Beyond the Tesseract

by David Lo


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very original game from 1983, February 20, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: Custom system, inform

This is what you get if you cross a Scott Adams adventure with an abstract math/physics adventure. The parser is primitive but consistent (verb+noun, only 4 letters of each word matters) and fast (running an Atari ST emulator at 32MHz - at 8MHz the text is slightly delayed). However, a z-code version exists.

Most puzzles you don't need to understand 100% to solve, as you will usually have an idea of what to do. For instance, you may come across a Riemann Zeta Integral. If I ever learned about it, I have forgotten about it, but knowing it was an integral was sufficient to have a hunch of what to do so I did manage to solve the corresponding puzzle.

For me, the difficulty level was just right but I think some of the optional puzzles I could never have solved without some knowledge of e.g. superconductors and electromagnetic fields. Luckily, being an electrical engineer helped me a lot here. However, if you allow yourself to google the concepts you come across, you will probably have a chance of solving all puzzles anyway.

Overall, a highly enjoyable and original game.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 7/10)
Primitive but consistent, fast and has several synonyms for verbs. My only caveat on the Atari ST is that there is apparently no LOOK / REDESCRIBE command so if you want to see the location description again, you must leave the room and enter it again.

Atmosphere (Rating: 8/10)
The surreal atmosphere is very convincing. The writing is terse as can be expected from a game which originally was an 8-bit game.

Cruelty (Rating: Merciful)
I don't think you can make the game unwinnable.

Puzzles (Rating: 9/10)
Some fun, fair puzzles, though the perceived difficulty will depend very much on your scientific background, thus it may seem unfair to some people.

Overall (Rating: 9/10)
A surprisingly fun game, considering it was designed in 1983. Some scientific background may be needed to enjoy it fully.

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