Sunday, 2 March 2014

Game 41: Les Manley 1 - I Have a Dream!

Les Manley Journal Entry 4: "I really thought I would have found The King by now. I mean, how hard can it be? Turns out very hard, and I've had to resort to trying some pretty strange things while attempting to discover his whereabouts. I did find his biggest fan today, so surely that's a lead that will bring me closer to the cash. If only I could figure out a way to get that scarf! And who knew that crazy psychic wasn't even real?! The circus is filled with strange and wonderful things I tell you!"


I've checked my version and I'm definitely playing 2.0. I can't imagine how bad 1.0 was!

There have been some tough games on the list so far that I’ve really had to slog my way through, but nothing comes close to Les Manley! This game is utterly brutal, and the vast majority of puzzles are impossible to solve through logic. I will try not to revert to swear words and curses over the course of this post, but I apologise if I fail to stay in check. It has becomes clear that Aperama only added the game to the list so that he could bet against me and make stacks of CAPs. It really does look like he’s pulled off a most lucrative heist! Before I get on with the show, I want to mention that I fear things will get even worse for me if I can’t overcome a technical issue that is stopping me from restoring all but my latest save. If I use the F7 key to restore the latest save, all is good, but if I restore a previous save game I’m finding that I can’t type anything. I have had a couple random successes, but for the most part the problem is consistent. I’ve checked what version I’m playing and the answer is 2.0, which is the same version companions are playing, so I’m not really sure why it’s happening for me. I plan to play around a bit before my next session, as it’s a certainty that I’m going to get caught out by it at some point and have to restart.


OK, how do I get those keys?!

Right, let’s do this. My last post finished with a big fat request for assistance. Unsurprisingly it was Aperama that responded, a mere 17 minutes after my request, including no less than four encrypted solutions for me. They were labelled Keys, Guard, Rosin and Helmut, and for all the vitriolic hatred I have towards the young wrestler (no, not really), I must commend Aperama for including two clues and a spoiler for each solution. I decided to start with the first one on the list, as I was genuinely interested to find out how I could possibly take the keys from my boss without him noticing. I also hoped that using the key to open the locked door in the office might lead to an item that would start a roll towards other successes. How na├»ve I was!!! The first clue for Keys was “You had that performance review up, didn’t you?” What??? I couldn’t recall reading anything about getting a performance review, either in the game or the manual. Why would I even think of that? Wondering whether Aperama was actually pulling my leg, I made my way to the boss and asked him for a raise. His response was unsurprisingly “Who the hell are you?”. When Les explained who he was and that he’d been an employee for two years, Mr Burnbaum ended up calling in Stella along with my personnel file. I wasn’t at all sure what good asking for a raise would do until the boss turned his head to check out Stella’s ass. I quickly swiped the keys as he did!


It does look like a fine ass, if a little pixelated for my liking.

Well, at least I only needed one clue on that first one. I rushed to the locked door and used the master keys on it, entering the previously unvisited equipment room. Inside I found some shelves, a desk, and a toolkit sitting on the floor. I could find absolutely nothing in, on, or under the desk or the shelves, but in the toolkit I discovered a reporter’s ID. I thought about all the unsolved puzzles I was facing, and the only one that I thought the ID might be useful for was the locked house to the east. I made my way there and when the occupant responded to my knocking with “If you’re who I hope you are…prove it, or get lost”, I typed “show id”. For once my instinct was right! “Oh! You must be the reporter that I’ve been expecting. Come on in!” I entered the home of a woman named Bobbi. It was very clear that she was an enormous fan of The King, as there were pictures of him all over the wall. Bobbi was sitting on the couch waiting for me, so I walked over and talked to her. Les thanked her for letting him in, to which she responded: “No need to be so formal, honey. Just call me Bobbi. Besides, I’m sooo glad the press finally sent someone over to talk to me. Just relax. Make yourself comfortable. Besides...You’re kind of cute. Oh, yes. About the scarf. You can see how much it means to me. Now...let’s begin.”


Les does deserve a pay rise for having the neatest equipment room in the world!


Could it be that I've found The King?


Nope. Just his biggest, creepy fan!

