Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Escape the Bathroom

Escape the Bathroom is a pretty standard escape game but a well designed one. (Don't be scared off by the Japanese writing; you can absolutely solve this game without knowing any Japanese... it'll just keep you from being able to read the note at the end.)

As you check out the room, you’ll notice some shapes scattered about. Compare them with the number pad by the door and you’ll see that assigning numbers to those shapes is the key to the game (pun partially intended).

You need to find soap, three toothbrushes, toothpaste, a hot water tap, a photograph (there are actually two pics in the room, but you’ll only need one of them), a dentist’s mirror, a light bulb and a razor.

The soap and hot water tap are out in the open but the tap is stuck in the shower drain and you need to figure out how to get it unstuck, maybe by using something slippery. (Hint: the cold water tap works just fine.)

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Once you’ve got the hot water tap, put it where it’s supposed to be. Now it's ready to be used. Use it. Give it a little time and then see if anything’s changed in the room. You should now have the information you need to open the medicine cabinet. Or at least the clue to what colourful information you need. (And once the cabinet is open, don’t get so distracted by the puzzle that you forget to check everywhere for objects.) Hey, did you notice that the bottom of the toothpaste tube looks like it might make a handy tool. Did you notice anything in the room that might need a tool?

Those are my hints for the parts of the game that I had to think a little harder about. If you need more clues or want a full walkthrough, head over to Free Games News.

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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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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Miss Management

I've discovered that time management games aren't just restricted to restaurant type games. So allow me to highly recommend Miss Management. You can get the free trial download from Gamelab, Big Fish Games, Yahoo Games, iWin and Fenomen Games but this one is definitely worth purchasing.

I played all the way through the first time, not worrying about completing the tasks in the assigned number of days. Then I went back to achieve the extra stars. I didn't have any difficulty until Episode 15. Sometimes if I could just know what tasks were going to be unlocked or just plan my first day, that would be enough. Although, in general it's a good rule of thumb to try to plan to accomplish all of the required tasks in the first 1/2 or 2/3 of the time allowed.

I've listed the number of days that you have to complete each episode to get all the stars and I've included some information and hints to help you if you get stuck on some of the episodes that I found challenging at times. If anyone wants hints on another episode or more hints on a listed episode, just leave a comment.

Season 1
Episode 1 (2 days): Tutorial (You can't skip the dialogue for this level otherwise you won't be able to access more than one star. You can skip the dialogue for all the other levels, but I would recommend watching the scenes the first time you play because it does help remember the quirks about each personality.)

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Episode 2 (2 days)
Episode 3 (2 days)
Episode 4 (2 days)
Episode 5 (2 days)
Episode 6 (3 days)


Season 2
Episode 7 (4 days)
Episode 8 (4 days)
Episode 9 (4 days)
Episode 10 (4 days)
Episode 11 (5 days)
Episode 12 (5 days)


Season 3
Episode 13 (5 days)
Episode 14 (5 days)

Episode 15 (4 days)
:
* Finishing Pearl & Winston doing no tasks unlocks Winston's arcade
* Finishing Luke & Ashley doing no tasks unlocks Luke's bathroom visits
* Finishing Pearl's smoking unlocks Pearl talking to Ashley at the w/c

Day 1
* Luke & Ashley do no tasks
* Start Duncan at the arcade
* Start Ashley's bathroom visits

Day 2
* Pearl & Winston do no tasks
* Finish Duncan at the arcade
* Start Luke's bathroom visits (unlocked by Luke & Ashley doing no tasks)

Episode 16 (4 days)

Episode 17 (4 days)
:
* No one stressing out unlocks Pearl talking to Denise at water cooler
* Finishing Ashley's 10 tasks unlocks Duncan's 20 tasks

Day 1
* No one stress out
* Start & Finish Mahavir talking to Ashley

Day 2
* Start & Finish Ashley's 10 tasks (upgrade her skills with manuals)

Episode 18 (4 days):
* No one stressing out unlocks Luke listening to the radio
* Finishing Pearl's smoking unlocks Ashley's tasks
* Finishing Mahavir's nap unlocks Ashley complaining to Pearl
* Finishing Pearl's tasks unlocks Luke's tasks

Day 1
* No one stress out
* Mahavir's nap
* Start Pearl's tasks (as many as possible using coffee & diet soda)

Day 2
* Finish Pearl's tasks (manuals to upgrade Luke while she's finishing)
* Start Luke's tasks (unlocked by finishing Pearl's tasks)
* Start & Finish Luke playing the radio
* Start Pearl's smoking

Day 3
* Finish Pearl's smoking
* Start Ashley's tasks (unlocked by finishing Pearl's smoking)
* Start Ashley complaining to Pearl
* (stock up on manuals and coffee to upgrade Ashley when Day 4 starts)

