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My impressions (spoilers)

posted by TextureGlitch on - last edited - Viewed by 358 users

I loved this game, it kept me going way into the night because I just wanted to see what the next puzzle would be, and it lent itself crazy-well to my style of 'playing for a few hours' because after each puzzle there was a definite place to pause.

The only puzzles I had to use chewing gum with were the ones where the premise was badly described.

I was disappointed when some of the puzzles started repeating, like the snowmobile one you had to do again and again, or the bug boxes, or the birds. I felt they could've done the same puzzle, but with something other than the snowmobile to have some more variety, but it was cool how they got harder, at least.

One thing that was screwy with the rotate-tiles puzzles was that due to the drawing style, there was really only one way each tile could point in order for the pictures to line up right, so it wasn't so much trying to solve the pipe puzzle as it was looking for the position where the tiles looked right.

The Roborally-like one at the end was my favorite, even though it was really badly described. One line saying "all the platforms move one square at the same time" would've helped tremendously.
What's this commandline? There were three green rows, so is that one for each platform? Do the platforms move just one square, or do they keep going until they hit something?
It was very ambiguous.

I loved the music, it was so moody and really gave the game that noir, twin peaks atmosphere. If there's anything to complain about it'd be the sound effects that sometimes played over it. Like the pencil-sharpening in the office, that's really obnoxious. It'd be great to have those fade away after a few minutes, or repeat A LOT less often. Sometimes I spend half an hour staring at a puzzle to figure it out, and those distracting noises make me grind my teeth. I had to just mute the sound on some of the puzzles to be able to concentrate.
Puzzle background music and sounds need to be non-intrusive.

And then there's the ending, O the ending.
What a shitty wrap-up of a story that was really engaging. What an anti-climax. Just as I was starting to get excited about the connections between all the strange events, *BAM* the game basically tells me "well, we ran out of time/budget so here's a brief cutscene and credits and that do not fit into the story at all and completely disregard all the character development we've built up. BYE!"

They could've done SOMETHING to tie up just SOME of the loose ends, or give any kind of closure. It wasn't even a cliffhanger, it was just like rolling the credits halfway through the story.
A cliffhanger wouldn't have ended the story the way this one did. The fact that the end scene bold-facedly tells me that I'm not allowed to continue the story anymore is just a slap in the face.
I was looking for a slot to insert more quarters. Where's the rest of the game?

If you're going to pull something this audience-alienating, at the very least announce the game as the first in a series.
The abrupt ending makes the game look more like a proof-of-concept than a pilot, in retrospect.
I mean, even the Bone games had episode numbers despite Telltale for some reason stopping after the second one.

This could've been written sooo much better to achieve the same effect, but without leaving me disappointed and frustrated over what had been a great experience up till that point. There's just no motivation for Tethers to abandon the place like that, and it makes the story awkward and ham-handed.
What, he decides to stay against all reason after almost bailing out on the place after his first gnome encounter in the hotel, but once the factory is running and he's close to cracking the case he's like "yup, my work is done" ??
No way.

So yeah. Great game, totally botched ending, make more Puzzle Agent games so I can give you my money.

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I appear to be the only person on earth who adored the way it ended. Tell me, playing through it again, would it be as scary if you knew that the Gnomes were really Aliens from the Planet Zeist who were banished to Earth to kill everyone until only one remained, in which he would be granted the prize of becoming human?
    Also, WHY DOES EVERYONE ASSUME THAT IT WOULD EVER BE SOLVED. In my opinion, Tether's next case should take him somewhere completely different where some other strange occurances happen, but definately no Gnomes and no more Scoggins! A kraken attack, a team of covert spies with silly wigs, anything, just no more Hidden People and I'd be a happy man.

  • Wasn't there an interview with one of the creators who said the story has already been mapped out for a full season and that it would definitely include going back to Scoggins?

    I agree the story needs a better ending. As I said in my post in the "impressions" thread, "A local law enforcement officer commits assault with a deadly weapon against an FBI agent, and the FBI drops the case as long as erasers are back in production? While that's fine in a goofy comedy game, it doesn't seem quite right here."