I’d wondered what the item in the glass cabinet was, and clearly it was the item that Bobbi expected me to ask her questions about. I obliged, and she explained its importance: “THE KING gave it to me at his last concert. It has magical healing powers, as I’m sure you’re aware.” That was all she had to say, so I tried to think like a journalist and follow her lead. The concert: “It was the single most important event in my life”. The King: “I’ll bet you didn’t know that THE KING loved to snack on peanut butter and banana sandwiches.” Magical powers: “I’m healthy...so it must work.” I took a look at the scarf at this point and was shown an image of it and a description: “The sweat stains are still visible.” What the hell was I supposed to be doing here? Surely I couldn’t just take the scarf. I typed “ask for scarf”, to which Bobbi said “Slow down there, honey. Let’s get to know each other.” Did that mean that she would be happy to give it to me once we’d “got to know each other”? What did she consider getting to know each other anyway? I sat down next to her and tried a few things that I’d rather not repeat here, you know, to see what would happen. Thankfully I didn’t seem to be able to seduce the creepy fan! To my horror, when I tried to stand back up I got a message saying “The lady doesn’t seem like she wants you to go.” I wasn’t able to leave!


I'd do absolutely anything for that scarf, although I have no idea why.


Oh God! What's my escape plan here!?

I took stock of the situation, but it was really difficult to figure out what to do when I had no real motivation. The very fact that I was shown an image of the scarf made it very likely that I would need to possess it somehow, but how? Bobbi wanted to get to know me, but my attempts to touch, kiss etc. her all failed. I asked some really random questions that I thought two people getting to know each other might ask, but felt like I was trying to find a needle in a haystack. In the end I typed “leave” just to see what would happen and found myself outside her house! I immediately tried knocking again, but was told Bobbi was not interested anymore. Had I just dead ended myself? Would I be able to get back in later somehow? Had I already found out what I needed to know? Maybe all I needed to know was that The King liked peanut butter and banana sandwiches. After all, I had a jar of peanut butter in my inventory! I decided the safest thing to do was to restore my game and act like I’d never used the ID to enter her home. However, since I’d gained no other leads from Aperama’s first piece of assistance, I was going to have to check out the second. It was labelled Guard, so I made my way back to the station lobby in preparation. Clue 1: “There’s a man that loves his sleep.” Yeah...and?!


Whatever I need to do with Bobbi, I've got one chance and once chance only to do it.

The first clue hadn’t given me any ideas, so I decoded Clue 2: “If only you could see why he was so intent to get there.” Huh? Get where? Asleep?! Was I supposed to see what he was dreaming about somehow? Surely not...that’s ridiculous! I know it occurred in Larry 2, but it just happened. I didn't have to try doing it! I typed “look at dream” anyway, to rule it out. “WARNING! The following dream sequence may contain some material deemed unsuitable for all family members. As viewing said sequence is not necessary for successful completion of game, parental guidance is suggested.” I now had the option to click “Show Me” and watch Dave’s dream or “Don’t Show Me” and skip it. Being a grown adult, I chose “Show Me” and watched as various objects appeared in a bubble above Dave’s head. 1. A fisherman 2. A chicken 3. A banana split 4. A car 5. An ice-cream 6. A pleasant looking island 7. Some money 8. A train entering a tunnel 9. A hot dog 10. A woman’s lips sucking on a straw 11. A blonde submerged in water 12. A naked brunette with large breasts 13. A picture of Larry Laffer crossed out!!! 14. A censored image of a man and a woman having sex 15. A ruler within inverted commas. What the hell was I supposed to make of all that?! Clearly Dave was very interested in food and women, but what was the ruler all about? Was it making some sort of suggestion about the size of Dave’s manhood? How was this going to help me with my current situation(s)?


Nothing unusual about the dream. Other than the fact I can see it!!!


Um...four pinches?