Season 4

Episode 19 (4 days):
* Finishing Luke's tea unlocks Pearl's smoking
* Finishing Luke's manuals unlocks Luke's bathroom visits
* Finishing Ashley's manuals unlocks Ashley's bathroom visits
* Finish Nadine talking to Pearl at w/c unlocks Winston's arcade & his manuals

Episode 20 (4 days):
* Finishing Mahavir's tasks unlocks Mahavir's nap
* Finishing Ashley's tasks unlocks Ashley's bathroom visits
* Finishing Luke's tasks unlocks Ashley talking to Nadine at w/c
* Finishing Nadine's air conditioning unlocks Nadine's smoking

Note: it may be tempting to upgrade each person's skills with manuals for this cross-training episode, but in my experience that seems to limit the number of tasks you get for the area that's been upgraded. Your time and money is better spent on donut bribes to keep everyone calm.

Day 1
* Start Luke's tasks
* Start Ashley's tasks
* Start Nadine's air conditioning (turn off if Luke or Ashley working)

Day 2
* Continue Luke's tasks
* Continue Ashley's tasks
* Continue Nadine's a/c
* Start & Finish Mahavir's tasks

Day 3
* Finish Luke's tasks
* Finish Ashley's tasks
* Start & Finish Mahavir's nap
* Finish Nadine's air conditioning
* Start Ashley's bathroom visits (unlocked by finishing Ashley's tasks)
* Start Nadine's smoking (unlocked by finishing Nadine's a/c)

Episode 21 (4 days):
* No snacks or drinks for one day unlocks Mahavir's tasks
* Finishing Luke's tasks unlocks Nadine's smoking
* Finishing Mahavir talking to Nadine at w/c unlocks Ashley's tasks
* Finishing Luke's infusion at w/c unlocks Pearl's smoking

Day 1
* No snacks or drinks (unlocks Mahavir's tasks)
* Start Luke's tasks (upgrade tech skills with manual? try to do half)
* Start Mahavir talking to Nadine at water cooler

Day 2
* Finish Luke's tasks (unlocks Nadine's smoking)
* Finish flirting (unlocks Ashley's tasks)
* Start Mahavir's tasks
* Start Nadine's smoking

Day 3
* Start & Finish Luke's infusion (unlocks Pearl's smoking)
* Finish Mahavir's tasks (buy all 4 manuals, coffee & diet soda)
* Finish Nadine's smoking
* Start Pearl's smoking

Day 4
* Start & Finish Ashley's tasks
* Finish Pearl's smoking

Episode 22 (4 days):
* Finishing Pearl talking to Luke at w/c unlocks Luke's bathroom visits
* Finishing Luke's tasks unlocks both Ashley's bathroom visits and Nadine wanting Luke to stress out and leave
* Finishing Luke at water cooler unlocks Nadine's air conditioning
* Finishing Luke's treats unlocks Mahavir's nap

Episode 23 (5 days):
* No food or drink unlocks Winston's arcade play
* No arcade or naps unlocks Ashley talking to Nadine at water cooler
* Finishing Winston's tasks unlocks Ashely talking to Pearl at w/c
* Mahavir's naps unlocks Mahavir's treats

Day 1
* Ashley talking to Denise at water cooler
* No food or drink
* No arcade or naps

Episode 24 (5 days):
* No stress for a day unlocks Nadine's air conditioning
* Finishing Pearl's tasks unlocks Nadine's smoking
* Finishing Mahavir's nap unlocks both Ashley's tasks and Winston's tasks
* Finishing Pearl's smoking unlocks Winston's arcade play

Day 1
* No stress
* Start Pearl's tasks (buy writing manual)
* Start Mahavir's napping

Season 5

Level 25 (4 days):
* Brooke doing more work than anyone else for the day unlocks Brooke's 30 tasks
* Winston doing all tech work for one day unlocks Winston wanting a/c & music
* Finishing Winston's arcade play unlocks Mahavir talking to Ashley at w/c
* Finishing Denise talking to Nadine at w/c unlocks Brooke's cardio

Day 1
* Brooke does more work than anyone else (but no tech, use choco-coffee & diet soda whenever she works)
* Winston does all the tech work
* Start Nadine at water cooler
* Start Winston at arcade

Episode 26 (5 days):
* Finishing Brooke's tasks unlocks Mahavir's nap
* Finishing Denise talking to Winston at w/c unlocks Nadine doing all financial and writing tasks for one day
* Finishing Mahavir talking to Brooke at w/c unlocks Mahavir's writing tasks
* Finishing Brooke's cardio unlocks Winston's arcade

Day 1
* Start Mahavir talking to Brooke at water cooler
* Start Brooke 40 tasks (using coffee for Brooke & diet pop for Denise)
* Start Denise talking to Winston at water cooler
* Start Brooke's cardio

