Esquire.

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4

Steam, Tracks, Trouble & Riddles

Mod review

It feels more like someone’s hobby project than anything else. It’s visually interesting but that’s pretty much where it ends; nothing feels like it’s introduced but rather dropped in front of you. The setting is introduced in a few images but it’s a bit vague and it doesn’t really connect to the gameplay in any way. You could just be riding around on carts in the present day and it wouldn’t be any different to this weird robot cold war thing.

The NPC is really bizarre. He’s modeled and animated really well but he never DOES anything. You could omit him entirely and I reckon it wouldn’t change much. In every scene, he appears, says one line of dialogue largely irrelevant to the scenario and then just stares blankly at you while you complete the puzzle. As soon as you finish it, he just says he’ll catch up and stands there after you’ve gone. I have no idea how he’s getting between the areas without doing the puzzles but I envy him for it.

The puzzles themselves are hit and miss. The main problem is that you figure out the solution in the first few seconds and then spend ages completing them. The train in the first level is painfully slow and the scene where you have to move the track along the water was so simple that it felt more like busy-work.

The only puzzle I couldn’t do was the one with the pipes. I must have spent about 20 minutes on it and I couldn’t do it. I confess, I had to skip past that one.

Lastly, what was up with that sequence where you had to run past all of the trains? It felt like they were desperate to inject some action into it but it was so laughably easy that there was no tension whatsoever; just standing in the doorways and waiting for the trains to trundle past so you could trot along behind them. It was kind of funny how they played rock music over it.

I really can’t recommend this. Everything feels so slow and awkward. Only play it if you’re a huge fan of either trains or waiting rooms.

10

Half-Life 2

Game review

The perfect game. Plus it has bald people AND robots. That's an unbeatable formula.

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