After a small amount of thought (putting any real effort in seemed to me to be a waste of time), I decided to read Aperama’s spoiler. After all, I’d already read the clues for this puzzle, so any bet was already lost. Spoiler: “WATCH or LOOK at Dave's dream. Then.. take it. Yes, seriously. Take his dream.” Hang on...did Aperama just tell me that I need to...”take” Dave’s dream? Mwahahahahaa..cough... Drool began leaking out of the corner of my mouth as I felt my mind rapidly getting stupider for having played this insanely stupid excuse for a game. I have to take his dream!? I typed “take dream” and received the following reply: “I can’t imagine what you want with someone else’s dream, but it’s yours now.” I accessed my inventory, just to prove to myself that the above had really just taken place. “You have a thermos, a free ticket, a master key, a reporter’s ID, a lunch bag and a dream.” Apart from becoming a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, I had to wonder what possible use the dream might have. I typed “look at dream”, expecting to be shown the same images I’d seen earlier. Instead I was shown an image of the ruler with the description “A dream of size”. Hang on! Helmut has an issue with his size. Could the dream be for him? The more I thought about it, the more I was certain it was. I have to say though that I can’t imagine another puzzle topping this one for 1990. I hereby award the Lament Configuration TAG (Most Ridiculous Puzzle) for 1990 to Les Manley!


I'm actually concerned about anyone that didn't require assistance to finish this game!

I took my hard-earned “dream of size” to Helmut and showed it to him. “Gee…I wish I had a dream.” I gave it to him: “Yay!!! Now I’ve got something to look forward to!” Yay indeed. Helmut and I were now good friends, so I tried picking him up. It worked, and I could now see Helmut in my inventory! I’d originally thought I might need to use Helmut to get into Bobbi’s house, but now I knew that wasn’t the case. What could I do with the little guy? I’d not managed to cheer up Luigi yet, and therefore hadn’t got my hands on the rosin for Fred, but I couldn’t see how Helmut could help with that matter. The women had shown a real interest in Helmut though, including Alona and Zarmooska. Alona had said “Vot hes doink? I vant him see me tonight.”, so perhaps taking him to her was the answer. I visited both Alona and Zarmooska, but neither seemed interested in Helmut now that I had him. Surely getting the rosin was my next task, but how? I made my way back to Luigi and tried to figure out what it was I was supposed to be doing. As usual, I couldn’t figure it out. Damn it, I was going to have to look at another one of Aperama’s hints! This game makes me feel really stupid! Aperama’s third spoiler was labelled Rosin, and since that was what I wanted, I decoded the first clue. “Luigi is a little vain, in truth.” I already knew that, so I decoded Clue 2: “How does he shape up against his poster?” What, the huge cardboard cut-out? I’d tried looking at that previously but hadn’t had any luck!


Glad someone does.

I typed “look at poster”, even though I recalled trying that before, but got “I don’t see the poster here”! I tried “picture” instead, since I’d not tried that previously, and it worked. Here was a puzzle that I might have actually solved myself if not for the damn parser! Anyway, the message I got back was “There seems to be a difference between Luigi and his picture.” It didn’t tell me what that difference was of course, so I typed “look at difference”. “The mustache seems a little different. Why not ask him about it?” I did that, and Luigi explained that “It’s-a not as-a stiff as when I was-a young-a boy, like-a yourself.” OK. Did I have anything in my inventory that could help with this situation? Well, I had some peanut butter, and while I wouldn’t normally consider it to be a valid solution for this problem, nothing would surprise me in this game. I tried it but was told it was best to leave it in the jar. Think Tricky! What would someone use in the real world to shape and stiffen a moustache? Well, they’d use wax, but I didn’t have any. Had I seen any in the game? Well, yes actually! There were candles in Madame Zarmooska’s caravan! Surely that was the answer! I headed over there and looked at the wax. “It’s what candles are made of.” I tried to get some, only to be informed that “You can’t take the wax.” Damn it! So much for logic!


Um...yeah...happens to the best of us!


Well, there goes that idea!!

