Justice Playthrough #20: PALACE OF WOE

Man, am I glad I got a good night’s sleep before I tackled this one.

Page 11, Game 13: PALACE OF WOE, by owch

If you’ve been reading these chronologically, you know that the last game I played managed to actively anger me by being so difficult to learn. That’s pretty much the worst possible headspace to be in for PALACE OF WOE, a creepy-ish lo-fi puzzle solving exploration game that’s taking deliberate pride in its obtuseness.

What the hell is this place? Who are you? What are the rules? What are you trying to do? What are even the controls?

Those are YOU problems, son. Figure it out.

It helps that the game doesn’t seem to have a “fail” condition, as such. When you lose one of the puzzle-fights to one of the many monsters that are just kinda hanging out, the room resets itself. Any progress you’ve made in that room is lost, but otherwise, you’re not really any worse off than you were before.

I figured out the game well enough to play it and even progress a little ways with it, but its refusal to let me know WTF is going on wound up keeping me at such distance that when I felt like I was stuck, I simply bailed. I THINK I was collecting items? I’m not sure. Most of the “fights” you can get into appear entirely optional, unless a monster is standing somewhere you need to move through. Am I supposed to be picking fights? Will I get a cookie if I do?

There was one critter in particular whose iteration of the puzzle fight was fuckin’ brutal, and I ran into two copies of it, both blocking my progress down those paths. Are there items in the game that will improve my puzzle-fighting prowess? Do fights against that guy become easier if I can advance a bit? Or do I need to stop being such a punk and figure out how to muddle through, because nope, it’s never gonna be any easier than this?

It’s not a terrible game; it seems to honestly be exactly the game it’s trying to be, whatever that is. I’m just confident that it isn’t for me.

Okay, time to fire-up my custom Perl script and see where I’m heading to next:

Page 11, Game 24: 6E by Jared Sinclair

“The Sixth Edition, in a way.”

Either somebody didn’t bother filling in all the fields when they put their game up for sale, or this is gonna be meta as fuck.