Bioscopia: Stuckness

My second session of Bioscopia was completely unproductive. There’s a circular hub with a large tree in the middle and keycard-activated doors all around; I’ve managed to access exactly one of these doors, in addition to the sector from which I entered, for a total of two. This is my realm, which I wander, looking for hotspots. They’re hard to find.

There are obvious places to click, to be sure: doors, drawers, levers, etc. But they’re not always clickable. Things that are locked or otherwise inactive don’t even let you give them a futile rattle. And sometimes the difference between clickable and unclickable things simply makes no sense. There’s one room containing a bunch of desks, which visibly have a pair of drawers on the left and right sides, but only the left drawers can be opened. Even worse, one of those drawers contains a pair of projector slides, only one of which can be picked up.

You can tell when the cursor is over a hotspot, because it changes in appearance. (When it works, which it doesn’t always — this sorts of game has a perennial problem with things changing under the cursor when the cursor isn’t moving.) Thus, my adventures at the moment consist mainly of waving the cursor around on every screen, hoping to strike gold. There may not be any, mind you. There’s also the possibility of using inventory items on the environment, which provides no visual feedback about when it’s possible: you just have to look for plausible places to try each item. And even those won’t always work. I have a bucket in my possession, and I’ve tried it on every body of liquid I’ve seen, but apparently it can only carry the right liquid.

Sadly, I can’t even talk about how much better Physicus and Chemicus were in this regard. I recall them having similar problems, although I don’t think I ever got stuck for so long in them — since the puzzles were more tightly-bound to the lesson plan, I could always go to the in-game textbook for ideas.

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