I tried talking to Zarmooska about the wax, telling her about Luigi, asking for the wax, and everything I could think of, but clearly the wax wasn’t the answer. Yet again I was out of ideas and would have to look at Aperama’s spoiler for getting the rosin. Spoiler: “Get him some wax from the fortune teller to make his moustache picture perfect, pun entirely intended.” What the!!! I really thought I’d tried everything I could to get that wax, but the parser had given me no impression whatsoever that it was possible. Should I be trying to get the candle instead of the wax? Nope. Should I be using another one of my items on the wax? Nope. Should I be punching Zarmooska in the face and laughing hysterically? Nope! I’d noticed that Ilmari had added another spoiler after Aperama’s called “Zarmooska”. I had to assume he’d done that because there was no way I was going to figure this out without it. Ilmari had left two hints and two spoilers, so I decoded the first hint: “What did Luigi warn you not to do?” Well, he’d warned me not to touch his daughter Angelina (aka Madame Zarmooska). Surely Ilmari wasn’t telling me that the solution was in fact to touch her!? What would that achieve and why would I try that? I typed “touch angelina” and was stunned when she said “Too bad I’m only a dream” and disappeared!!!!!


What? Someone please tell me this whole game is nothing more than a dream!


How could I not have figured this out on my own! Of course Angelina isn't real! Hang on...what?!?!

Just in case you weren’t really paying attention when you read what I just said, I’ll repeat it. I touched Madame Zarmooska, for no real reason other than her father told me not to do it, and she simply disappeared into thin air! With the coast now clear, I once again tried to take the wax. “Now you’re left with a situation you’re familiar with. White sticky stuff all over your hands.” I can’t tell you how pissed off I was about this. While Zarmooska was there, I was repeatedly told that I could not take the wax. Any game designer that isn’t in league with Satan would have at least put something like “You can’t take the wax while Madame Zarmooska is watching” or something similar. Even if they had of, the solution was so far from obvious that I still could only have stumbled upon it by chance. Anyway, now I had the wax, so I raced back to Luigi and gave it to him. “Ahhh..thank-a-you my sonny boy. Just-a what I been lookin-a for. Now I can-a get on with-a my show!” He stood up and began flexing his muscles, newly stiff moustache adorning his smiling face. I was now able to pick up (aka steal) his rosin, which I knew would be helpful in achieving something with Frederick Von Leepov. That’s assuming that the parser doesn’t smack me in the face again. Les Manley is going to take a long time to finish at this rate, and it’s a dead set certainty I’ll be asking for assistance again soon enough!


Remember kids, it's fine to steal things from people you've just helped.

Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

58 comments:

  1. Ah, the dreaded dream puzzle. One bet down, seven to go.

    >I have to say though that I can’t imagine another puzzle topping this one for 1990.

    Don't speak too soon, the rest of the game is still ahead.

    BTW, have you tried manually typing "restore"? I've quickly tested it and seems to work for me.

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    1. I've figured out that if I select Restart, and then Restore a game as soon as I get there, that it works more often than not.

      That should get me by.

      Delete
  2. Wow, that's a lot of hints required for a single post - and it still seems like you've got a long way to go!

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    1. I know. I'm really dreading the next couple of weeks!

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    2. Don't worry Trickster, I'll hook you up with some music to get you through it:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV9_RZY23OQ
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bzWSJG93P8
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyFyAqLtHq8
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH2w6Oxx0kQ

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  3. I can feel I'm getting angry on your behalf. And I'm not even playing the game!

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  4. I was about to say, don't award that too fast, but then I saw that you awarded it to the game and not the puzzle, so it should be OK when you encounter one that makes less sense than that one.

    By which I mean: DOOM DOOM DOOM DHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM.

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  5. Looking at the calendar revealed that “Today’s date is circled. You’ve been working at the station two years as of last Thursday! Your probationary period is finally over.”

    Performance review. That was from your first playthrough post. That's actually one of the nicer puzzles, good sir. :)

    In truth, I feel that a lot of the adventure games from this era had a lucrative hint line/book deal going for them, so going to the completely batshit illogical is important every now and then. There again, you've already played Emmanuelle... (The saving issue shouldn't be too much of a problem. The game is solvable in under 15 minutes if you know exactly what you're doing. Play through to whatever dead end you land on before you worry about it. As with so many of these games, you'll get a clue as to what you might need later... or at least see a few extra screens worth of nonsense.)

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    1. Is it normal for people to ask for a raise as soon as they reach probation in the U.S. It's certainly not something that occurs in Australia. I've managed a lot of people, and that's never been an expectation.

      Mind you, our probation periods are normally 3 to 6 months over here.

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    2. I'd more say that it's normal to get one. Most probation periods are on a lessened salary over here to accommodate such in my experience, Trick. More importantly, "ask about review" also works, which is definitely normal after a probation period.