Day 2
* continue

Day 3
* continue

Day 4
* finish Mahavir's writing tasks

Day 5
* Nadine does all writing & financial tasks on day 5

Episode 27 (6 days):
* Finishing Brooke's cardio unlocks Mahavir's nap (must be completed in single day)
* Finishing Ashley talking to Denise at w/c unlocks Winston wanting a/c & music (nobody can stress out… keep lots of cinnamon buns on hand!)
* Finishing Ashley talking to Nadine at w/c unlocks Ashley talking to Winston at w/c
* Finishing Nadine on the treadmill unlocks Ashley talking to Mahavir at w/c

Day 1
* Start Ashley talking to Nadine at water cooler
* Start Brooke's cardio
* Start Ashley talking to Denise at water cooler

Day 2
* Finish Ashley talking to Nadine (unlocks Ashley talking to Winston)

Day 3
* Finish Brooke's cardio (unlocks Mahavir's nap)
* Finish Ashley talking to Denise (unlocks Winston a/c & music)
* Start Nadine on the treadmill

Day 4
* Start & Finish Mahavir's nap

Day 5
* Start & Finish Winston's a/c & music (nobody stress out!)

Day 6
* Finish Ashley talking to everybody

Episode 28 (6 days):
* Brooke doing all the work one day unlocks Brooke's 50 tasks
* Winston doing all the tech tasks one day unlocks Nadine's 40 tasks
* Nadine doing all the financial tasks one day unlocks Brooke's cardio
* Finishing Mahavir talking to Denise at water cooler unlocks Mahavir's nap

Day 1
* Start & Finish Mahavir talking to Denise at water cooler (put Brooke on the treadmill when you're talking to him)
* Start & Finish Brooke doing all the work (use choco-cafficino and diet soda as needed, don't worry about who stresses out… just let them)

Day 2
* Start & Finish Winston doing all the tech tasks today (use treats as needed so nobody stresses out)
* Start Brooke's 50 tasks (leave Nadine by the water cooler so she doesn't stress out)

Day 3
* Start & Finish Nadine doing all the financial tasks today, included in Nadine's 40 tasks unlocked by Winston (use treats as needed so nobody stresses out)
* Continue Brooke's 50 tasks
* All required goals should be finished by the end of the day

Day 4
* Continue

Day 5
* Continue

Day 6
* Start & Finish Mahavir's nap (doesn't matter who stresses out)
* Finish Brooke's cardio

Episode 29 (6 days):
* Finishing Timothy's radio playing unlocks Nadine's a/c
* Finishing Brooke's cardio unlocks Winston's arcade
* Finishing Timothy's art tasks unlocks Timothy talking to Winston at w/c
* Finishing Nadine talking to Denise at w/c unlocks Brooke's 40 tasks

Day 1
* Earn enough to buy art books & coffee for Timothy ($22)
* Start & Finish Timothy's radio (don't worry if Nadine stresses out)
* Start Brooke's cardio

Day 2
* Continue

Day 3
* Start & Finish Timothy talking to Winston at water cooler (unlocked by Timothy's art tasks)
* Start & Finish Nadine's air conditioning

Day 4
* Start Nadine talking to Denise at water cooler

Day 5
* Start Brooke's 40 tasks (unlocked by Nadine finishing talking to Denise)

Episode 30 (8 days):
* Finishing Brooke's yoga on couch unlocks Nadine talking to Brooke at water cooler
* Finishing Winston talking to Denise at w/c unlocks Brooke standing alone at w/c
* Finishing Brooke's fast unlocks Mahavir's nap
* Finishing Winston finishing a/c & music without stress unlocks Winston's arcade

Day 1
* Start & Finish Brooke's fast (have Brooke do nothing, everyone else does nothing but work)

Day 2
* Start & Finish Winston's air conditioning & music with no one stressing (lots of cinnabuns at other treats)

Day 3
* Start & Finish Mahavir's nap (don't worry about Nadine stressing out)

Day 4
* Start Brooke's yoga on couch
* Start Winston talking to Denise at water cooler
(How I did this one: Brooke on couch while Denise talking with Winston at water cooler. Wait until Nadine is getting ready to blow then send everyone back to their desk while you go to the store and stock up on caffeine and treats then do a sprint to get tasks finished, then Brooke back to couch and Winston & Denise back to w/c. Having said that, if you'd rather let either Nadine or Mahavir stress out and leave, that won't stop you from completing the goals.)

Day 5
* Continue

Day 6
* Continue

Day 7
* Start Brooke standing alone at water cooler (unlocked by Winston talking to Denise)
* Alternate with Nadine talking to Brooke at water cooler
* Start & Finish Winston's arcade marathon (unlocked by Winston's a/c & music)

Day 8
* Finish Brooke standing alone at water cooler
* Finish Nadine talking to Brooke at water cooler

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Restaurant Games

I've just discovered that there's a third game in the Diner Dash series, called Diner Dash: Flo on the Go. It has a new storyline, new locations, some new customer types and a few new challenges, including serving by flashlight and having to match all of the colours of the characters to the coloured seats. I definitely enjoyed those additions.

