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theopenbook

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A member registered Jun 14, 2020 · View creator page →

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Note: I played this game on my phone, which I would recommend for the optimal experience.

I can't deny that this game is well-made. The creator makes use of the unique interface to spin a compelling narrative. The puzzles make use of this feature well. I just can't get behind the message this game wants to get across.

Story - 3/5 - As a narrative, the story is well-rounded and immersive. I could see many people liking it. But for me, the ending to this story is not something to be applauded, and lauding that decision soured the entire game.

Mechanics - 4.5/5 - Puzzles can often be frustrating, but because the search for clues kept unfolding new pieces of the narrative, it made the process a joy rather than a chore. There was a bit of information overload at the start, but this was the best part of the game for me.

Visuals - 3/5 - The pictures were a crucial addition to help get the narrative across. I didn't find the artwork to be a key attraction or detraction to the game.

Sound - 2.5/5 - Average.

Overall - 3.5/5   Difficulty - Normal

Progress - Completed (1.5 hrs)

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To say that this game is enjoyable would be callous to the developers. But I'd say this is a meaningful game, albeit on the short side. I'm interested in seeing what else the developers have planned.

Story - N/AThis is also something that can't really be rated. As a telling of personal experience, it's done well and there's a clear sense of the danger one can face. It does rely greatly on the personal narratives to hit home, not that that's a bad thing.

Mechanics - 3.5/5It's very easy to navigate, the puzzles don't feel like puzzles as much as the next natural step. It would've been nice to be able to move around a touch faster. 

Visuals - 3/5There's nothing wrong with it. The game ran smoothly and everything was clear. Still, this is an area where I feel an improvement could lead to a more impactful story.

Sound - 2.5/5Solid.

Overall - 3/5   Difficulty - Very Easy

Progress - Completed (30 min)

Fun, simple game that has a surprisingly high skill ceiling.

Mechanics - 5/5It's so easy to play. Yet there are some pretty challenging pants to find, and some require some unique thinking.

Visuals - 4/5The art style is cheeky, and I love the haircut options. I would love the option to customize the character. The camera can sometimes cut a little too close and be disorienting, especially in the sewer.

Sound - 3.5/5Music changes along with your presence, making the pressure rise. Similar to the visuals, however, the repeated effects could sometimes be disorienting.

Story - N/APremise is really funny. It would be cool to have a story mode!

Overall - 4.5/5   Difficulty - Slightly Hard

Completed - (11 out of 15 pants) (1.5-2 hrs)

Thanks for making the game!

The dialogue is what drives this game. It's snappy, humorous, but didn't shy away from tackling deeper beliefs that really fleshed out each character. Would love to see more like this with more fleshed-out artwork.

Story - 4/5The overall story is great, and the writer really takes time to develop each character that is introduced. I liked that the relationship develops naturally over the course of the game. I would've liked to have had more decisions to make throughout, as it is a pretty long game for the amount of decisions available.

Visuals - 3/5Each character is clearly delineated from another, from the clothes they wear down to the name font color. I would've liked a few more emotion states for each character or cutscenes. There would be times when what was said in the text wasn't reflected in the character's face, and some situations I felt deserved more love from the artist.

Sound - 2.5/5It's ok. Nice that both sounds and music can be adjusted.

Mechanics - 3.5/5Great to have quick save and save states. Would be nice to be able to scroll back and forth, I didn't find that option if it was possible. It didn't feel like the player's decisions had much impact, but I didn't play through to see if Aadra had a redemption storyline.

Overall - 3.5/5   Difficulty - N/A

Completed - Playthrough (~5-6 hrs)

Hey man, glad to see you commenting and enjoying these games! I understand you disagree with my evaluations and that's fine, keep enjoying what you do!

Superb mechanics, with a difficulty that ramps up as levels progress. For all its beautiful visuals and sounds, this game can be bang-your-head-on-the-wall frustrating, but I expect that in a puzzle game.

Mechanics - 5/5 - Every time I thought I had figured out the game, it threw something new and challenging at me. Each new mechanic fit it well with the old, and I felt like I understood more nuances of the old mechanics as I continued to play.

Visuals - 5/5 - Beautiful, clear, simple.

