Excellent game design and puzzles make this a good fit into the Talos/Myst genre. The ramp-up on puzzle complexity was pretty good. So were the models and sound. There is no text or speech at any point, which is actually kind of cool.
We got a good 20 hours of play out of it, though some of that was because we had to run around quite a bit trying to solve whatever would generate the next checkpoint. This game has no manual save feature, which is kind of annoying if you only have ten minutes for playing.
Now, as good as this game is, it really needed more play-testing and debugging. There were no show-stoppers that we saw, and we didn’t see any mentioned in the discussions. However, there are some problems that do interfere with play. For example, some of the in-game menu choices suffer from some kind of “racing” effect, making it impossible to select a menu choice other than at random. You eventually get the one you want, but it’s not right to ship a game with this kind of defect. (The problem only appears with our XBox 360 controller, not when you use the mouse/keyboard. But who wants to play this kind of game with a mouse/keyboard when you have a controller?)
Some of the in-game animation had very visible bugs (the carts in the mines when they return from a failed attempt to reach their destinations). This is no impediment to play, but, again, it seems like this should have been fixed before shipping day. Other bugs included: we lost an object we were carrying during a teleport; we were able to proceed without it, but why? There is no access to prior checkpoints; you can only reload your latest saved game. At least one puzzle involving the carts was “solved” by resort to a walk-through, but the solution made no sense; it worked, so we used it, but it did not match what we understood and successfully applied about the puzzle to solve it in several other, similar, cases.
Still, in spite of the bugs, we had a very good time playing this game. Some experience with Boolean logic helps, but is not essential. And, despite what some negative reviewers have said, there is much more to this game than just AND / OR / XOR / NOT. Also, next to no ninja skills required (a bit of jumping, but you respawn quickly and in nearly the spot where you died). We hate ninja skills, so that was a plus for us.
All in all, a very good entry. Devs seem highly responsive and helpful, which forgives a bit of the bugginess and probably means that, over time, most of the bugs will go away. Eager to see what Sticky Stone does next.
(Ignore what Steam says about some players racking up insane hours of play; in our case, that was because we had to leave the house for a while, and hadn’t reached a checkpoint, so we just left it running.)
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Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right