Otherworld – Spring of Shadows

Collector’s Edition, because I’m a fancy-pants bastard like that.

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I’m not a fan of point-and-clicks, but in spite of its kitschness this is the first one in a while that managed to keep me interested long enough to finish it, including the epilogue.

Otherworld – The Intricacies of Wool Working is a casual point-and-click puzzle-solving game by Boomzap. You can probably notice shitloads of similar games at their website, so why this one? Honestly, I don’t know. I let my fingers think for themselves, and this is where we got.

You start the game as a woman who just bought a house in the countryside and is greeted upon arrival by the worst cleanup job ever.

Incorporeal creatures make the worst maids.

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Long story short, a malevolent creature called I’ll Piss You Off Every Time You Click Too Much the Shade kidnapped a little girl named Alice Fiona whose parents also went missing. The girl appears in a mirror and asks for your help. Naturally, you forget all about your life plans and decide to help some random reflection defeat evil, suddenly and calmly accepting that there is another world parallel to our own in which locksmiths have a demented sense of humour in what concerns people’s free time.

Ceci n’est pas une lock.

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Otherworld – Now I Know How Stained Glass Is Made has three difficulty levels with progressively less hints on solving the puzzles, which vary between genuinely interesting brain teasers and I’ll just keep clicking until it solves itself. At one point, I was supposed to pour different substances into different containers without having any clue as to which went where. I soon realized that I could not drop the wrong substance in the wrong container. Ergo, I merrily clicked away on every container with every substance until the problem solved itself. I felt like a monkey solving one of those shapes-in-holes thingamabobs.

The final boss is the only timed puzzle, and yet even a retarded sloth could solve it. Granted, it’s a casual game, unless you decide to play hardcore mode and are then supposed to guess that to cut through some vines you must carefully analyze their length, girth, colour, general health, whether they overlap any other vines, if yes, how many, how’s the weather, who’s on first, and what the local Dryad thinks about the coming elections, because that’s how it goes in this “other world.”

Cleveland.

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What made Otherworld – That’s Not What a Flute Sounds Like enjoyable for me was the art. Everything outside the puzzles looks like a Neo-Romantic Where’s Waldo, and even in the puzzles it’s not until I’ve scanned the same bloody scene for the tenth bloody time to find the ONE missing bit of the magical stone of blow me that it starts feeling tiresome to look at.

I’m telling you there’s a nail in there. You know, for hammering. Find it.

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The animation, however, is ridiculous. The South Park pilot flows better. This is the game’s most obvious flaw. Even its attempts at being spooky fail because when it doesn’t feel like a lazy fade between stances, I am immediately reminded of the flash-like puppetry animation that plagues the Internet, which simply doesn’t suit such a detailed art style. Fortunately, Otherworld – Headless Garden Gnomes manages to save its sorry ass via the magic of music. The soundtrack is beautiful and fits all the environments like a glove, deserving a mandatory hats off.

However, some things felt unnecessarily laborious and unreal, such as having to drive back and forth between a farm and a house miles apart to make a coat from scratch for some little green shit, when stabbing him would prove to be a hastier solution. I mean, there’s a girl in danger, so why the hell am I shearing, washing, carding, spinning, weaving, cutting, and sowing the buttons for Smelly McShirt? Give me the damn bag or get stabbed!

It’s called the mantle.

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4/10

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