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    3. Fair call. I guess I'll consider that puzzle to be difficult rather than barely possible.

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    4. A lot of adventure games tend to have these sorts of cultural issues, particularly those set in the present day.

      Growing up as a Brit playing American adventure games was sometimes a puzzling experience for all the wrong reasons.

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    5. Puzzles with solutions based in culture is the worst. It's one of my favorite subjects to rant about which you've probably noticed already. :p

      I work in the Norwegian public sector, and we've got a 6 month probation period. None of my employees have ever come forward and asked about a raise when that period ended. Running concurrently to the probation period we've got a 1 year salary adjustment period, where I can ask for a salary adjustment if I think the person I hired up to a year ago was unfairly placed.

      Delete
  6. The game goes to such lengths to pay homage to/spoof/rip off Leisure Suit Larry, that it wouldn´t surprise me if the designers thought that touching Madame Zarmooska would be a natural choice for the target audience, and created that "puzzle" as yet another jab...

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  7. Question: Is Roberta "Murderpen" Williams an actual nickname, or just something Home Richard Cobbett made up?

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  8. I've ROT13ed this suggestion so you don't get any ideas you may not want straight away: V ernyyl guvax lbh fubhyq whfg puhpx guvf tnzr va nf vg frrzf yvxr n oybbql zvfrenoyr jnfgr bs fcnpr. Guvf jbhyq yrnq gb gjb nqinagntrf: abg univat gb cynl gur qnzarq guvat, naq fgbccvat Ncrenzn sebz tnvavat nabgure 800 PNCf sebz guvf boivbhfyl funzryrff teno sbe PNCf gung jr ner nyy univat gb fvg cnvashyyl guebhtu.

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    1. Guvf vfa'g gur jbefg gung Gevpx jvyy eha vagb. Vg'f oyrffrqyl fubeg, naq gur cnefre vffhrf ner zbfgyl genafyngvat ubj lbh npghnyyl jnag gb qb jung lbh xabj lbh arrq gb. Gurer ner bayl guerr zber pbafvqrenoyr qrnq raqf sbe uvz gb jbeel nobhg. Ur'f tbg Qnex Frrq lrg - naq V'q engure uvz cynlvat guvf guna fbzr nefr chggvat uvz qbja sbe Znhcvgv Vfynaq shegure qbja gur genpx!

      Delete
    2. Url, V cnvq sbe guvf tnzr! V chg n jubyr pnc vagb vg! Nyfb, V guvax guvf vf fbzr bs gur shaavrfg jevgvat Gevpxfgre unf qbar va lrnef fb V fher qba'g jnag vg gb fgbc!

      Delete
    3. V guvax cynlvat fhpu greevoyr tnzrf vf n tbbq vqrn. Vg erzvaqf hf gung perngvat n terng nqiragher vf npghnyyl n qvssvphyg gnfx naq ubj uneq vg vf gb znxr chmmyrf nccebcevngr sbe gur fgbel, juvyfg nyfb orvat obgu punyyratvat naq vaghvgvir.

      Vg nyfb fubjf gur enatr bs nqiragher tnzrf perngrq va guvf fb-pnyyrq tbyqra ntr.

      Delete
    4. Zr? V whfg rawbl jngpuvat uvz fhssre...

      Delete
  9. Those horrible puzzles are just a shameless bid to get more calls on their Hint Hotline. Bastards...

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    1. I don't know, you don't think it could just be really bad writing? Or people thought the last game they did was far too easy? X-COM: Enemy Unknown had a bug where it would reset the difficult to easy, and a ton of people complained the game was too easy as they didn't know about the patch. Thus X-COM: Terror From The Deep was brutally, brutally hard; I can't beat the FIRST X-COM, let alone it. Gary Gygax's famous adventure, Tomb of Horrors, was created in a similar fashion. DMs would give out crazy treasure and XP, then the players would walk through TSR adventures. So he made one of the hardest adventures ever written, possibly THE hardest. I do wonder if there was an element of this going on? "Hey, people like hard adventure game, lets make the hardest one ever?" Kind of like you see with platformers like Super Meat Boy and such.

