I love puzzles, not the 1000 piece landscape ones everyone’s tried to assemble at least once in their lives. No, those drive me insane. The ones I mean are the gaming puzzles, riddles and brain-teasing challenges. Some need items and for others you just need to use whatever brain cells you have left after binging on Dragon Age Inquisition for eight hours a day.
Puzzles are at the core of Adventure gameplay, they offer challenges for you to overcome with brains rather than brawn. For Action Adventures, they offer a break from the hacky-slashy-stabby-shooty element of title.
Over the past few months, I’ve been hard at work on designing my own puzzles for an in-development adventure game demo. I’ve gone through the classics: inventory, moon-logic, number sequence & math, cryptography and text-based and even old school riddles. For example, here’s one I posted on twitter a few weeks ago, just popped in my head and it was better than I expected:
Ominous when empty. Sad when full.
What is it? Only one person has solved it and in fact offered a different response that works well!
In this series, I’ll talk about some of my favourite puzzles in games, from the silly to the brain melting. But that’s not all, every other week, I’ll also give you one of my puzzles for you to solve, some of them are simple and others not so much. If you solve one first and you’d like to submit one of your own then I’ll feature them in a future issue. I’ve already given you one to get started, and now I’ll focus on this week’s puzzle. It’s from a really old, classic LucasArts adventure: Full Throttle.
At one point in the game, you need to get into The Vulture’s hideout, but it’s protected by a minefield. Getting through it is hilarious and it involves a remote-controlled car and a boxful of Powerblast-battery-powered bunnies to clear the way!
When I first played this game, I wondered what to do with the minefield, and I tried a single bunny, got an item in return but ten I was stumped, because as is the usual case for me, I hadn’t seen something in the environment, but once I did, it all clicked into place and I solved the puzzle and finished that sequence, laughing like a maniac while doing so. It’s funny, on hindsight maybe not that funny, but it just caught me by surprise, especially because the music shifts to Flight of the Valkyries!
It’s another example of how creative the people at LucasArts were/are at creating puzzles. Sure, it’s on the edge of being moon-logic, but there’s enough sense in it that it doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Below you’ll see the end of the puzzle. I want you to have a giggle but not ruin the entire thing for you!
Do you have any favourite puzzle or memory from Full Throttle or any other adventure game? Let me know in the comments!