Geoff Fortytwo (2008)

Magic is another game that gives the player no direction to go in, while being under clued. You can wander around for a while, explore, and solve a few of the puzzles, but eventually you run out of ideas and have to turn to the walkthrough. The puzzles are so abstract you would never come up with the solution on your own, and you're almost left asking yourself, what was the author thinking?

I think that this is a common problem for first time authors, even though Geoff Fortytwo has programmed two other games. He should have realized from the first two that players have to intuitively know what to do next. There can be points in a game where the player needs to make a logical leap, but they need to be well clued. That's how any great game is put together. Its well clued, has plenty of alternate solutions, objects aren't insanely buried, and there are no bottlenecks that kill the game play. That's just the technical side of things. The writing, the story, and how it's told, is another subject. But in this game nothing is properly clued, the player must make logical leaps that are truly impossible to know about ahead of time, and the new verb that's created completely bottlenecks the game, because you have no idea where it should be used. In the end, the game is just frustrating.

This game suffers from so many design flaws I just don't know that it can be saved. The game is strange and wacky, with writing that feels a bit off. The code here is pretty solid, I didn't run into any problems, but the puzzles are so bad that half way through I just went off the walkthrough. I don't think that there is a lot to enjoy here, and I'd give this one a pass. Because of the solid coding, I gave it a 4.