      Delete
    2. I really think it's bad writing. Perhaps they threw in a bunch of hint book references once they realized how stupidly hard it was to figure things out.

      If it was by design, then they absolutely nailed it!

      Delete
    3. You say they did those sadistic puzzles paired with hint book references by ACCIDENT?! Surely it is not by mere chance.

      It's like a mockbuster. They probably spent just enough effort on sound and graphics to make it seem like a game on par with Sierra at a first glance. The intro has more effort put in it than the rest of the game: impressive cinematic cartoon visuals, catchy main theme, a somewhat likeable protagonist. They even tease the player with Stella. Actually, the intro is just part of their con: they fool the player with false first impressions, making them interested enough to continue just to get stuck and call the hint line.

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    4. I guess they were inspired particularly by Larry 2, the notoriously difficult part of the series. Come to think of it, there's some further similarities. Both begin in a big city (LA and NY) with a TV station. Watching the dream -sequence is clearly a ripoff from Larry's dream in a barber chair. Also, both contain n fprar va ubgry ebbz jvgu n znvq. Finally, qerffvat hc nf Ryivf -puzzle resembles qerff nf n ovxvav tvey -puzzle.

      Delete
  10. For those who don't mind hitting some spoilers before Trickster gets there, there is an excellent Saturday Crapshoot on this game: http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/12/24/crap-shoot-les-manley-search-for-the-king/
    Heck, I'd like to give 10 CAPs to whomever told me about this column as a thank you, even if I am not getting any new ones as of late.

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    1. Are you suggesting that I'm going to get even more CAPs from this game? (Twas me. I don't remember what game it was in regards to.)

      Delete
    2. Your confidence makes me want to try even harder not to require assistance!

      (Not that trying has made any difference so far)

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    3. Trick, can you give Aperama 10 of my CAPS for introducing me to Crapshoot? I've had a lot of fun reading it and want to say Thank You.

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    4. wow... just... wow...

      Trickster is going to request so much assistance. I should get a couple guests posts so you can take some time off this game. You'll need it to save your sanity.

      Delete
    5. I saw you posting that link earlier, Canageek. I think I will thank you by giving CAPs for introducing me to the puzzles of Les Manley. Once this game is all over, I'll pay you a proportion of my bet-earned CAPs, thus compensating you that you missed the introduction post and didn't get to bet anything.

      Delete
  11. Time to make some CAPS back as there is a Steam sale on:
    The 39 Steps: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234940 I can't wait for Trickster to reach this one in 2025, as the original was written by a Governor General of Canada (But not a Canadian Governor General, I'm sure my fellow Commonwealth members will understand) to pass the time during the long, cold winters.

    New release AND sale! DING DING, DOUBLE POINTS! THE WINNER IS ME!
    Where Angels Cry: http://store.steampowered.com/app/277560 Well, it has a cool name, so that is a plus, right? Set in a monastery, which strikes me as a bit cliche, but at the same time I loved The Name of the Rose, so who knows (The Shadow knows.... ahem) Anyway, point and click.

    So, is it obvious that I'm adding commentary in an attempt to wrangle more CAPS out of this? Also to prevent the long lists of links from cluttering up the comments.
    The Whispered World: We've seen this on sale a few times. Another point and click, it looks to have lovely backgrounds that make me think of Howel's Moving Castle, that are ruined by some bland creature in a Jesters outfit that looks like he belongs in another game.

    Memento Mori: I will admit, I have a thing for Latin names. Also a grim reference that ties into Roman history. Another point and click, though this one has an age gate on it, so I expect it to be a bit darker.

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    1. Lunch break sale check:
      Violett: This thing looks very surreal. Has the point and click tag and some LOVELY art. http://store.steampowered.com/app/257830/

      Edna & Harvey: The Breakout: I think we've seen this one a few times. Part of a series, so it can't be TOTAL garbage, right? I don't like the art, it has that decent backgrounds and flat character style that is all the rage. Point and click. http://store.steampowered.com/app/255320/

      Continue?9876543210: Action adventure with *ug* voxel art. Looks strange, I mean, very strange. http://store.steampowered.com/app/263340

      Memoria: Point and click with very pretty graphics. Have you lot figured out what style of art I like yet? http://store.steampowered.com/app/243200