As far as bonuses go, even though this one has some "renovation" upgrades, I prefer those upgrades in the second Diner Dash… where you could have a choice of three possible upgrades for each restaurant item, rather than just choosing which item to upgrade but having no choice in what that upgrade would be.

The other bonuses in this one are new clothes for Flo, which isn't really my idea of fun but I can see that it might appeal to people who enjoy the online dress-up games (which I don't). There are also secret levels that you can unlock if you score expert on all the levels on a particular leg of the journey. I liked that idea and some of the secret levels presented interesting new challenges, but not all of them. A bit of a wasted opportunity, I think.

Overall, I think was fun… as were both Diner Dash 1 & Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue. But Restaurant Rescue remains my favourite.

If you're planning on playing the free downloadable version, I recommend heading over to Big Fish instead. Their free versions offer one hour of game play, as opposed to the 1/2 hour offered by the game creators.

General Diner Dash Hints:

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1. Chaining Bonuses — Think time and motion study efficiency stuff... do the same thing 2, 3 or 4 or more times in a row (and save a restaurant full of dirty tables to the very end).

2. Color Matching — As in, seat a red person in a red chair and watch the points roll in.

3. Podium — Once you've got a podium, only seat four tables at a time and wait at the podium after you've served their food (even if they're asking for crab sticks or samosas). And make sure you wait until the heart finishes growing and everybody in line does the wave of happiness before you do anything else.

4. Customers — Sometimes you just have to seat obnoxious customers next to customers that they will annoy. Just keep the annoyed customers happy with lots of drinks.

5. Expert Levels — Occasionally you will come across some levels which are really hard to attain "expert" on. Especially the second Diner Dash which has a few glitches and expects you to reach a higher point value than they actually asked for (at least in the version that I have). But aside from the glitches, the best way to achieve those tricky expert levels is to get as many long chaining bonuses as possible and keep everyone as happy as possible. Especially if there is dessert involved... don't let the customers get more than one heart down if you're hoping that they'll be asking for dessert.

A few other restaurant games:

The Waitress (Highly addictive! Unfortunately, the game designer's website is no longer active, so you'll have to play it through another game site and deal with the annoying ads. I haven't played this version, but hopefully it's free of the glitches that plagued the I am Bored.com version.)
Delicious (This link is for the free trial version for 60 minutes... but I managed to play it for several hours. Just don't quit the game and it seems to keep working.)
SpongeBob SquarePants: Diner Dash
SpongeBob SqaurePants: Flip or Flop
Cake Mania
Taco Joe

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Mystery of Time and Space (MOTAS)

Originally posted 7.05.2005 on Limes with Orange.

Here's a fun online adventure game for you: The Mystery Of Time And Space (M.O.T.A.S.)

If you liked the Crimson Room, you'll like this game even more!

Hints:

1. The security panel on Level 5 can be decoded through trial and error, but if you want a shortcut go here;

2. Level 7 is a little tedious because you have to go back and forth so much. A couple of hints... Take note of the colour chart on the wall; you'll need it soon. And to write a letter after you've found paper and pen, return to the room with the letter from the security guy so that you can trace his handwriting;

3. On Level 8, the clock weights are to be used in a room that is hidden at the start of the level;

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4. When using the computer on Level 9, after you've entered the first command you'll be shown a couple of different pictures and 4 or 5 letters total (this may change from game to game). Make a word out of the letters you saw and enter it to open up the next door;

5. I hated the green wall on level 12. If you want to take the easy way out, go here for step-by-step instructions. And if you reach the last door but don't have the key, go back to the room where you found the hidden numbers on the wall and check the overhead light (that's not the door key, but it will help you get the door key);

6. On level 13, read the plaques at the bottom of the paintings for a clue to the colour machine on the main floor (the colours change direction from game to game, so take note of what they are for your game). And when you program that machine, make sure it's rectangular before you pull the handle.

There's a whole forum at Nordinho.net devoted to walkthroughs and hints for all the various levels of M.O.T.A.S.

And there are no shortage of walkthroughs on the internet:

Text Walkthrough, 1-12
Walkthrough with Pictures, 1-12
Another Walkthrough with Pictures, 1-12
Text Walkthrough 1-19
Another Text Walkthrough, 1-19.

For a preview of Level 14, go here (the password is "taters").

Addendum: Levels 14-19 are now online. I haven't had a chance to play them yet, but there are hints and walkthroughs over at Nordino.net.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mazito 2 Solved

Originally posted 5.27.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I finally solved Mazito 2 (not in time to be in the top 10, though a couple of people that I cooperated with made it: drgnmstrshake & rubixglued... congrats you two). I've updated my text map, but I've taken some liberties with it, as I didn't want to show room 99 or the fork for the final path. Wouldn't want to make it too easy!

The only hint I'll post for the moment is a quote from Mr. Logic himself (used in one of the rooms of the puzzle): "Keep an open mind and question everything, especially the self-evident."

