The Humans: Fakeouts

Past level 100 now. Things are getting pretty repetitive. It looks like there are only so many tricks that the toolset here supports, or at least only so many that the level designers found, and they ran out a while ago. On most levels, there are some obvious sub-goals, such as getting to where the torch or rope is, or picking up an extra spear for the dinosaur blocking the way. Once these sub-goals are identified, all you need to do is find a way past the obstacles to achieving them, which may involve more sub-goals.

The only thing that interferes with this pattern is red herrings. Sometimes there are bushes that don’t need to be burned, dinosaurs that don’t need to be killed. In fact, there was one level where I spent a while trying to puzzle out a sequence that would make things possible, but it seemed like every crucial tool was locked away behind another tool’s obstacle in a kind of deadlock. It seemed completely impossible until I noticed that I in fact had enough humans at my disposal on that level to build a stack tall enough to reach the level’s goal without any of the tools.

The thing is, I’m not convinced that this is what the designers had in mind. It’s entirely possible that they intended some more conventional solution, albeit one that depended on a trick I hadn’t figured out yet, and that they simply failed to notice that their cleverness could be short-circuited. It’s hard to tell with the sort of puzzles found in this game. It’s not like a cryptic crossword, where each answer is self-evident when found. Perhaps the game only seems so repetitive to me because I’ve found general ways to avoid the clever solutions. I doubt that’s actually the case, but some lesser version could be.

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