      Alternativa: Oh! 3D SF point and click. Someone go buy this and write up a blog post on it! I want to hear about it! Hurry up Trickster, I want you to review games from 2010! http://store.steampowered.com/app/33990

      The Inner World: 2D point and click with ugly, flat graphics that are and offence to art. Man, it is hard to do commentary on just a few screenshots. http://store.steampowered.com/app/251430

      Gomo: Looks like a adventure-platformer to me. http://store.steampowered.com/app/265330

      BlackSoul: Extended Edition: Survival horror, but most of the screenshots are of puzzels, so I'm including it. Art looks decent. Spork. http://store.steampowered.com/app/264480

      Journey of a Roach: Point and click, and um, I don't, really? A roach? *Sigh* http://store.steampowered.com/app/255300

      Daedalic Selection Bundle: Huh, 6 adventures games, two of which are on sale outside of the bundle. Have a look. http://store.steampowered.com/sub/34415/

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    2. AlternativA is short, clunky, and bland with an abrupt ending. I needed a walk-through for only one puzzle in the game and I can't find a walk-through that explains the solution. It's a lock/combination type of thing, so it's not a leap of intuition or puzzle-solving. I just can't figure out how the combination would ever be discovered in the game.

      The ending sucks because it's set up for a sequel that never happened. Good news is that if Trickster ever gets to it, it won't take up much of his time. It's not as bad as this game and it doesn't have technical issues. It's just not a great game on all fronts.

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    3. Aww man, that sucks. Booo. Man, me saying something looks cool seems to be the kiss of death, isn't it? What about Violett?

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    4. Pre-lunch adventure game sale update:
      The Walking Dead: http://store.steampowered.com/app/207610/
      The Walking Dead: Season 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/261030/
      I've not played them, however, I've repeatedly heard them described as the best storytelling yet in a computer game. I've also heard multiple reports of them moving grown men to tears. (Probably women too, but all the reports I have are from grown men).
      Also A Miracle of Sound wrote a song about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzlGgybMPn8

      Master Reboot: BLOOOOOOOOOOM. All the bloom! Everywhere! Soft glowing objects! PARTICLE EFFECTS! How is it so many people rip off Tron, but don't even manage to match it? Heck, Tron 2.0 didn't manage to equal Tron in terms of art design (or story, or being a good movie. Damn fine music though.)
      http://store.steampowered.com/app/251850

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    5. Master Reboot is currently bundled with eleven (11) other games at Bundlestars (including the adventure game Captain Brawe: A Brawe New World), all for a meager $5:
      http://www.bundlestars.com/all-bundles/adrenaline-bundle/

      I played two episodes of The Walking Dead, and they're really good, even for someone burned out on zombies. "Best storytelling yet" sounds like your usual Internerd hyperbole (and considering "grown men" are moved to tears by animated ponies or superhero movies nowadays, I wouldn't put much stock on those claims ;-)), but the game does deliver on all its fronts and the experience feels reasonably fresh and engaging.

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    6. Point one: Considering that came from my brother, the cynical snob, I wouldn't be surprised if it is. It isn't like it has a whole lot of competition. Mass Effect is considered one of the best stories in games, and frankely, if you wrote it into a novel it wouldn't really be that good. I mean, my favourite video game story is Portal (the one from the 80s), but it wasn't even really a game. Really, games have been really crippled by an obsession with being like blockbuster movies, when those are terrible examples to follow. If I were doing it, I'd base them on short stories, as their format and structure is much more similar.

      Re the second point: Possible, I haven't played them as they aren't really my thing, but I have heard they are sad as hell. Which is surprising as I read a bunch of the comic and went 'meh'.

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  12. Sanitarium is 60% off on GoG: http://www.gog.com/game/sanitarium

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  13. >11. A blonde submerged in water

    I thought it was a severed head on a plate. Meaning that Dave was into cannibalism.

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  14. Do you guys find that you often end up with multiple copies of games? According to my master adventure game list about 5% of my adventure games I own copies of both on GoG and Steam. Mostly because of packs going on sale of course, but I've also bought games not realizing I own them already.

    Too many games, not enough time to play them!

