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Reviews for "Playing With Letters"

This game is about solving puzzles by collecting and contextualizing visual clues and answering riddles. Both of this mechanical elements works well together: player is taught to notice both visual and textual clues and combine them in a proper way to get the answer. Sometimes text's meaning contains all the required information ("Math" and "Aibophobia" levels), sometimes only a visual clue (color) can give this meaning new direction ("Name Calling" level). This way the gameplay combines very well with the detective story against which it is set. Although operating only in the textual medium, player is forced to take notice on something unusual in the text itself, i.e., its visual properties, that serve as clues (not unlike a detective that looks for inconveniences in a convenient scene). This way the intensity and thrill of a detective story is masterfully achieved with what seems to be an absolute bare minimum means of procedural expressiveness, and are further enhanced with the story, the music and with the text animation and coloring (white against black background).
P.S.: I've played this game after I tried playing "A Sweet Typing Thrill" and got stuck on the "abjurer" level. Probably, the second game has put me in an appropriate mindset, and the puzzles here did not seem as difficult to me. Although the challenges in this game are objectively easier than in the second one, their subjective difficulty for me is larger due to the fact that English is not my native language. With every word-based puzzle I had to ask myself: "Do I even know the word that is hidden here?".

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Heh, thanks for leaving your thoughts, boticelly! Seems like you take the "review" format seriously ^ ^
Your analysis was entertaining to read! It's to a large part, pretty spot on :)
It seems like you enjoyed many of the different elements in the game too, which is awesome :D

I'd agree that the second instalment is more difficult, even though to a certain extent, these valuations are subjective :3
The games, although similar, differ from each other in theme. This one is more focused on wordplay, while the other one is more about outside of the box information gathering, and other types of puzzles.
I'm well aware that English is not everyone's first language; after all, it's my own third language. But seems like you did just fine either way, so great job!

Thanks again for playing, and for writing a review :D

Great game!

I really enjoyed it and apart from the last riddle, I managed to do it on my own *proud*

Keep it up!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Great job beating almost all of it on your own! It makes me happy to hear you had a good time playing the game :)
Thank you for leaving a review!

This was awesome! When I started playing I thought I'd try to get through one or two puzzles to get the idea, but I got hooked and played to the end! I have a whole page of scribbled notes, marking down letters and wondering when and how it's all going to come into play. I liked the math bit, and used a variable as my guess and worked it out with pencil+paper, that was clever. The end gave me a rush as well, such a great feel overall, I loved it.

Amazing work, going to go play the next now! :-)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Awesome! Thanks a lot for the review.
I think it's even better that you started playing casually, but actually got really into the process while you were at it :D
I'm glad you were taking notes as well, as that is what I initially hoped people would do with this game; something where part of the gameplay is out of the box. Which is why I even suggested taking them, within the game :3

It's cool that you liked that little math part too, which I mostly included just for fun!

Have fun with the second game once you get to it! ^ ^

Awsome game, such a great work! Im goint to the sequel!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it, and hope you have fun with the sequel :3

This is friggin amazing, I just love it.... despite absolutely SUCKING at puzzles (I got the concept for most of them right though so yay me!)

Can I just, ask a question? How are you so good at puzzles period? Even to just come up with the puzzles because just... These are awesome!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Oh wow; that's quite some praise! Thank you :D
It's wonderful that you liked the game, regardless of whether you find yourself being good at puzzles or not.

Why am I good at making these puzzles, huh? It's a combination of a lot of things. Time, inspiration and just experience with games in general (I've played hundreds of games, small and big). The secret to making a puzzle, is to figure out the right amount of hints to give to the player. Some puzzles are difficult to come up with on their own, but most of them start with some kind of small idea. Then I kind of think about how I could develop it more, how I communicate it to the player, how do I make it somewhat original/interesting, how do I make it relate to the story, and what order should I put the puzzles in? Etc.

There are lots of ways to go about it, when you want to create a puzzle. I'm sure you can do it too!