharkas, it just really doesn’t. It also makes Al Lowe look bad. Even though the subject matter and context are completely different, the content of the jokes is drawn from the same source. It can’t work.

Of course there are individual great ideas in the game. Like the surveillance camera in the bank is absolutely hilarious. But overall, meh…

Al Lowe didn’t think it made him look bad. On his website he says “I think it may well be my funniest game, due in great part to the wit of Josh Mandel.”

Besides, the adventure genre needs more westerns and FPFP is by far the best we have.

     
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As good as it is, it has to be Shadow of the Comet for me. Dying instantly because of an obscure consequence of a previous action with no warning is never fun.

     

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Joined 2018-11-09

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Personally, and that’s just me and my alter ego, but don’t listen to him - he does not know anything, every puzzle that is made just for puzzle’s sake annoys a heck out of me.

I far better prefer some storytelling narrative corridor in some parts of the game and not just another puzzle that is crammed in there just to have a “game with lots of puzzles”. I haven’t finished a lot of adventure games just for this reason.

And in worst case scenarios they are puzzles, where you have to open a door with a dog fed with gasoline or such [not an actual example].

     

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