[Before I start this review, I want to make a disclaimer. Newgrounds doesn't let you edit your reviews, and I'm terrible at writing if I can't edit it later, so if you see any errors in this review, just pretend you didn't see them]
It's really surreal seeing all the praise this game is getting. Not even this game, the whole series.
I don't mean that in a bad way, but seeing some small-time flash game I used to play when I was a kid inspire popular lets plays from mugging B-list youtubers and several MSPaint fanarts? That's just weird.
I didn't find this game through any of those means however. I don't know what led me to visit Newgrounds in the year of our lord 2016, but I did, and when I got there the first thing I saw was a huge banner advertising this game. I've played all the Riddle School games before, and didn't really think they were special enough to warrant this kind of attention (though I liked them) so I checked it out. And what was my reaction?
Ah, I thought it was pretty cool. Probably the best game on Newgrounds, which is faint praise, but still.
It's not like it's without its issues though. Honestly, there are quite a bit, but I think this game is kind of a "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" thing.
The worst part of this thing has to be the puzzles. The puzzles in this game are so cookie-cutter. Not as bad as the sliding block puzzle in Transfer 1, but the puzzles either rely on moon logic (throwing gum at the circuit box was the last thing that would have came to mind) or are cheap tile puzzles. Seriously, don't use tile puzzles in your game. Tile puzzles should be relegated to something you play on your phone on the bus, nothing more than that.
I thought that puzzle with the latitude and the longitude was kind of clever. Do more of that.
The story is totally cliched and predictable and paced too fast, but despite all those flaws, I enjoyed it! This game's main strength is in its dialogue, which was pretty charming, if a bit corny at points. The humor is sometimes too self-aware for my tastes, but overall it's consistent with the rest of the series. I thought how you incorporated that quiz into the story was pretty ingenious for a Newgrounds game. Again, faint praise, but I really was kind of impressed.
I'm also impressed with how you used dialogue and visual elements (for example, Zack reading the newspaper and Smiley doing a Mario pose when jumping through the portal) to portray the characters personalities without laying it on thick like every other Newgrounds developer would. It's not the greatest thing ever, but I liked it.
The ending is what's getting everything riled up about this game, and I have to say I kinda agree. Quiz's death was kind of a non-event because we never really got to know him, but that hug at the end was cute, and I'm a sucker for cute things. I'm bigger sucker for photo montages, so that was good too.
This review is probably making the game sound worse than it is, but in the context of flash games it's pretty admirable. Favorite part of the game would probably be Quiz's quiz, while my least favorite part would have to be the puzzles on Quiz's ship.
Hm. Almost 600 words and I feel like I've said absolutely nothing. Oh well, 7/10.