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    1. I often end up with both a disc copy and a steam copy, as I'll get the Steam one on sale with all the DLC, but I prefer getting a physical disc I can trust. These days that is less common though, as the disc is just a steam key!

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    2. This is one of the reasons I prefer GoG to Steam. Offline backups and no chance of remotely removing my games.

      I can't even remember the last time I bought a PC game on physical media. Half-Life 2 maybe? Other than following the adventure games here I usually only have time for relaxing half an hour here and there on the 360.

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    3. You can always set it up via Steam to just launch in offline mode - or indeed run the games without the overlay by directly running the game from its /steamapps/common directory. Obviously this means no cloud saves / multiplayer functionality.

      I do prefer GoG as a rule - but the strange thing is that having everything laid out for me on a silver platter as Steam does keeps me going there instead of embracing what I know to be the better alternative. If a newer game comes out on both digital release platforms, and there's no noteworthy price difference, I'll almost always go with Steam.

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    4. GoG often doesn't have what I want though; it only has older games, with a few exceptions.

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  15. New adventure game, Ether One is coming out on March 25th. Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6lpP85_FbM

    Blurb: "Ether One is a first person adventure that deals with the fragility of the human mind.

    There are two paths in the world you can choose from. At its core is a story exploration path free from puzzles where you can unfold the story at your own pace.

    There is also a deeper, more adventurous path in which you can complete complex puzzles to restore life changing events of the patients history in order to help the validation of their life.

    The choice is left to you."

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  16. I would be incredibly frustrated actually playing this game, but wow, this game really took a turn I wasn't expecting from a mediocre Larry clone. Putting abstract concepts in your inventory, trying to touch walking dreams before they disappear. Incredible. I really wish there was a game with these sorts of bonkers puzzles that was also actually solvable, or even any good. Probably the Hitchhiker's Guide game comes closest, out of what I've played.

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    1. The text adventure? I never could get very far in that, but I think that's because I tried to play it before reading the book. Let me tell you, "solvable" isn't the word I'd use to describe it back then. :p

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    2. Yes, it is pretty unforgivable in places (sorry, you forgot to do this, so you'll have to backtrack) and has some "guess the verb" -type puzzles. Then again, it has weird Merezky/Adams-humour, which makes the game unforgettable. In comparison, attempted jokes in Les Manley are really tired, like a comedian telling the same old dirty jokes for the hundreth time and saying after punchline "that was a joke, haha, why are you not laughing?".

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    3. I think that buried deep within Les Manley are the foundations for a fun, zany, good adventure game. One that could've even managed to properly spoof Sierra property. It is killed by one seriously inept execution.

      I liked some of the puzzles, including the physical dream and mailing Helmut. Even the fortune teller's apparent non-reality could have made for a great plot point, had the game cared at all about story or developing its own main character. At least Larry had one clear drive.

      Worst of all is that the game seems to have been designed bottom up -- instead of finding solutions to problems, the solutions are mostly in plain view already and you have to work out what your problem (and ultimately, your motivation) is.

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    4. Charles: Be careful of spoilers...

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    5. Oh, there was a new post already! Well, I guess it wasn't a spoiler anymore.

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    6. Yeah, sorry. I read the new post as soon as Trick posted it (right in time for my morning coffee!) but had to go back to reply to Tymoguin. :-)

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    7. I played the H2G2 text adventure game, and got stuck at the part where you have to have abguvat va lbhe vairagbel.

      Na npghny guvat pnyyrq abguvat, abg yvgrenyyl abguvat, gung vf.

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  17. I LOVE THIS GAME!!

    Man, sorry for the shouting, but I'm just loving EVERYTHING about this playthrough and the kind of "logic" this game uses. Definitely my favorite read from TAG so far. Sorry everyone else hated the game.

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    1. This is one of the best cases of so-bad-it's-good. Then there's so-bad-it's-dull games such as Altered Destiny, Cruise for a Corpse and Hugo II.

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    2. I'd actually put Hugo II to the former category - I mean, it's just so full of absurd turns of events.

      The plot of Les Manley has certain appeal in its absurdity. It's just that the game doesn't really give good hints as to what the player is supposed to do that it becomes an exercise in frustration, especially as parser is awful.

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