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 Jul 29, 2008 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
* Alas, poor puzzle

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Brainy Gamer posits the demise of puzzles in gaming:

Combat has replaced puzzles as the progress-impeding mechanic du jour for modern gamers, and fast-paced action, quick reflexes, and gamepad dexterity are the premium skills. To be sure, games like SOCOM and Call of Duty also require strategic thinking, and online multiplayer often requires fine tactical thinking and cooperation. But puzzles - the kind you study for awhile, scratch your head about, and maybe even mull over in your sleep - have largely disappeared from narrative games.

And maybe this is a good thing. Seen from a strictly realistic perspective, it's a lot easier to justify Solid Snake's motivation to sneak through a gauntlet of armed guards than Manny Calavera's motivation to get the balloon man to make him a Robert Frost balloon, which he will later need to combine with the loaf of bread, which he must take to the roof to scare away the pigeons. Which gives him the eggs he needs to ... okay, it's complicated.

But, at least to this game geezer, it's also a lot of fun. Fun, that is, if you're willing to let the game tell you in its subtle ways what needs to be done.
As a gaming geezer (from the days of yore)... I miss good puzzles. Time to go replay Space Quest.

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