Playing Mind Games…Idiot Edition
By Gwendolyn L. Spelvin
Sometimes a great brain teaser idea should stay an idea. On the other hand, this has given governments everywhere new mechanisms for solitary confinement torture of political prisoners. Mind Games is the type of entry that makes players wonder whether or not this poor attempt at a puzzle game was a covert front for a clandestine government program.
Challenging thinking games normally go over well; developers that know the market demographic and their standard for such fare typically know what they are doing when it comes to creating something that gives players options in that department. We’re not talking a typical EA hidden item entry either, but of a great title whose popularity genuinely grows by word of mouth.
Anything that makes the cut is an instant cult classic in the nerd underworld. Those that come in sloppy seconds may get a nice push from the community if the potential is there to bring it to its greatness. That’s what makes this genre very unique. However, when the bar is dropped, there is little to no mercy.
Mind Games is a crucial reminder of what happens when idiots try to outthink nerds.
As the sole title and prodigal bastard child of AK Games, the only use that is evident from the starting gate in terms of critical thinking are thresholding as target practice at the gun range. This self-proclaiming bragging event as a level advancement brain teaser delivers more hard hitting annoyance than The Three Stooges taking the critical thinking portion of the SAT test.
In a perfect world, the theory of challenging the brain’s reaction to disingenuous situations with fresh puzzle teasers would be awesome. In the real world, it’s up there with the joys of a colonoscopy.
Congratulations, AK Games. You just created the single most hated and unnecessary entry into the genre for all eternity. Hope you enjoyed your fifteen seconds of Steam accolades, because your career is positively over.
Players may take this for granted, but not even in the days of Atari were players gung-ho tolerable for titles without instructions, credits, a title screen, and later, the beloved options. So what intelligent idiot over at AK Games thought excluding this basic anatomy structure that has been going on since the beginning of time was a great idea?
Had this been just a Beta Release, the lack of all things basic may have been forgiven as it could easily justify the excuse as a work in progress. However, slapping a price tag on an underdeveloped mediocre entry at the Steam store and having more people want their money back than Digital Homicide rings the death knell home for this one.
After all, for 2.99 a day, I can feed 4.5 starving children in Ethiopia that wouldn’t dare play this mess and contribute to ending world hunger.
The biggest issue that brews from the top of this bitter pile of tainted coffee is lack of instructions for anything on top of the aforementioned. Not even the smartest Mensa member in the world will natively put two and two together thrusted into a scene that really is an undefined level. That’s not being coy, that’s being a development asshole.
So is a faux trophy system for rancid level achievement when very few make it past the starting gate. Seriously AK Games, you thought enough to have an awards system which is more like a pity party for Charly from Flowers For Algernon, yet it was just beyond your programming capabilities to have an options screen and adequate controls for simpler screen navigation?
No surprise there, geniuses.
Any developer that is too cheap to buy enough sounds from the worst license free Muzak library in the world to fit more than a five minute run from the start is not my idea of a genius powerhouse creating an epic cult classic. At least the crap music shuts off and is never heard from again, right?
Players, keep this one at bay. Giving even an hour into this will remind you that this is an absolute test in futility. Not even the Borg want to assimilate this piece of shit into the hive. Do not be fooled by the skip level trophy award; it’s just an empty acknowledgement that the developers didn’t think this title through and are intentionally are messing with your sense of completion duty.
The fact that the only walkthrough to exist for this drivel happens to be in Portuguese on YouTube, and on another platform to boot, should be very telling how well this went over in its target demographic. The Dragon Con costume designers must be circling like vultures now.
Keep it up and you will be the very first development house to force the Razzies to expand their category list.