Sound - 4.5/5 - Overall quite pleasant, but the constant sound of running water isn't actually the most peaceful thing to listen to. If anything, it just made me want to pee.

Story - N/A

Overall - 5/5   Difficulty - Hard

Completed - 53 Levels (~2 hrs)

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The brief moments of wit and creativity did not make up for the common pitfalls of point and click games that Nelly Cootalot succumbed to.

Story - 2.5/5 - There is a loose story here, but the wackiness rarely impressed me, and on occasion relied on the player to foresee large leaps of logic (or look up a walkthrough) to progress. I could see some people enjoying the dialogue, but to me it was only just tiredly amusing.

Mechanics - 1.75/5 - For such a small map, there was so much navigating back and forth that could've been mitigated. The designer missed the chance to use more dialogue to drop hints to the player, and a lot of the puzzles felt like they just had to be brute forced. Navigating between the inventory and the map was also clunky, and upon exit the game sometimes froze up. Kudos to the hint mechanic, but many times it would simply be misleading or wouldn't highlight items one could actually interact with.

Visuals - 2/5 - The artwork is just slightly less than good. At times it's comical and fits the humorous bent, but mostly it felt shoddy.

Sound - 2.5/5 - The writer is actually decent at voice acting. The music was okay; I think having to traverse back and forth made me hate pirate music.

Overall - 2/5   Difficulty - Hard

Completed - Playthrough (~4 hrs)

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The story hit me even harder every time I reached a dead end and replayed the chapter. This game addresses some of the deepest desires and fears we have as humanity: the yearning for meaning and for love. 

Story - 4/5 - The length is just long enough that I felt connected with the characters, but short enough that backtracking doesn't feel like a chore. What really stood out to me was the nuances in dialogue that shifted through each playthrough based on my choices. This game makes me seek out a happy ending. That being said, using death to tug at heartstrings is somewhat cliche, but that didn't stop it from being effective.

Mechanics - 3.5/5 - Obviously nothing groundbreaking, but for visual novels, the most important thing is that the mechanics don't break immersion.

Visuals - 4.5/5 - The art style is gorgeous, and the general lack of motion makes scenes with movement more meaningful. The only time immersion was broken was when there was a transition in scene and the characters suddenly looked like they reversed in age 10-20 years. I would definitely recommend fixing that, but otherwise, I have no complaints.

Sound - 3.5/5 - I'm not a fan of Lo-Fi, but the music generally fit the art style and topic. A little variety would be welcome to break the repetition.

Overall - 4/5   Difficulty - Very Easy/N/A

Completed - Playthrough (5 out of 5 endings)(1 hr)

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Wide Ocean Big Jacket has character, but unfortunately, that didn't draw me in enough to make up for the slow nature of the story and the lackluster controls and graphics.

Mechanics - 2/5 - Navigating the space felt painfully slow at times.

Visuals - 2.5/5 - Very average. Character design is nice, but the environment was a bit too simplistic for my tastes.

Sound - 2.5/5 - Didn't hate it, didn't love it. Generally pleasant, but nothing to write home about.

Story - 2/5 It didn't catch my attention. Humor was pretty miss most of the time, and the start was so slow it was difficult to stay engaged.

Overall - 2/5   Difficulty - N/A

Completed - No (~30 min)

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The artwork is just about the only redeeming thing about this game, if you can even call it that. Senseless dialogue crawls by that leads to a very unsatisfying finish.

Visuals - 5/5 - For what it's worth, this game is very pretty. The mostly rigid view has many subtle and beautiful changes that wow. The artist did well to play with the light as the game progresses, and it was a real treat to bask in it while I played.

Story - 1.5/5 - Unfortunately, the dialogue felt like a hodgepodge of words thrown together by a sixteen year old who at one moment is trying to use every inch of his vocabulary and the next reverting to slang. It somehow successfully manages to appear introspective while remaining largely uninspiring. Throwing in my most hated ending trope felt like the author laughing in my face for wasting my time getting to that point.

Mechanics - 3.5/5 - Fine.

Sound - 3/5 - It certainly fits the setting, which is why I decided to rate it above average. I enjoyed the rainstorm music the most, but it really takes a backseat to the dialogue, a mistake in my opinion.

Overall - 1.5/5   Difficulty - N/A

Completed - Playthrough (1 hr)