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Zankozzie's Big Mistake


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ALCRITAS

 

Very Fun!

 

Zankozzie’s Big Mistake, the Second Short Contest winner designed by Ryan Phelps, is, in many respects, a natural heir to The Election, another scenario that fared well in recent competition. Like The Election, Mistake uses a pre-fabricated 1-PC party, seriously lacking in offensive capability — which doesn’t matter very much because, like The Election, there is practically no combat in the entire scenario. Most importantly, much like The Election, Mistake is an enormously enjoyable scenario, that is well worth playing.

 

The very bizarre plot places your PC in the bottom of a tower that, for some unknown reason, was developed upside down. Some misplaced magics have triggered a flash flood, and the tower is quickly flooding, level by level. Your goal is to climb the tower before you suffocate, which provides plenty of motivation.

 

Climbing each level requires completing various puzzles. The first couple of levels are pretty banal — for example, you’ll need to find a chair that isn’t bolted down — but after that things pick up steadily, culminating in a superb hurdle, requiring you to repair a conveyor belt in order to move a rather odd contraption (a gravel maker), in order to trigger an overload to blast your way to the top.

 

Mistake contains a win/finish distinction, but there’s not much difference between the paths, and winning is only marginally more difficult than finishing. Just explore fully, and you’ll find the winning path.

 

Two quick notes. First, the scenario includes a saved-game file. Due to the nature of BOE, however, in many cases this file won’t arrive uncorrupted. Don’t worry that much about this, however, as any 1-PC party will be able to experience the scenario just about as well. Additionally, don’t save your game on the conveyor belt level. If you reload your game on that level, you’ll most likely be trapped, as the conveyor belt starts disabled.

 

Mistake bills itself as a comedy, but that’s not really accurate. There is some humor, but the scenario is not consistently funny. What the scenario is, however, is consistently and thoroughly fun and enjoyable.

 

My score — Good

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TERROR'S MARTYR

 

Funny? Not at all. Interesting? Somewhat. A few of the puzzles were irritating (the mazes). Others were easilly bypassed on account of design errors (the mushroom for the ogre puzzle). None striked me as being particularilly genius, but fewer struck me as being utterly horrible. Either way, I was never enticed to play beyond the first five minutes. The graphics were good and served their purpose, but I didn't find winning to be that challenging. I was rarely pressed for time (I had time enough to search every bookshelf in the library level), and won by default because some puzzles drove me to search everything there was, resulting in my victory. I recommend you play, but don't force yourself to, because if you get past the first level and aren't interested, there won't be much else for you here. Average

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LAZARUS

 

Comedy? What comedy?

 

The least funny of the comedy scenarios I've played (And I don't like comedy scenarios much, so that's saying something.) I can honestly say I didn't laugh once in this scenario.

 

The plot is nonexistant, the writing is subpar, and it aint funny. That leaves us with-- the puzzles. Most of the 'puzzles' involve poking around through secret passages and gathering items (Often hidden in secret passages.) I can only think of one puzzle that actually required some amount of thought: the gravel puzzle, and I'm using 'some degree of thought' pretty loosely here, because it basically tells you what to do.

 

For all that, it does work at least, and I wouldn't call it actively bad. It's probably worthy of being in the 7 tier, but CERTAINLY not an 8+.

 

Average

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