Wonderquest: Versatility

Wonderquest has nine playable characters. I’ve described eight of them already. The one I skipped over is Arthur, a teenage boy who, like Sophie, is a non-combatant. Instead of fighting monsters, he can drop decoys to distract them — said decoys taking the form of his “mighty shoes”, which is a little wacky, but the mechanic is solid. He also has the ability to run around on top of crates, although he needs to climb a tower to get on top of them.

Towers have turned out to be fairly versatile things. They extend the range of Nikolay and Cahill’s weapons, they let Rick put up ziplines, they protect you from explosions, they make terrain passible by characters who are otherwise limited, and they block Jax’s path, which isn’t useful to the player but is very useful to the author. It’s always good for a puzzle element to have multiple possible meanings like this. In Dreams, Cahill can construct new towers, given enough wood, and it isn’t always immediately obvious where they’re needed, precisely because they have multiple possible uses.

That’s kind of how the game uses characters, too, especially in Dreams, where the expansion of character special abilities has turned more of them into grab-bags of unrelated traits. Is Cahill included in a puzzle for his boomerang, or his forestwalking, or his tower-building? Even Jax, who seemed at first like the basic, no-frills character, has gained a special skill, consuming Food to dash instantly as far as he can in the direction he’s facing. There have been a few roach-horde puzzles with sundry character-change tiles scattered around, not because you need multiple different characters’ special skills to solve a puzzle as is usually the case, but just to let the player choose among different fighting styles.

1 Comment so far

  1. me on 3 Mar 2022

    searched up ‘wurb’ in google and found this. good stuff!

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