Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Game 19: A-Mazing Tater

I'm not an amazing writer. I use the passive voice too often, my metaphors are shoddy, my similes are confusing, my sentences are often too long with too many commas; can't use semicolons properly or form whole sentences. It's a shame.

But I can do what nobody else is willing to do: play a game about a block-pushing potato like it's 1991.

They should have sent a poet.

In any case, thanks again to the A-Mazing dash, we get another game that really should be closer to the middle of the list. That's okay! I'm glad I played this game now, because gosh I did not know what I was missing.

Let's be clear, though: I wasn't missing anything of importance.

My first impression of this game is that potatoes look a lot like eggs when the sprite is very small. I like the idea of dancing vegetables though, and I'm excited to find out just what kind of A-mazing A-dventures I'll be having as a potato.

Hello Mato, I'm Uman Human.
Mato Tomato will apparently be our guide through the wonderful journey of a potato. "Basically," she explains, "you'll be pushing blocks around and stuff." So it's Sokoban with a potato. Potatoban.


I hate Sokoban. This may not surprise you as I clearly hate everything but there's a special place in the burnt out shell of meat I call my heart for Sokoban. Mostly it's because I'm really, really bad at it. Anything but the most basic of puzzles causes my brain to try and escape my skull through any means possible. So it's not really the game's fault, it's my skull-shattering stupidity. But I still hate Sokoban.

THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE oh no wait this is easy
Okay so it's not really like Sokoban. The black spots are actually holes, and Tater pushes the little blocks into them. The holes get filled up and our intrepid root-man can cross over to get to the flag. The first few levels are cake, and there are actually a few interesting features, like:

Rotating doors!
Really long blocks!
...Aaand that''s about it. But still, better than Sokoban for sure, which is just crates, crates, and more crates.

I find myself actually enjoying the game, which is pretty amazing. Some of the puzzles are a bit devious and require some lateral thinking. Others seem impossible at first glance but, once the solution clicks, I solve them easily. I think my favorite is this one:

Ahh, yes, of course, Tetris Hell
The rotating doors are almost all stuck, and I have to go around finding the perfect configuration to get to the flag. It's pretty mind-bending and not a little tedious at times, but I felt good about myself when I finished it.

And then this level happened:

Yeah that doesn't seem too hard, right? Use one of the blocks to fill in the hole, shuffle the others around so the door can

Except it's NOT that easy because there's a freaking hidden hole under the rotating door that I can't see. And since I don't know it's there, I ruin the level and have to start all over again.

Like so.
I know the solution is probably obvious to Sokobanatics but this puzzle took me forever. I tried everything I could think of short of just skipping the level (i.e. never playing the game again). I grow more frustrated. Why did they hide that darn hole?! It's driving me crazy. What kind of puzzle game hides elements in the first 8 levels?

I turned the game off for a bit to cool down, but when I came back, I couldn't remember which puzzle I'd stopped on. I looked at a few but...they all looked the same to me. I couldn't even remember which ones I'd already solved.

So I quit! Just like a good, spoiled, modern gamer.

I don't really have a conclusion for this. If this game was a book, it would be Sudoku for People who Hate Themselves. If it was a movie, it would be realllly boring. And if it was a video game, it wouldn't be any better.

No, I don't know what that last sentence means either.

On the next episode of No Batteries, we'll be venturing back into the land of squiggly lines that Clint Can't Read to watch overweight men lose their tempers. Just like in my dreams.

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