Charming

cover (25)

Spoilers ahead.

What a mess. You’ve totally broken everything in the magic practice room. Now you need to fix it and learn the spells so you can pass your witches coming of age test.

A difficult puzzly parser game, I got very very stuck, and went to the walkthru quickly. I had various different potions, bottles and labels. I had no idea which goes in which. I spent a long long time consulting various books about various things, but I still can’t find the information that allows me to relate the shape of the bottle, the color of the potion and the shape of the label.

Up front, this game provides us with a set of books which we can consult. There’s a lot of stuff here. In order to learn spells, I’ve got to read about them. It would have been nice had this information been slowly released through the game rather than a huge text dump up front.

Now I’m entirely stuck. I’ve done some stuff. Even with the walkthrough, I don’t know how to proceed.

I’m worried it’s just me. In desperation I turn to other reviews of this game, which I don’t usually do until I’ve played and reviewed a game. One reviewer really enjoyed it, implying they managed to do it all. Eek – maybe it is me. Another reviewer seems to have had the problems I had and be stuck at a similar point. Maybe it isn’t. The intfiction site was no help. So I’m stuck. Look through clock, as per the walkthrough, just shows a closed alcove and I don’t know how to open it and the way of opening it isn’t in the walkthrough. Should I be looking through the telescope?

There are some great things here. The implementation feels very solid. The list of spells is long, and using them on most things provides a reasoned response by the game. The writing is light and funny – I didn’t notice many issues. (n.b if the author reads this, you really should be able to ‘x alcove’)

The puzzles are problematic I think – it does feel like they are unfair. However, maybe I’m missing something. But I shouldn’t be. A game should prompt me – lead me. It’s frustrating that I’m stuck.

2 hours is up. I wish I had seen more of this game. 6/10

 

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