Justice Playthrough #17: NOISE1

Oh.

My.

God.

Page 7, Game 9: NOISE1, by ChevyRay

Play this fucking game.

I linked to it in its name — I’ve been doing that for all these games just in case you were curious, but this is the first time it’s MATTERED.

You are The Guy In The Chair. Somebody has hacked the system where they’re being held prisoner, but they need help from somebody, dear God ANYBODY, to get them out of it. Someone to twiddle the security settings and distract the guards and the like.

That someone is, naturally, you.

The presentation is pure ASCII art — but don’t worry, you’ll understand what everything means very quickly. This isn’t Dwarf Fortress. Within minutes, the graphics somehow go from being a “limitation” to just another part of the lo-fi atmosphere.

You interact with the world by typing commands. There are moments where you’ll have to type those fuckers FAST, too; Death By Typo befell my poor friend on several occasions. This game is basically a series of puzzles, and there are moments when you have to really freakin’ NAIL the timing. Particularly when–

No, fuck that. No spoilers.

The closest comp I can think of is, no shit, Portal. Maybe without the dark splatstick sense of humor, but in terms of rolling out both its puzzles and the tools available to solve them, the gameplay gives me a HUGE Portal vibe, in the best way possible.

Did I mention this fucker is ASCII art? Did I mention you interact with it by TYPING?

Like Portal, it’s paced beautifully, and gives you enough game to be satisfying without overstaying its welcome. I finished it in about two hours or so, and that felt more or less perfect.

There are a few rough edges. There’s one command, SCAN, that seems somewhat awkwardly integrated into the game. A few of the error messages are misleading; you’ll get the same error message for trying to interact with a non-existent object as you will trying to hit an object that’s simply cooling down. One early stage actually contains misleading information about a mechanic, leading to the next puzzle being much harder than it should be. A given noise can only distract one guard at a time, which you have to figure out yourself by trying (and failing) to do NOISE 2 when both of them are in the correct position. (“Got the one, DAMMIT, the other one still didn’t hear it! Okay, wait a bit, try again….”)

Whatever. These are quibbles.

This is an achievement. This is art. This is worth your time.

The Bundle has long since closed down, but you can buy this on its own for $10. I assure you it is more than worth the price.

This one’s gonna be a bitch to follow. Who gets to try?

Page 47, Game 18: Ring of Fire Prologue, by Far Few Giants

“Serial thriller told through a search bar”

Is this one interactive, or just a story? Let’s find out!