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Casual Playthrough #6 – Drawn: The Painted Tower

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Becky - 14 February 2015 11:02 AM

Apparently Franklin and Iris haven’t kept themselves hidden in the tower all these years—they’ve sometimes walked around the town. Apparently that’s how they were first spotted.

Heh, I had either missed that poster completely, or I had just forgotten about it. But you are right, it explains how the evil king knows where she is.

Lady Kestrel - 14 February 2015 12:33 PM

It was my understanding that the evil king’s henchmen found and ransacked the tower and turned Franklin to stone but were unable to get their hands on Iris.  When they reported this to the king, he decided to come and fetch her himself.

Well that does makes it a little bit more plausible, it still doesn’t explains everything or makes it a completely coherent and believable story, but then again, few stories are especially in Casual games, so I can accept that.

     

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Okay, that was quicker than I thought. It probably didn’t take much more than an hour to replay it from the beginning, skipping a puzzle as soon as I was able to.

I didn’t remember anything at all about the ending and I agree that it’s underwhelming. At least they could have let us run down the tower on our own to make it feel a little more involving. Also, I didn’t expect such a pronounced cliffhanger. Now I’m eager to try the next game in the series.

I still maintain that the game gets frustrating very fast when you get stuck. And it usually turns about to be a missed hot-spot. I agree with Iznogood that a hot-spot revealer would have been much more helpful than the hint system.

By the way, is there something to the hanging cords next to the dragon painting? They seem like they’re part of a puzzle but I suppose they could just be decoration. I expected them to change something inside the painting but I didn’t notice anything.

     
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Sefir - 15 February 2015 02:04 AM

They also destroyed all the paintings. Except of the Dragon one in “Fire”, which was the only one totally unharmed and complete. Not a coincidence of cource.

I actually hadn’t noticed that the dragon painting was unharmed.

There is an interesting letter written by Franklin in which he cautions Iris about letting some of her characters out of her paintings. With the exception of the dragon, I don’t think any of the other characters would be particularly dangerous. So, without naming the dragon in the letter, I think it’s a safe bet to think dragon was specific character he was referring to.

Franklin obviously wrote the letter prior to the henchmen’s arrival because he and Iris were still freely roaming the tower.

     

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harald - 15 February 2015 11:47 AM

By the way, is there something to the hanging cords next to the dragon painting? They seem like they’re part of a puzzle but I suppose they could just be decoration. I expected them to change something inside the painting but I didn’t notice anything.

There are several of these running around the game. I don’t know if they were put into the game simply for our amusement or whether they are artifacts left over from some un-realized puzzle.

     

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Just a quick note that Big Fish is having a 2 for 1 sale, so you might consider getting the CEs for the next two games in the trilogy.

     

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Oh, are the Collector’s Editions recommended for this series? I took the cheap route and went for the standard ones.

I hate this concept with different editions. You’re either going to feel ripped off for paying extra for unnecessary stuff, or feel cheated out of the full experience of the game.

     
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Win-win is if you can get the CEs on sale.  Smile

Though usually you could also get the SEs on sale at the same time. Either edition provides a lot of game, so it’s actually hard to go wrong.

I just finished the game. I’m going to transcribe some of the texts to see if we can see what’s happening with the curse a bit more clearly.

     
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harald - 16 February 2015 02:38 PM

Oh, are the Collector’s Editions recommended for this series? I took the cheap route and went for the standard ones.

I hate this concept with different editions. You’re either going to feel ripped off for paying extra for unnecessary stuff, or feel cheated out of the full experience of the game.

The choice is yours. The playthrough is always played using the SE edition. Some people prefer to purchase the CE. They contribute whatever information is contained in the bonus game once the playthrough is complete. Another option is to watch the bonus game being played on YouTube. You get the information but without the enjoyment of playing it yourself.

     

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Toes tapping! Anxiously awaiting February 22 when we can begin discussing the game in earnest. Not that we haven’t been discussing small parts of the game already.

One topic I am feverishly waiting to discuss is the subject of “Story”.

There are some that call the story thin. I think the story is HUGE.

Many, me included, grew up on AGs where the story was spoon-fed to us. The game was essentially the story the game author/designer/publisher wanted to tell. Some of our “great story tellers” gave us no room to imagine what might have happened. They told us what happened. And they offered puzzles that would reinforce the direction they wanted us to go. “Serpent Rouge” ring a bell?

And the same holds true for CGs. Is there any doubt in your mind that the demon that inhabits the forest will be defeated, thus saving the town from certain destruction? Of course not.

Sorry! I probably started arguing my premise before I should have. Looking forward to the discussion. Tap Tap Tap.

     

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rtrooney - 16 February 2015 08:25 PM

Toes tapping! Anxiously awaiting February 22 when we can begin discussing the game in earnest. Not that we haven’t been discussing small parts of the game already.

One topic I am feverishly waiting to discuss is the subject of “Story”.

Sorry! I probably started arguing my premise before I should have. Looking forward to the discussion. Tap Tap Tap.

Nah….We are already discussing the game! I gave a week to finish the game, but as I already mentioned, this was the max limit I gave to anyone finishing the chapter. The way I see it, everyone finished the game in the first days, thus we are free to discuss anything we want! It is not like we will spoil anything to newcamers. As for the story part, what I like is the absolute continuation between the games. Perhaps it is slightly unfairly judged just by its own, without having played Drawn 2&3. On the other hand, it is a separate game and payed as such…

     
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rtrooney - 16 February 2015 08:25 PM

There are some that call the story thin. I think the story is HUGE.