    @StLouisRibs said: ...would it be as scary if you knew that the Gnomes were really...

    That's kind of a straw-man argument. I don't think a proper ending has to include details as to the origins of the Hidden People, as space aliens or otherwise; it's fine (probably better) if they're left as an unexplained phenomenon. But their interest in Scoggins and its inhabitants, and vice versa, cry out for elaboration.

  • @StLouisRibs said: I appear to be the only person on earth who adored the way it ended. Tell me, playing through it again, would it be as scary if you knew that the Gnomes were really Aliens from the Planet Zeist who were banished to Earth to kill everyone until only one remained, in which he would be granted the prize of becoming human?

    That's not the issue at all. Mysteries become uninteresting the moment you explain them, it's good to leave something to the imagination because that'll usually make the audience come up with something way more interesting than the writer can.
    But that wasn't the problem. The problem was the abrupt, unexplained break in the middle of things that goes completely against everything the story and characters had been building up to.

    @StLouisRibs said: Also, WHY DOES EVERYONE ASSUME THAT IT WOULD EVER BE SOLVED.


    Because it's a puzzle game? And you're playing the puzzle agent, and we've already established that Tethers was so interested in finding out about the Hidden People that he stayed in the town despite all the physical and mental dangers?
    He almost gets killed by the guy's wife and doesn't even try to track her down? Are you kidding me?

    I'm not looking for the Ultimate(tm) unveiling of the mystery, I'm looking for a closure that makes the least bit of sense in the established setting. There would have been many, many other ways to satisfy the player without having to reveal any more than they did.

    The ending is just so inconsistent with the rest that you're left with a dozen "well, if starting up the factory again was all Tethers was after, then why did he..."-questions

    The ending doesn't even have to make sense from a reality point of view (we already saw that rotating space station with two different windows, that was freaky surreal), but the ending DOES have to make sense in the context of the characters.

    Like, who's running the factory now? What prevents the next foreman from meeting the same fate?
    Why isn't attempted murder of a federal agent considered cause enough to go back and find the wife?

    At least have them all jump the border or do SOMETHING that prevents our protagonist from pursuing the matter further.
    Not even coming up with a marginally plausible ending isn't artsy or mysterious. It's just a big "we know you spent all this time and effort, but we can't be bothered to write an ending that'll make it all seem worth it" slap in the face from the writers, and it was completely unnecessary and pointless.

  • @StLouisRibs said: I appear to be the only person on earth who adored the way it ended.

    You are not alone.

    It's like those classic Goosebumps stories when everything end ups when is coming even more, and, of course, never develops from there. Because that's how the Genre works, far I do know. If everything get solved it's not interesting anymore, at least for me. And everyone has his own ending for the story.

    Yes, it was a shock, but it's the best way to finish it, at least for me.

  • I thought it was a good finish. I think it should move onto a new storyline too, if there is to be a full season.

    Tethers may have wanted to research it further, but that wasn't his job, and the government didn't fund him to look for gnomes. So he went home instead.

  • I agree on the ending. If it just turned black, and that was it, it would have been WAAAAAAAY better than having the FBI-scene afterwards.

  • I am not even sure I saw the full ending. As it just black screened after the bit back at the FBI headquarters and didn't come back on.

  • What I liked about the ending, was that it actually felt like an X-files kind of ending. Without spoiling anything, I can say that the X-files has mission endings just like this.

  • I agree with what someone else was saying that the FBI scene leaves too many questions unanswered. If we're following the "Literal Laws of Good Storytelling™" then including the FBI office scene opens up more questions about the loose ends. Cutting the story right after the gnomes take Isaac is perfect in that we can come up with our own interpretations of what happened next. Nelson going back to the FBI after "reopening the factory" effectively removes all chance of interpretation and is unsettling because it answers none of the questions it left open.

    EDIT:
    Nevermind, this video answers EVERYTHING!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/grickle#p/u/13/Tt5lB-RoAi4

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