Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strawberry Tomato Escape

I've recently played three new escape games that I discovered over at I am Bored.com: Strawberry Tomato Escape, Escape the Bathroom and Escape the Phone Booth. I found Escape the Phone Booth to be a little too easy, I liked Escape the Bathroom but I did not enjoy Strawberry Tomato Escape... so let's start with that one.

The Strawberry Tomato Escape game is not logical (and it takes a heck of a long time to load). To solve it requires a lot of trial and error, pixel hunting and illogical leaps... or a walkthrough. I will try to give some hints here, but no one will think any less of you if you opt for the walkthrough on this one. Here are some hints that sometimes border on walkthrough, but I'm not quite sure how else to help out with the trickier bits:

1. To combine or examine objects, double click on them in your inventory and they will come up in the main screen and you can work with them there.

2. There are five pictures with a shape and a number each. You will use these twice (the numbers will change between uses). To determine the order in which to enter them, you need to find some sunglasses and some surface to look at with those sunglasses. Once you've unlocked it, you will need to slide something out of the way to access what you need next.

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3. You will need to find an outlet, an outlet adaptor and a fan. The outlet adapter needs to be reoriented to fit the outlet.

4. To get the stick in the mouse hole behind the vase, some extra clicking might be in order. This wooden stick can help open doors (sometimes much clicking is in order for that, too), fetching hard to reach objects, as well as doing other stuff (that reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark).

5. When you find a switch that you need to hold both sides at once... don't worry, you'll get something to help you with that later.

6. You'll need to find two letters that act as coordinates on a blueprint. These letters will be revealed when you combine a series of actions that result in certain objects being placed in certain places. One of the objects will give you a false letter in one of its locations, so you need to figure out where else it might go. (But when it's at the location where it gives a false letter, check out what it's pointing at.)

7. You will need to find three stones. The first one is pretty simple. The second one requires some pixel hunting in another room. The third one will be revealed when you use the numbers and symbols for the second time.

8. There are some areas of floor that you can zoom in on or chairs that you can move. There are reasons for these. After you've been in the other room, check those spots again to see if anything has changed. Combining this change with a couple of objects will lead you to be able to see into the fireplace. But collect the objects again after you've used them in this way.

9. There is another spot on the floor that you can access after you've used the numbers and symbols the first time. You will need what you find there to complete the second round of numbers and symbols.

10. Now you should have everything you need to activate the little "grow" scenario in the other room. Look in, step back, look in again. There are several stages that it needs to go through. At one stage, you'll end up with a branch. Is it kind of sticky? Maybe that could attract something if you rub in on something near an open window. You'll need to wander around a bit to give that something time to arrive.

11. Remember that switch that required you to hold both sides at once? Maybe your newfound item will help with that. But what did it open?

12. Now just kick back, check out the view, with the fan blowing on your face as you eat your gooseberry jelly. Your "grow" scenario needs this time to reach another level. Now go check how it's growing. And once again, step back a couple of times and then look in again. And now you've got everything you need.

And if you're curious, here are the Inventory Items:

Gooseberry jelly
Nut/key
Electric fan
Model house
Wooden stick
Statue
Outlet adapter
Boabab tree
T-shirt
Black stone
Grey stone
Red stone
Spoon
Sunglasses
Stag beetle
Branch

Check back for comments on the other two games in the next couple of days.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Phantom Mansion: The Red Chamber

For anyone who is familiar with Chip's Challenge, this new game called The Phantom Mansion will feel somewhat familiar. It's a walk around adventure game where you have to solve puzzles by pushing around boxes and avoiding monsters while collecting keys and other objects. There are plenty of levels, which is kind of a nice change from those games that seem to be over just as you're getting into them.

I found most of the levels fairly straightforward, although I did need to reload some of them for a few attempts. But the last level was a bit of a bugger. If you try to solve the problem of the switches for the gates in the wrong way, it will look like the level is glitching... you'll be able to walk through the gates but not push a box through them. But it's not a glitch, it's just a way to make sure that you don't take any shortcuts here. You need to find the correct way to solve this level. And you don't have enough boxes to put two of them on the switches for each gate, but the zombie will push it off if you only use one box. At first I thought I would try to trap the zombie in between the wall and one of the switches but I think that approach is impossible (though I would be very curious to hear from anyone who actually managed to solve it that way). So here's the trick: you need to race that zombie. Use two boxes on the far switch and just one box on the near one and then make sure you get what you need before that zombie comes back and pushes the box off that switch again.

If anyone needs any help with any other levels, feel free to post a comment and I'll post a hint in reply.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Grow Island

If you like the "Grow" style of games, then here's a new one for you: Grow Island. If you're not sure what a grow game is, it's simply a game where you select items in a particular order and watch how things grow. There is one correct order that will complete all of the levels of the game. In this particular version, there are a total of eight items to select, each representing a type of job or branch of knowledge:

Battery (Electrical Engineering)
Computer Chip (Computer Science)
Pick Axe (Civil Engineering)
Beaker (Applied Chemistry)
Steering Wheel (Aeronautics, Marine and Automotive Engineering)
Logs (Architecture)
Smokestack (Environmental Engineering)
Brass Bolt (Mechanical Engineering)

I didn't manage to get this one completely on my own. I got expert levels in all of the categories except Civil Engineering. There was only one difference between my order and the successful order, but with the successful order came the appearance of a picnic table in time for the little guy to do one further task with the pick axe. There are walkthroughs available for this grow game, but I've included some hints below in case you are having problems but don't want the solution handed to you.

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Levels required for each item:

Battery:
1. place battery,
2. grow larger and replicate,
3. turn into electrical tower;

Computer chip:
1. place computer,
2. increase to three servers;

Pick axe:
1. create road,
2. stream,
3. stairs,
4. bridge;

Beaker:
1. place beaker,
2. mix three ingredients to make rainbow liquid and fill reactor;

Steering wheel:
1. place steering wheel,
2. car,
3. boat (fetches yellow potion),
4. rocket (fetches blue potion);

Logs:
1. place logs,
2. build house and woman appears,
3. man falls in love with woman and house grows,
4. house grows more,
5. house grows even more;

Smokestack:
1. place incinerator,
2. burn garbage;

Brass bolt:
1. place bolt,
2. bolt grows,
3. bolt becomes road paver,
4. paver becomes machine to make harbour,
5. machine changes to be able to tunnel through the hill,
6. machine becomes flying craft that lays track through the tunnel for a train (fetches red potion),
7. flying craft morphs into reactor.

There is also an alternate ending that you should definitely check out. You can find the sequence for it in comment 7 of this Grow Island post. And there's a walkthrough for the proper ending of this game in comment 1 of that same post.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Factory Balls

Check out this new game called Factory Balls. It combines balls, paint, physics and puzzles into a fun little game. You might waste a few balls your first time through, but it's not that hard at all once you get the hang of it. I wish there were more levels since the 14 levels seem to go pretty quickly, but as far as I can tell it's pretty original which makes for a nice change. I haven't posted any hints for it, but if you want some just leave a comment and tell me what level you're stuck on. Enjoy!

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