Sage Sanctum Scramble

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Number of Reviews: 8
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
The Blurb Says It All, December 6, 2020
by Joey Acrimonious
Related reviews: IFComp 2020

I cannot summarize Sage Sanctum Scramble any better than its blurb has already done: as promised, itís a grab bag of puzzles. Most of them have to do with wordplay and/or rearranging letters in some way.

The quality of the puzzles is excellent. Professional-quality. Enthusiasts would pay money for them, without a doubt. And theyíre implemented extremely solidly, with the parser responding smoothly to almost everything I tried - thatís quite an achievement given the complexity of some of these puzzles, and the variety of different inputs involved. In many cases, the game even recognizes inputs that are barking up the right tree, dispensing hints or encouragement to help the player reach the finish line.

But make no mistake: while this game is easy to pick up and play, itís quite challenging to master. The puzzles range from easyish to total brain-busters, and everything in between. Winning the game only requires a portion of the puzzles to be completed, so itís not terribly hard. But if youíre in it to achieve a perfect score, thatís another matter entirely, and will likely require a major time investment. For reference: I think it took me about 5 hours of gameplay before I decided to finish up with a dubious score of 37. But I donít have a lot of experience with these types of puzzles. Your mileage will vary.

This piece is 98% interactive, 2% fiction, with only the barest threads of narrative tying the puzzles together. Is that a drawback? Or would a more substantive story be a mere frivolity here? I suppose youíll have to answer that question for yourself. But for me - yeah, it's a considerable drawback.

Overall, if you want a bunch of clever word puzzles without any frills or pretensions, Sage Sanctum Scramble has you covered.