The story is good. The art is great. The voice acting and songs are fantastic! But the main point of the game, the puzzle itself, is … just kind of ok at it core concept. Because it is executed so poorly it ruin the fun of the game.
First point, like most people already mention, is the repetition. For example you have a windmill that can rotate 90 degree per click. Now it would be nice and natural to be able to rotate the windmill both way (clockwise and counter-clockwise). So if the windmill is facing north, and the puzzle require the windmill to face west, then it will be just 1 counter-clockwise to finish the puzzle. But no, this game favor the (too) simplicity of the control by allowing you to rotate in only one clockwise direction. So in the situation of N -> W, it require 3 rotations in total (not to mention that if you overshoot the rotation and have to wrap around again). Plus that the rotate animation is so slow like 2 seconds, and you can’t stack your actions between the animation. So to rotate the windmill 3 times, you have to push the rotate button, wait for the animation to finish, push that button again, wait, and push it for the darn last time! To put the matter worse, is that this game often design puzzles to have maximum number of these “tedious” work. Like you have to rotate the windmill N -> W -> S -> E. 12 rotations in total instead of just 4 if the game were allow both way rotation!
Secondly (and will be my last point here, but there are still more, however this one is the most severe), is that the game has no concept of looking around with camera movement and “planning” how to tackle the puzzle! So you are often end up in this situation:
Go into a new area. Find that you are shortage of an item to solve the puzzle. Go back to an old area to grab the item. Go into the new area again and partially solve the puzzle (since you can’t see further than what’s on the screen). Just to find out that you are still shortage of another item! Go to others area to grab the other item. Go back to the new area and hope that this time you’ll solve the puzzle without the need of going back and grab more items.
This is a very bad puzzle designing philosophy. Since it will make players feel dump and tired solving these puzzles. The good way to design a puzzle is to give all the information the player need, and nudge them to solve it in their head first (a.k.a. planning), then comeback to interact with the game only just to implement those solution and see if it work. This way it gives the player a eureka moment with lots of joy when they finally solve the puzzle. Which, disappointingly, this game fails to deliver.
I want to like this game as a “game”, but for now I think I can only appreciate those good parts, such as story and songs, from a non-intractable side like watching TV in a good old days. So this game is not really a “game” for me; hence, a thumb down.
Originally published on: Steam