Stolen Pixels #167: The Solution to All Puzzles

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Stolen Pixels #167: The Solution to All Puzzles

When stumped in Machinarium, there's always one answer to which you can turn.

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The internet didn't kill the point of adventure games. The point of adventure games was the story, not the puzzles.

Case in point: The Longest Journey. Mediocre puzzles, but the interaction with the characters and the world made the game.

"Google it" and "Too the googles!" have now become common sayings pretty much everywhere I go.

lol, google giving the finger. Thats hilarious!

Lol...

The robot asking the other guy what to do, and the guy responding "Fuck you, google it.".

That made my day. :D

Onyx Oblivion:
The internet didn't kill the point of adventure games. The point of adventure games was the story, not the puzzles.

Case in point: The Longest Journey

Thing is, if the "point" was just the story, then what would be the point of having puzzles? It might as well just be a graphic novel.

I disagree with you that the "point" is the story; you can have puzzles without a story, or a story without puzzles, but put them both together and you have an adventure game. Just as a sidenote to that: a good story in a point-and-click adventure game gives you context as you solve the puzzles. A great story in an adventure game makes solving the puzzles all the more worthwhile.

Onyx Oblivion:
The internet didn't kill the point of adventure games. The point of adventure games was the story, not the puzzles.

Case in point: The Longest Journey

Oh yes, I agree completely with that. Psychonauts was a sort of action adventure game, and that was good mainly because of the story and the writing involved. Same can be said of any of Tim Schafer's adventure games. And to cite your example, I bought the Dreamfall Limited Edition a while ago (great bargain, got it for 15). It has the game, plus The Longest Journey, and I have to say that they are the sole reason why I got back into adventure gaming. And the best part of those games is the story. Fine, there are some really good puzzles (among some really obscure and annoying ones), but the story is the main driving force (not counting the ending of The Longest Journey). Hell, even adventure games that are driven mainly by the puzzles, such as the Myst series, are backed up by extremely detailed and intricate storylines (just play Myst III: Exile if you doubt me on that...). And that can only be a good thing, as far as I'm concerned...

Huh, I'm suprised you didn't mention the in-game guide on this one. They will essentially give you the answer to every puzzle after playing a 30 second shmup. But I'm not going to pick on them for that one since all they did was pull out the middle man (Google) in the process.

Although I will admit I used it way, way, way too much for my own good. I'll never forgive myself for that one.

Yes, adventure games suck because it's just following an often linear progression of use X on Y.

This is the exact reason I don't take puzzle games seriously anymore.

AWESOME game.

Incredible. I loved every second of it. I think we have the Game of the Year on our hands.

Thank you for exposing me to this amazingness.

Benjeezy:
AWESOME game.

Incredible. I loved every second of it. I think we have the Game of the Year on our hands.

Thank you for exposing me to this amazingness.

So you completed the game just over an hour after you heard about it? Not really a selling point for me haha. Only kidding. I played the demo a while back. Some bits were a little tricky. I thought the puzzle in the comic was kinda funny. Not worth getting the whole game, me thinks.

Nivag:

Benjeezy:
AWESOME game.

Incredible. I loved every second of it. I think we have the Game of the Year on our hands.

Thank you for exposing me to this amazingness.

So you completed the game just over an hour after you heard about it? Not really a selling point for me haha. Only kidding. I played the demo a while back. Some bits were a little tricky. I thought the puzzle in the comic was kinda funny. Not worth getting the whole game, me thinks.

Nah bro, I just played the demo. It floored me
:D

But there also was a time before Google called DLH.

Of course, if you were Sierra On-Line, you set up an 800 number and CHARGED your customers for answers to your indecipherable puzzles.

Quite a racket they had going until Google came along...

Leslee

Though I enjoyed this game, having to play a mini-game to get to a walkthrough annoyed me enough to not play past the free trial.

I liked the demo, nice atmosphere. Also, finished the demo without google or walkthrough under 30 minutes.

So very, very true. Getting stuck in a video game is a pain in the ass but I will try for an hour or more before I get defeated and head to gamewinners or gameFAQs or wherever.

It is the final solution to all puzzles. :D I try not to use it, but I don't really play puzzle games anyway.

Great comic and thank you for the link! That is an amazing game!!!

