The Ngah Angah School of Forbidden Wisdom

Anssi Räisänen (2008)

The Ngah Angah School of Forbidden Wisdom looked like it was going to be pretty good. There was a translatable alphabet that came with the game, and I always had fun with these when I was a kid. But in practice, the alphabet turns into a guess-the-verb puzzle that I couldn't figure out, and without a walkthrough, I didn't get very far.

In this game you're trying to complete three magical tests to get into the school so you can be with your girlfriend. It never captured me; the very motivation for going through all of this doesn't seem to be there. The first test is right up front, so after looking around a bit, I found myself trying out all sorts of combinations to get past it. The instructions aren't really clear here. I'm not sure that I'm supposed to be trying to guess a magic word, I just think that's the goal, and the translatable alphabet is only failing me. Maybe if the game supported graphics for the symbols. I don't know if Alan can handle graphics, but there are tools out there that can, like Hugo. So after guessing for a while, I gave up.

Maybe it's because I've come to the end of the competition, but I didn't feel like struggling with another game that didn't compel me with its setting or story. One thing that I've learned throughout this competition is, if you're going to do puzzles, you better do them right; and having one that bottlenecks the game right at the beginning is just death for the thing. Others might enjoy it, but I'm more of a zombies/vampires sort of guy, and I can't recommend this one. So I guess I failed to enter the School of Forbidden Wisdom.