Addendum to Original Post:

Hints

1. At least one "File Not Found" and/or "Dead End" page is lying.

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2. Many questions have more than one answer. Some of them are pseudonyms, some are the result of hidden numbers, some are just plain wrong (based on very common mistakes).

3. For anything that requires rearranging words or starts off with "I am a ten letter word...", oneacross.com is your friend. (Use the anagram feature for the first type, the crossword feature for the second.)

4. Most of the codes are simple substitution ciphers, but one room requires you to shift your code by one letter for each word and another requires you to shift up for one letter and down for the next. (Those pages have hints to that effect.)

5. Manipulating images in Photoshop can be very helpful, whether it's adjusting the hue of a red mess, adjusting brightness and contrast in a calculator screen or using the magic wand tool (tolerance=0).

6. The url info at the bottom of every page may seem redundant and repetitive, but ignore it at your peril.

7. Oh yeah, that weird puppet with the dog's head and flippers, etc... his name is Flub-A-Dub.

8. And the final branch is somewhere between rooms 88 and 198 (see my text map).

And some potentially helpful links:

Chemistry - The Periodic Table
Google (and Google Images)
Introduction to Cryptography
One Across - Crossword Puzzle Help
Prime Pages (prime numbers)
Quotations Page
Wacky Wordies
Wikipedia List of Occupations

And if you need more specific help, you can always check out:
Nordinho.net Forums - Mazito 2 or I Am Bored.com.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Loose the Moose

Another fun escape the room game: Loose the Moose. Some parts are fairly intuitive, some parts I definitely needed help with. A few hints:

1. Apparently moose antlers are flexible. And apparently stuffed moose heads can open their eyes and mouths. I wonder if there's anything in his mouth?

2. What an odd lock for a safe. Just a square with a bunch of buttons in a grid pattern. How very graphic and geometric. I think I noticed something else in the room that was a square with a very geometric graphic pattern. Hmmm...

2. The mouse is your friend. Friends like food. But sometimes some tough love is in order and friends shouldn't be allowed to go back home. Maybe you can play with him a bit, or even scare him a little bit... friends sometimes knock things over when they're scared. And since it's so much fun to play with your friend, maybe you want to repeat the experience.

For more help, there's a Loose the Moose thread over at Nordinho.net. And you can find a detailed walkthrough for this game at Casual Gameplay.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Shochu Bar

Another game for escape the room fans: The Shochu Bar. First of all, be warned... this game takes a very long time to load. And the intro is a little tedious, as is the tutorial, and the ending is kinda lame... but the game itself makes up fairly well for these issues. Now for starters, a little recipe that will come in handy:

Sweet Memory Cocktail

- ice
- 30mL Shochu white liquor
- 15mL lemon juice
- yogurt
- grenadine

Add ingredients to mixing glass, stir and pour into cocktail glass.

Now for some hints:

Read more...

Objects that you will need to find:

1. measuring cup
2. lemon squeezer
3. key (need to do something first)
4. flower (need to do something first)
5. mixing glass
6. Japanese white liquor (need to do something first)
7. yogurt
8. lemon
9. ice (need to find something first)
10. bar spoon (need to do something first)
11. bamboo
12. cocktail glass (need to find something first)
13. grenadine (need to find something first)

The bamboo will be very handy once you've done a few things to it (it's kind of dirty, isn't it?). Finding the key is kind of tricky; I'm not going to tell you what you need to do, but I will at least tell you that it's over in the area with the tables. And how the heck do you plan on reaching the cupboards that are up high? For more help, head over to The Shochu Bar thread at Nordinho.net.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

The Crimson Room

Originally posted 4.07.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I was playing The Crimson Room, a mystery/puzzle game on eBaum's World, but it was kind of frustrating because one of the clues points to a website that no longer exists.

So if you're trying to solve this game, the memo with the url "http://www.datacraft.co.jp/takagism/rr/history.html" is supposed to lead you to the number "1994".

The other puzzle piece that gave me a bit of grief was the thing that is supposed to fall out of the curtain. I must have clicked those damn curtains about 20 times before I got what I needed. There are walkthroughs out there, but I doubt you'll need them as long as you've got the "1994" info. (Though if you want one more hint: don't click the crosshairs until AFTER the movie finishes. I hope that's sufficiently cryptic.)

I also found the prequel and sequel at MilkandCookies.com: The Blue Chamber and The Viridian Room.

For hints on those two games Read more...

Hints for The Blue Chamber:
1. This room was the prequel and is pretty simple, there was only one point that I got stuck on... have you ever noticed that a skull and crossbones looks a little like the star (*) on your phone?

