# Filament

Sunday, January 29, 2023, 03:20 AM

Puzzle should be intuitive. This game is not. Wires IRL can be stretch when we push or squeeze objects between gap. But this game treat those wires as hard walls. Furthermore, the playable character in the game also can’t jump over / crouch under existing wires. It’s so annoying counter-intuitive.

Puzzle should be clear of logic. This game is not. Mainly this happen because of the design that’s rely on continuous 2D coordinate (unlike other games that’s play on square/hexagonal grid). The downside of this coordinate system is that there are infinitely possible positions to consider. No, not on the developer’s programming side. But on the player’s cognitive side. Say, if the puzzle require a wire from A to B with angle of 37 degree. How the heck we human can figure that out with the exact number? Keep in mind that there are other possible positions that yield very similar results, but fail to solve the problem, like a wire from C to B with angle of 40 degree. This design discourage planning since players will not know if the plan is right or not until actually try it out. (not to mention that when the plan is slightly wrong, there is no way to “fix” just some part of the plan. the player practically need to restart the whole level. what the fun with this approach?)

Puzzle should gives a revelation. This game is not. This issue continue from the continuous 2D coordinate design, magnified by the unique solution concept – the developer carefully craft each level with a preferable “revelation” way to solve it: change the way to tackle the succeeding puzzles. But now we have infinitely many feasible solutions to play-test, it is unavoidable that unintended solutions pop up everywhere. These unintended solution are super complex (instead of a simple a-ha solution, which I think this game already fail to make even the preferred way simple in the first place), they not only ruin the fun of the game, but also hide away crucial information on how to tackle the puzzle in the future. So what, how the developer tackle this problem? They just fiddle their levels with bits and bobs. Evidently, you can see weird wall of different length here and there as a part of iteration to prevent players solve it unintended way (go see images in community’s walkthrough). So ugly to the eye. (…and to be honest, I don’t think the developer really craft the puzzle with revelation approach in the first place. instead, I think they just throw in noises and traps just to pad the hardness of their puzzle. so solve any of them was never felt eureka.)

Puzzle– unlike mechanics IRL that keep people safe such as combination lock that only the owner know the right number –should be fun to play. This game is not. Take a look at Wordle, everyone loves that game despite they sometimes fail to solve today’s puzzle. This game, however, is a chore of unending trial-and-error with practically no strategy. What the fun (and fair) with this puzzle design?

Actually, the sign that this game so proudly present itself as a hard puzzle game, as seen in the promo video, hints that it has a very high potential to be a bad puzzle. Because if you aim to produce a hard puzzle, just throw in a 6-digit combination lock. That’s hard. Since there are one million possibilities for the player to consider, and that’s take ages. A good puzzle design may throw 6-digit combination lock to the player as well, but they will leave breadcrumb trails along the way to reduce the possibility down to just one exact solution. And guess what? The game never bothered to spare us even a tiny bit of bread.

Avoid this game at all cost.

By the way, good luck playing this game at 4:3 aspect ratio, because THE crucial information will be only seen on 16:9 screen 😡😡😡

Originally published on: Steam

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