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alicecomma

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A member registered Dec 17, 2018

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Should you try this? Absolutely.

Real clever game. Reminds of Hexcells (Infinite) and Tametsi, except the puzzle is particularly over-determined. Surprisingly this freedom is not a problem, because you control a character that is bounded by the area clear of mines - restricting your puzzle solving to the 'inner area' of the nonogram. Your experience with minesweeper-likes and/or nonograms translates 1:1 into solving the respective steps of the puzzle. The movement mechanic reminds of Sokoban games (even though you aren't pushing anything). I particularly feel like I'm playing Baba Is You, that is there is a distinct sense of freedom in solving the puzzle and you're completely open to pick any of the options you feel will get you closest to the answer. There also is no one answer, such that the more boring level slogs of minesweeper-likes are rarely experienced - you don't have to solve the whole thing!

The per-level gameplay is robust and supports the logic puzzle rather than detracts from it. The freedom of each level is especially uncommon in logic puzzles. With any one mechanic, you're gonna have to solve the entire puzzle to go to the next level, and there are typically just a handful of entry points to get the next tiles solved. The minesweeper, nonogram and movement mechanics together provide about three times as many, if not more, ways to get to the exit. Enough games modify logic puzzles such as not to engage with the logic: revealing areas, placing bombs that remove tiles, potions that increase the amount of mistakes you can make, gold placed on tiles, enemies instead of mines.. Lizzi Crossing only has a three-life counter (which maybe shouldn't even be there, or surviving with full counter should give a better 'completion' grade?).

The main complaint I could think of is that the level of polish on Lizzi Crossing is low. Especially sounds or a soundtrack, soothing visual effects and a main menu are absent. Any of Hexcells, Tametsi or Baba Is You do it better - granted they are paid, full releases. Lizzi Crossing has very little feedback to what you do, even no 'congratulations for reaching the stairs, here is the next level'. I have little playtime because there is no true progress counter or world map or level list. Baba Is You has an amazing level select that is also a world map, and I could imagine there being the same thing in Lizzi Crossing where finishing a level could give you the clues necessary (minesweeper/nonogram numbers reveal) to get to the next one.

I'd buy a full release including progression, some visual/audio effects, maybe music (though I tend to play with sound muted) and perhaps a timed mode a-la Hexcells Infinite.

A sad story where you are in control of slowing down or speeding up 'KIDS', following or running counter to conventional wisdom. You learn how not only does ethics change with group size, your actions feel ethically responsible or irresponsible depending on group size, and the same decision is impossible to make when many 'KIDS' depend on it.

A pretty direct description of how I saw the interactions:

On the individual level, you care about the one you push around. You speed them up and question if they shouldn't have been left alone to fall at their own pace. They stand around holes and you push them in, making you want them to find other holes. You push one through a challenging thing (school?) and wonder if it isn't going too fast for them. Then they fall face-down on the level below (which again has holes).

One the group level, the opposite philosophy takes hold of you. If you don't speed all of them up, you feel bad for letting some remain slow - the level only continues if all have been treated the same by you. Groups get in disagreement about which way to go, and you need to convince all of them to go one way, and you ask if it's the right way. Groups run through the level and find holes, either following the leader down the hole or following them away from it - you can choose who goes down, or it seems so, but the remaining runners are stuck running in a loop. You feel bad letting the others waste time, so you send them all down.

Having sent thousands of 'KIDS' down the same hole, one of them regains consciousness and swims upstream, gathering a few followers. But after a while they all fall down the stream again, being met by the big group and seen as outsider until they jump down the next hole. The group is then lead by a few who are in disagreement again and you can reach agreement, but then a single one disagrees and you can only continue by telling him to agree, against your previous gut feeling. Then you push everyone in the agreed-upon direction.

This is the coolest toy, especially the surround sound of it

After getting this huge bundle and kinda dreading going through all games to find what's good, your Akurra being one of the first games absolutely blew me away.

The GameBoy Advanced era of games is really dear to me, growing up without any pocket change and strict parents. The art style of Akurra but more importantly the rich animation, the amazing eye for detail in every puzzle, everything feeds back into this mindset of squeezing the most out of my games. The absence of language mimicks not knowing English as a native Dutch, bruteforcing your way through a game's inputs and letting the design lead the way.

I got invested pretty quickly in Akurra's starting puzzles, but when I reached the turtle at the end of the first island and I could see a Donkey Kong Country 3-like worldmap, it expanded my perceived scope of the game so much. Figuring out that the patterns on the ground were manually and deliberately placed, figuring out why two crates weren't pushable and imagining how they could be destroyed with a later item, then having everything fall into place was extremely satisfying. I've played a few puzzle games, but the sheer intelligent design going into these is something I had seen, but I had not experienced before.

Thank you so much for making Akurra!