Hints for The Viridian Room (without giving too much away, I hope):
1. Once you fold back the blanket, click lots on the object underneath because one of the things you're trying to find doesn't show up until you click a few times;
2. You can't collect the blanket until you've found everything that you need underneath it;
3. If the trash can refuses to budge, make sure you examine every item in your possession then try again (and after you've examined items, click "try to escape" to get back to the game);
4. The dates in the diary might come in handy;
5. Don't give up after a few blank pages;
6. Apparently hair is for burning.

Enjoy!

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Escape the Library

Escape the Library is a fun and fairly simple escape the room game. The trick is to watch out for red herring objects, because once you've picked them up you're stuck with them and you might run out of inventory spots. (You can, however, put stuff back on the table if you've taken it off of the table in the first place.)

What you're actually looking for is a bunch of little tiles that you'll solve a puzzle with later. Although, as usual, there are other objects that you will need in order to find all the tiles. The trick is figuring out which ones will be useful and which are the red herrings.

I'll give you one hint and one link...
Hint: Some drinks really need straws for drinking.
Link: Quad Puzzle - This is a variation on a puzzle that you'll need to solve in the course of this game. Thought it might be good for practice.

If you want more help than that, check out the Escape the Library thread at Nordinho.net. If you want a walkthrough, there's one in the comments over at the Escape Library.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mazito 2: Text Map

Originally posted 5.23.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I seem to be getting a lot of hits from people looking for hints or answers to Mazito 2. Well, I'm working on the puzzle but haven't solved it yet. So far the routes I've taken are:

1-2-3-4-5-96-26-39-49-56-76

1-2-3-4-5-96-26-39-49-54-44-17-71-37-92-10 ---> so I have the first piece of paper

1-2-3-4-5-95-34-63-47-51-79-68

1-2-3-4-5-95-34-63-47-52-84-30-42-81-35-94-12 ---> which gives me the third piece of paper

1-2-3-4-5-91-27-57-41-69-187-89-98-31-74

1-2-3-4-5-91-27-57-41-69(url change)-73-11 ---> finally have the middle piece of paper

Read more...

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167-77-58-24

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86-25-74

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21-53

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19-1 (going in circles)

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178-77 (going in circles)

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-80-85-128-88-136-82-48-61-14-31

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-80-85-128-88-13-143-107-198

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-18-66-145-22-62-20-126

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-16-75-129-65-93-167(url change)-86(url change)-21(url change)-19(url change)-1a-2a-3a-4a-5a-178(url change)-8-"file not found"-60-132-70-15-164-172-83-25-74

paper jump ---> 101-138-146-159-50 (going in circles)

1-6-33-50-40-23

My instincts tell me that the path with the "file not found" is the right one, so I think I've gone astray somewhere between Room 60 and Room 31 on that route. I'll post hints when I'm finished (if I ever am). In the meantime, I recommend checking out the forums at Nordinho.net or I Am Bored.com.

P.S. If you're looking for my hints for the first Mazito, go here.


P.P.S. Here's the post that I wrote after I solved Mazito 2.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Mazito

Originally posted 5.05.2005 on Limes with Orange.

Came across another cool puzzle game called The Mazito. It's a url fabrication game like Not Pr0n with an interesting maze-like twist. A few general hints:

1. At least one "File Not Found" and/or "Dead End" page is lying.
2. Beware of hidden words or numbers.
3. Sometimes you need to look at things backwards, sideways or upside down.
4. Some questions have more than one answer.
5. Photoshop is very helpful for matching colours.
6. The url info at the bottom of every page may seem redundant and repetitive, but ignore it at your peril.
7. Some links that may or may not help with some of the puzzles:

Ascii Table
Chemistry - The Periodic Table
Freecell
Google
Introduction to Cryptography
Inventors Hall of Fame
Morse Code
Number Converter: Binary/Decimal/Hexadecimal
One Across - Crossword Puzzle Help
Quotations Page
Resistor Colour Code
USA Maps and Information Page
Wacky Wordies
Wikipedia List of Occupations
Wikipedia article on pianists

Read more...

And if you need more specific help, you can always check out this forum:
Nordinho.net Forums - The Mazito

Some other riddle type games that I've discovered while I should be doing other, more productive, things:

The New Quiz (pretty straightforward... temporarily offline)
The Stone (challenging, time consuming but satisfying... oh, and you need to set up a profile before you play)
Zest (more difficult than Mazito, less satisfying than The Stone, but pretty cool nonetheless)

P.S. For the overwhelming number of people who end up on this site after searching for "http://www.datacraft.co.jp/takagism/rr/history.html", you probably want to head over to my Crimson Room post which is soon to be bumped off the front page and into the blog archives. Ditto for those of you looking for hints for Arcane: The Miller Estate & The Stone Circle.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Les Aventures d'Oriel

Originally posted 7.30.2005 on Limes with Orange.

I've had lots of people looking for a walkthrough for Les Adventures d'Oriel, so here are my tips: part walkthrough, part detailed hints. If you want to figure it out on your own (which is definitely doable), I would advise against reading the following because it contains major spoilers. (If you're one of the many people stuck on the 4th level: 2408, it's probably a question of timing not that you don't know what you're supposed to do. I'm trying to figure out a consistent technique for getting the right timing there... if and when I do, I'll post it.)

