I don’t play lots of computer games. I especially don’t much play games requiring speed and hand/eye coordination, because I don’t have enough of either. So I tend to favor puzzle games, and I’ve played three of them lately.
One was Botanicula (Mac version), which came out in 2012, and which I probably bought in 2012 but for whatever reason didn’t really start playing until a few days ago. Okay, so I’m a little behind the times. I’ve enjoyed Amanita Design’s previous games, and I particularly liked Machinarium. There was one scene, maybe a couple, in Machinarium with arcade-like play. I got through it, though. Didn’t like that aspect, but I managed. As for the rest, I thought it was really charming and fun.
I was hoping to say the same about Botanicula. But the five main characters aren’t as engaging as Machinarium’s robot; the overall plot, such as it is, isn’t enough to hang all the puzzles on; and a lot of the puzzles are too much of the “click on random stuff and see what happens” and not enough of “figure out what to do and do it”. But what really killed it for me was, probably about two thirds of the way through, I hit two scenes, almost consecutive, which I simply could not do because they required more dexterity, speed, and precision than I could manage. After a while it became clear that if I ever could get through those scenes at all, it would only be via repeating them over and over and over and over and over again, and putting up with a whole lot of anxiety and frustration. That’s not the kind of game play I want in what’s supposed to be a means of relaxation. Once I realized that I quit the game, and I don’t think I’ll try playing it again.
Earlier on I played The Room II (Android version), a sequel to (wait for it) The Room, the game, not the movie. I liked the original a lot and the sequel didn’t disappoint. It’s not a perfect game; I’d prefer something with more of a plot, rather than just solving one puzzle after another until it’s over, and the puzzles could have used a little more diversity; after a while a lot of them seemed kind of the same. The Room II is neither extremely challenging nor long — I didn’t time myself but I don’t think I spent more than a couple of hours or so at it. On the plus side, it’s visually stunning. And at three bucks, well worth the price.