Many, me included, grew up on AGs where the story was spoon-fed to us. The game was essentially the story the game author/designer/publisher wanted to tell. Some of our “great story tellers” gave us no room to imagine what might have happened. They told us what happened. And they offered puzzles that would reinforce the direction they wanted us to go. “Serpent Rouge” ring a bell?

I think I get your point, but I don’t agree!

Sure, not everything needs to be spoon-fed to the player, sometimes a facial expression can tell a whole story in itself, and no monsters are more terrifying than the monsters we never actually see. But if you have a story to tell you still need to actually tell the story, in order for the player/reader/viewer to fill out the blanks themselves there need to be something between the blanks.

You could argue that what we encounter during this game, is only a few hours of a larger story, in fact that it takes place real-time in the game, the problem however is that not much actually happens during those few hours. We find a cry for help, make our way to the top of the tower, solve a lot of puzzles, and learn a bit about the back-story on the way. The problem is that the back-story is on a very sketchy level, or put in other words, its a very thin back-story that we are told.

I can’t help but to compare it to Keepsake, even though it might be an unfair comparison as Keepsake is a much larger game and not a Casual game. But they are in many ways similar, in Keepsake we also make our way through an (almost) abandoned school, solving lots of puzzles and learning the back-story on the way. The difference is that the back-story is told in flashback cut-scenes with far more detail and emotions, they are still fragmented with large gaps in the story that we have to imagine ourselves, but the flashbacks gives us much more than what we get in Drawn, and the effect is that it is a much meatier story.

I think that this game would have worked much better, if each of the paintings had told a part of the back-story, instead of having one tell or recap the whole story in a very sketchy form, and then have the rest basically just being puzzles that needs to be solved. And yes I know, the rest of the paintings like the Dragon and the Griffon are also connected to the story, but they are only connected, they don’t actually tell us any story.

I know that this is only the first part of a trilogy, and that when we have played all three then they might come together and tell a meatier and larger story, but we/I haven’t done that yet, so I can only evaluate the game based on what we have played so far.

     

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I see your point of view as well. Maybe my use of the term “spoon-fed” was a bit strong, but it’s hard for me to think of a game, regular AG or CG, in which your playing the game doesn’t take place as if a narrator is standing behind you telling you what is happening. (There are a few games that actually use that device.)

When I say the story is HUGE, it means that the story is only limited by my imagination as to what is going on. It’s why we’re discussing the dragon painting as it relates to the dragon destroying Iris’ home. Iris was too young to have a concept of “dragon”, so how did the painting come about. Without a narrative that tells us what happened, We’re forced to imagine what the options are. Almost as if we’re forced to create our own story what will connect all the dots in a plausible manner.

The only background material we have are the letters, comments from Frederick, the paintings and a brief narrative we find about halfway through the game.

That puts considerable responsibility of the player. But it allows us to create a story that is either as big or as thin as we want. I think that is storytelling at its best.

     

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Finished the game. Slightly stunned by the abrupt ending. I was also a bit surprised to just find Iris at the top of the tower. I had wrongly figured that we were chasing the villains as they were working their way up to Iris. I thought we’d encounter them first, and only THEN Iris.
The theory of the villain henchmen not finding Iris and destroying all the paintings and then reporting back to the Big Bad who then comes to see for himself is indeed the most plausible, imo. Somewhat confirmed by the ending, too.


Anyway, the puzzles are really good (I quite enjoyed the Dragon painting - once I figured out I could move left in it Shifty Eyed) and the artwork is simply stunning.
I completely agree with Iznogood about the story, though. We’ve gotten a lot of info on the backstory, but it’s still just a thin backstory, and the main story we’re experiencing can be summed up in a single line.
I’m still hopeful the next two games will elaborate on both. Especially since the cliffhanger really does mean we’re just a third of the way in a much bigger tale.


I’m giving this a 3/5 for now, but I think that a true rating is only going to be possible once we’ve completed the trilogy (and that the three games should really be rated as one)...

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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TimovieMan - 18 February 2015 06:39 AM

Anyway, the puzzles are really good (I quite enjoyed the Dragon painting - once I figured out I could move left in it Shifty Eyed) and the artwork is simply stunning.

I mentioned earlier that I had the same problem, and I had played the game before.  Meh

     

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I’ve also experienced crashes in the latter part of the game. But it might be because I’m alt-tabbing out a lot because I’m taking screenshots.

I’ve copied some of the conversations with the creatures in the paintings and Franklin. There’s a lot about a curse.

Fireplace: “The curse on the tower is strong.”

Franklin: “Her paintings have been marred by the chancellor’s evil curse. You must find a way to unlock them!”

Tree: “Evil magic has been used against us. Danger approaches from the West. Iris must be saved. She represents our future and links us to our past.”

Franklin: “You’ve proven you can undo the curse. Please! Find your way through the magic blocking your way to the top of the tower!”

There seems to be an association between the curse and a storm:

Griffin inside (I think):“When the storm came she was trapped on the roof with magic.”

It seems to be the [spoiler]chancellor’s curse that ruined the paintings and trapped Iris at the top of the tower – I don’t think it was the king’s men. The chancellor appears to have been able to send the curse from afar – perhaps via a storm—so he didn’t have to be in town to perform the curse.

BTW—One of my favorite views of the town:

So there’s evil magic being used, but there’s also good, protective magic being used. For instance:

Griffon guard: “The gate has been shut tight due to the dragon’s attack. Only by proving you’re friend not foe may you pass.”

So there was some protective magic that was triggered should anyone succeed in getting that far.

     

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