Level 1, Before the Colonisation:

1. Past the bear, who needs to be distracted with something so that the bear doesn't eat Oriel. Is there something else he might want to eat instead?
2. Across the river, but there's no bridge there. Is there anything long enough to be a bridge? And how could you chop it down?
3. Up the hill, but that raincloud looks menacing. I wonder how you could stop that raindancer from summoning the rain? Is there anything that you could cover him up with?
4. From hilltop to hilltop, but again there's no bridge. Any chance that he could walk across something as insubstantial as a cloud of smoke?
5. To the island hilltop, but Oriel gets scared by the chief. Maybe the chief could be scared away by something stinky...
6. But that stinky something will also scare Oriel, so find something to cover him up with so that Oriel doesn't even see him.
7. Down to the dock, but he'll walk right off it into the water if there's no vessel waiting for him.

Read more...

Level 2, The Fondation:

1. Oriel will be arriving by ship, but there's a whale and an iceberg in the way. How could you get rid of them?
2. Off the boat: It's always a good idea to moor the boat and unload its boxes before you disembark.
3. Around the town square: When the priest rings the churchbell, snow falls off the roof. Make sure it doesn't fall on top of Oriel.
4. Oriel gets startled by the giggling girls if they're still outside. Try to find someone to call them into their house.
5. Oriel can also be startled by the obnoxious guy selling ham, so maybe it's time to close up shop.
6. Up to the rooftops, but they look kinda slippery. A ladder might come in handy.
7. Off the rooftops to the top of the cliff, but no bridge in sight. But is there something that could work as a bridge?

Level 3, 1908:

1. Along the rooftop, past the obnoxious birds. I hear that birds are sometimes distracted by the smell of baking pie. Anybody in any of the apartments that could help you out?
2. Off the rooftop onto the wall, but how to prevent him from falling? There's an awning/umbrella that might be helpful somehow.
3. From the wall to the street, but the turret (that leads to a staircase, I guess) is too low. I wonder if you can adjust the height?
4. Past the newsboy, who is bound to startle the oh-so-easily startled Oriel. Unless you click on him making him get all itchy, stop shouting and drop his paper. Hey, I wonder if anyone might be interested in reading that paper?
5. Past the door: Make sure it doesn't open at the wrong time. Maybe you can block it somehow.
6. Past the strongman, who could also startle Oriel unless he's otherwise occupied.
7. Past the dog, another potential source of startlement... unless you can find him a bone...

Level 4, 2408:

1. Past the bus stop, so get rid of all the people waiting there... maybe by giving them what they're waiting for.
2. Past the crazy electric dome, which needs to be disabled. I wonder if there's any way to short circuit it? What shorts out electrical stuff?
3. Over the pointy roof (which apparently can generate a psychedelic force field bridge... temporarily).
4. Up to the next level... this part's very tricky since timing is crucial. Once Oriel gets to the yellow tree, mouseover it to bounce him up to the next level.
5. Up another level: a crane might come in handy right about now.
6. Go for a ride: but if you're gonna fly a spaceship, you better make sure it's all charged up.
7. Watch out for vacuums that could suck you up. Maybe you can plug the opening with something.

If you're looking for similar games, check out my post about point-and-click games.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Spooks' Spy Academy

Originally posted 1.20.2005 on Limes with Orange

I've been getting some hits on my posts about the Spy Academy over at the BBC Spooks site, so I thought I'd give my comments and tips (along with my high scores) for the various missions:

Trace — 99%
I quite enjoy this mission. One tip to help speed things up... if you lock in the symbols on the reels on both sides of a particular reel, that middle reel will automatically lock the correct symbol into place when it comes around again. That way you can focus on other reels.

Descramble — 91%
The first part of this mission requires you to clean up the scrambled transmission. This part is fairly easy. First use the slider to alter the amplitude (height). (The manual suggests reducing the height of all of the waves to start with, but I don't find the other waves distracting so have found the time taken to reduce them is just a waste.) Then use the dials to adjust the frequency (width)... just be careful to use small motions with the mouse since you want to stop your adjustments as soon as the wave goes grey.

Next it's time to descramble the message. Since the message will always be the same, your score should improve with each attempt as you become familiar with the order of the words and phrases: "Okay and meet me and collect the package from a hundred and twenty six ***** at 6:30. Then drop it off across town at the agreed location. Don't mess this up. We don't want to attract any unnecessary attention. And make sure you're not followed."
***[Is he saying "Chilton" here? I never managed to figure out this particular part of the message.]***

Read more...

