Wednesday, August 24, 2011

May's Mysteries: the Secret of Dragonville: unsolvable puzzle

I've come across a puzzle which I think is impossible to solve without a huge amount of luck and randomness. It's puzzle 48 in the main story, and I've had to skip it.

In the puzzle, you have to put the words of ice cream flavours into the grid. The flavours you have are BANANA, CHOCOLATE, CARAMEL, COCONUT, LEMON, MOCHA and PISTACHIO. Words are placed like in Boggle, moving only horizontally or vertically. Spaces can be used more than once for the same letter. The first letters of words are placed outside the grid, and then you have to fit the rest inside.

The grid looks like this:




For the words starting with letters other than C, you can at least start off with the first letter. For LEMON, you can see that the word has to continue along the bottom, since you can't have a word starting "CM". But after that I get stuck.




I've had a load of goes at solving this, and nothing. I've tried terminating the PISTACHIO on the MOCHA's O, but that hems in the whole of the right side of the board. The hints suggest concentrating on the words starting with letters other than C (gee, thanks), and then the second hints says that the positioning of CHOCOLATE is key. That really doesn't help.

So, any ideas, anyone?

Update!  Tom from Croatia (see comments) has solved it!  The solution can be found on my new blog.

Friday, August 19, 2011

May's Mysteries: the Secret of Dragonville: a crime against humanity

Some of the bonus puzzles are picross puzzles. Amazing!

Unfortunately, some of them could have multiple solutions and the only way you can solve them is by guessing. If you put a mark in the wrong box, you lose a 'life' - and you get five lives per puzzle. Guessing in picross games is evil, and it upsets me.

Other than that, the game continues to be charming and unnervingly similar to Layton. I've now found an underground tunnel under a grave, and Mayor Doyle didn't follow me down the rope. Was he kidnapped, or is he the bad guy after all? I suspect the latter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

May's Mysteries: the Secret of Dragonville: go here, here, here, here ...

The similarities to Layton are blatant, to be frank, including the static shots of the character when you pass or fail a puzzle. The music sounds similar, the dialogue is similar, the way that you're told to look for different things and search in certain places is very similar. The only difference is the quality of the puzzles and the fact that there's no annoying little sidekick piping up at inappropriate moments.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

May's Mysteries: the Secret of Dragonville: very laytonesque

I read a review that said that May's Mysteries was reminiscent of a Layton game. It's not just reminiscent, it's virtually identical, down to the art style, the idea of the fantasy world, the story and the interaction. Controlling May, you move between locations, tapping on characters to solve puzzles, build the story, and get points. The puzzles aren't quite the same as in Layton - there are a few limited types, including text-entry and rearrangement - but the feel is identical.

One thing that I can see being annoying is that I've got one puzzle wrong so far, and after failing it I wasn't given an option to retry it. This goes against my OCD tendancies somewhat.

But it's charming from what I've seen so far, and it's very likely that I'll see this through to completion.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Goldeneye 007: all over the place

I've not played a FPS on the Wii before, save for a few games of Red Steel on launch, so I found it pretty hard to adapt to the controls of this. To start with I was weaving all over the place, unable to aim or even get through a door. By the time I got to the end of the level, jumping off the dam, I was still finding aiming a bit tricky, but could at least walk down stairs without falling off the side to my death.

I was expecting a remake, but it's very different, with the levels being designed to be more complex. This is both a good and bad thing. Bad, because I was hoping to recognise everything. Good, because they're actually very well done indeed.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tiny Tower: not restarting

I may have been a little overkeen on my last post about Tiny Tower. There is no synchronisation between different devices as such, only the first time that you play. When I started it on my iPhone, it asked me if I wanted to resume my game; however, after that point my iPad and iPhone have led completely different tower lives. I'm not playing it on both, so I've deleted it from my iPad.

I'm now up to 21 floors, and have some really rubbish people in residence. I'm slowly evicting them and trying to get people with better skills in.

Friday, August 05, 2011

3D Classics Xevious: not an arcade machine

The 3D effects on Xevious are possibly the best I've seen on the 3DS, and they are game-changing in a way I've not experienced before. The two layers of game are separated to such an extent that you can focus only on one plane of action at a time, and you have to constantly move between the two to avoid bullets and enemy ships. It makes it a lot harder, having to watch for bullets int eh top plane while lining up bombs in the bottom - to the extent that I've not managed to complete the first level yet.

Its arcade origins cause some issues though. When you use a life, you're put back at the start of the stage you're at, but the enemies are as tough as the part you'd got to. So you can be put back at the start of the first stage, but suddenly the enemies are shooting at you rather than passively moving out of the way. As a result, if you lose a life it's actually better to quit and restart. Obviously, in the arcase this is designed to make sure that you only stay on for a limited time, but here it just feels annoying.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Tiny Tower: you can't please all the people ...

... any of the time, it seems. Tiny Tower is a sim game, where you build extra floors, juggling between residential and commercial types, so as to maximise returns from all the shops who employ the bitizens who live in the tower.

Each bitizen has an ideal job. None of my bitizens have an ideal job which matches to the business types I have in my tower. They are all moderately happy - I'm doing my best to make sure they're doing something they're good at, after all - but I do wonder why they're moving in to a tower where they can never be completely happy.

I like the way it sychronises my game between my iPad and iPhone. It means it gets played a lot more.