Google is a double-edged sword for adventure games. Although sometimes it's too tempting to 'cheat,' in some poorly designed games you almost HAVE to use the walk-through. The Adventure Company is notorious for this... they have 'clickable' items/areas made so small you can spend half the day exploring the screen for them or their puzzles just don't make logical sense.

Machinarium's puzzles made sense and were pretty easy to figure out. Looking forward to playing the rest of the game.

I love these guys' games, and picked up the full game (a while ago) after playing this demo. They do gorgeous work, and this is a full project for them.

While I haven't completed the game, I have been taking breaks between playing due to needing a lot of thinking time to get past the next bit. So far, yes, I have used Google once to get past one bit that was stumping me (I had been close without getting it, dangnabit!), but stopped after that.

And yes, that in game mini-game to get to the walkthrough ticked me off as well (which is when I repeated what the robot said in the strip).

You don't need Google in Machinarium, the game has a built in walkthrough, you just need to get the key to the lock by avoiding blocks and shooting spiders with it. So a brilliant adventure game becomes a shitty SHMUP.

Whooooo! You just earned them $20! After your comic, I checked out the Demo. After the Demo, I bought the game.

I know someone who loves this kind of game with this kind of artwork, and he would never ever google it.

HA!
Alright I tip my hat to you on that one. So true.

wow, how old are you? you are the first person I've ever heard of who's seen anything in such style as machinarium.

'Google' is a verb now.

lesterley:
Of course, if you were Sierra On-Line, you set up an 800 number and CHARGED your customers for answers to your indecipherable puzzles.

Quite a racket they had going until Google came along...

Leslee

I remember those days. Playing King's Quest for hours, yet accomplishing nothing. Then something would happen either inspiration, rumours, or the good ol' cheat book. I even remember calling a Sega cheat line for the original Phantasy Star. I hadn't played the game in years, then picked it up on a whim. Realizing that I still couldn't figure it out, I called their "help" line, and voila the game was beaten. Only took me 5 years.

you dont play machinarium for the puzzles, in the same way that you dont walk on the great wall of china for the exercise.

Machinarium is one, if not the most powerful experiences I've had with gaming, its still a part of my life, i have some concept art as my desktop background, the soundtrack on my ipod and i got a poster made of the city (might be copyright infraction, if so then i did not do it).

but yes, some of the puzzles where a little annoying, especially towards the end (the last hour or so is dreadful gameplay wise, but some of the most amazing in sound, visual and atmosphere)

This is the exactly reason why I feel a sense of pride for being able to plow through every single Monkey Island game, and "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream" without having to look up a guide. It's such a satisfying feeling.

shamus I am never going to read the text before i read the comic ever again you gave it all away and completly killedtghe joke, and where is the rest of chainmail bikini?

Haha, great comic, and thanks for the link to Machinarium! Judging by the demo, it's in the more forgiving category of adventure/puzzle games, where you're just stuck until you can figure out what to do next. I'm still not sure if I like this style better or worse than the Sierra style, wherein doing the wrong thing (or not doing something) early in the game can make it impossible to finish the game.

Okay, so I like it way better. The art direction for this game is insane to boot! I think this might have the (dubious) honor of being the first game I purchase this year.

Shamus Young:
Hmm. I've been stuck for fifteen minutes. Bored now. I'll just Google the answer. But now I'm just reading a FAQ and following directions, which defeats the entire point of the game. Why am I doing this again?

This exact scenario happened to me three days ago while I was playing Silent Hill 2 for the first time. I felt guilty about looking the answer up, but I just cannot stand having the flow of a game be broken by the fact that I have to repeatedly canvas every floor of a hotel because I can't find a silver dollar (or some such nonsense) that is represented by a single pixel. From what I read, though, the game still seems interesting enough (even with story spoiled) that I'll likely go back and finish it one of these days...

This is something they set themselves up for, because every time I get stuck on a puzzle at the back of my mind is the possibility that it's going to be another damn "Monkey Wrench" and any time I spend trying to figure it out is a total waste of time. It's also why I love the Phoenix Wright games because there you know damn well you have all the tools at your disposal and you're not really going to be at the mercy of insane adventure logic.

Come to think of it when you're looking to Japanese titles to show a greater measure of sanity you know you've messed up somewhere.

Eh, probably not going to buy this game. It looks interesting, but when I couldn't figure out the 3rd stage of the demo and I used the hintbook-thing, instead of providing me with another hint, the game blatantly showed me what to do...

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