Firewall — 60%
My worst score on the GRID is for this mission and I'm not quite sure how to improve it. My technique: Before each round, I quickly check the Functions. First counting the number of Splitters (good) and Combiners (bad) on each side, then counting the little arrows that represent Breakers (bad), then checking Boosters and Reversers (which look the same, but have opposite effects depending on which side they're on) and the colour of any orphan nodes (that don't connect to either side). Then I pick the side that looks most promising. Once the round starts, I first send charges to convert the nodes that have no access to the other side and the ones with Boosters. Once those are converted, I wait to convert the other nodes until after the computer, as recommended in the manual (trying not to wait so long that I run out of time). I find that an average result for me is three nodes left unconverted. I consider two nodes pretty decent and one node really good. Only once did I manage to convert them all. Anybody have any ideas on how to improve my score?

[Addendum: I managed to increase my score ever so slightly to 63%. This was with leaving only 2 nodes unconverted on the first round, 1 in the second, converting all nodes in the third, then leaving only 2, 1, 3 and 2 nodes in the final four rounds respectively. So that averages to less than 2 nodes left unconverted per round. I think something is very wrong with the scoring system on this mission. Perhaps it's time to email the game designer and ask what the heck they were thinking.]

Car Tail — 80%
Another mission that I'm not very good at. I just happened to luck out with that 80% one time. Not quite sure how I managed that since I usually score closer to 65%, so I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice here.

[Addendum: I have since improved my score to 99%. The trick is to keep the tail pretty hot and actually get too close a couple of times, making the subject race away. Just make sure that you do it by plan and not accident, so that you have another car ready for the subject to race towards. My mistake before was trying to keep the indicator on or below the middle, when it should average more like 3/4 of the way to the top.]

Lock Pick — 99%
This mission is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I had problems with the appropriate amount of torque at first, but I settled into a routine of tapping the space bar on every other tap of the arrow keys (after holding it down for the first few taps to build up sufficient torque initially). The first level has four pins, each of which only needs to be tapped in two alternating directions (indicated by the arrows). The second level has five pins, still only two directions. The next level has six pins with three alternating directions. The last level has seven pins and uses all four directions. Practice makes perfect.

Surveillance — 99%
This one is pretty simple. Take note of the suspect shown in the video footage above "last visual contact." Pay particular attention to his hairline, clothing and backpack. Then watch the footage from the other cameras until you spot him. You can fast forward by dragging the scrolling playhead with the mouse, just be careful not to go so fast that you miss him. As soon as you see him, pause the video on a good shot of him (rewind if you need to). Then click the contact button to send the image to the field team.

Patch — 99%
This mission is my favourite. I think it reminds me a bit of Tetris in that you have to rearrange objects spatially... bringing order to chaos, as it were. The first couple of levels are very straightforward. Then you start to get interlocking circuit chains and new circuits being added as you're trying to re-route the original ones. The key at this point is to start with the chains that are already interlocking or running alongside each other. You may have to move several circuit chains to make room to complete one. Just try to figure out the fewest number of moves that will do the job. And don't forget that circuits can be aligned diagonally as well as horizontally. Oh yeah, and if you get ahead of the system and clear all the circuits on the board, don't send the charge (i.e. hit the CTRL key) until it tells you to "send charge"... more circuits may be on their way. And premature charging will fail and fry the system.

Garbology — 92%
I hate this mission. For one thing, it depends too much on what random objects you're given. But mostly, as far as I'm concerned, it requires too much fanciful speculation based on gross generalizations and not enough in the way of actual logical deductions. Basically, the narrower you can make the ranges, the better. (I assume that you can actually refine them too much but since the program doesn't provide that sort of feedback, I tend to ignore that possibility.) In general, unless there's anything to suggest the extreme ends of the spectrum, you can probably knock off things like very bad diet or obese, etc. Some ways that I narrow things down:
Gender: birth control pills, bra... female; wooly hat, work boot... male.
Age: birth control... under 40; wooly hat... under 25 (I know this sounds ridiculous, but it seems to work)
Language: there will usually be a newspaper that indicates this.
Education: pen, study notes, exam papers... increase; tabloid newspaper... decrease
Income: tube ticket, probable student... reduce income; airline tickets... increase income.
Diet: fruit, green tea... good; bacon, fried food, sweets... bad.
Health: medications, smoking... bad; gym membership... good. (And don't forget to factor a good or bad diet into health.)
Smoker: the obvious cigarette package & the less obvious box of matches.
Build: gym membership, good diet... smaller build.
Height: small shoe size... shorter; you can also make some assumptions based on gender here (i.e. chicks are shorter than guys).

Infiltration — 97%
If you're in story mode, once you complete your assignments you can go on an infiltration mission. The first part of the mission is a pretty intense session of patching. I recommend brushing up on your patch assignment before starting. The next section is creating a clean video loop (just watch out for the security guard... you don't want to catch him on tape or start playing your video loop when he's in the middle of your screen). The final section is a bit of lock picking. It's on par with the final level of the lock pick mission, so be prepared.

I'll add the training missions soon. Good luck & have fun!

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