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About the Story
A sequel to Threediopolis. It has teleporters!
Entrant, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2016
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This Andrew Schultz game builds and expands on one of my favorite Schultz games, Threediopolis. If you haven't played that game, you should try it out first, as this game contains spoilers for the basic concept of that game.
If you have played threediopolis, (Spoiler - click to show)this is the same sort of game, except some chess-like moves have been added, h,i,j,k. Each of these teleports you 2 spaces away in each direction. For instance, h teleports you n,e, and u, while i teleports you w,s, and u.
This makes the game more difficult. I found it helpful to read some of the documentation on the spring thing website, which will most likely be included on IFDB afterwards. It gives a helpful list of the results of 2- and 3- letter combinations, like hi.
My rating of this game is certainly subjective. The puzzles appeal to me as a mathematician because I love the interplay between freedom and constraint. Emotionally, it draws you into an exploratory/puzzly/celebratory mood. The game is definitely polished, and I plan on playing again (it's a long game, and I've only played through part of it. It's the kind of game I feel I could return to frequently to play around with). I though of taking off one point due to the lack of descriptive text, but I realized that more text would make the game difficult and tedious. The scarcity of text is a necessary part of the design.
Like I said, this game will only appeal to a certain group of people, so I can't recommend it to everyone. But fans of crosswords, cryptograms, and codewords will enjoy this game.
I loved Threediopolis. It's inventive, I got a kick out of seeing all the interesting places I could go, and the difficulty was challenging yet fair. When I heard there was a sequel, I couldn't wait to jump in and see what kind of new mechanics were added.
Figuring out Fourdiopolis for the first time gave me much the same experience as Three. I tested my moves, tracked what they did, then found the letters I needed to use to get somewhere close. I (Spoiler - click to show)met Ike first, and after that, everything clicked.
I think I had a harder time finishing Three; not only because that game had more tasks before the first "ending" point, but the number jumping felt a bit more severe. Also, in Four, your completed tasks are listed in alphabetical order. This was a big help, since for every destination I chose, I had a good idea of which letters it could start with.
I love the different vibe of Four. Three had you traveling around a city to complete tasks for your employer. Meanwhile, this game's atmosphere is futuristic and throws you into a controlling society where you're witnessing rebellions and captures. Everything feels more oppressive and hostile. It's a big change of tone, but it sets the games apart pretty well.
I was kind of relieved Four ended when it did; while I was open to (Spoiler - click to show)completing 15 more tasks, I didn't want to do it immediately afterwards, having just solved similar puzzles for an hour straight. I might pick this one up again in the future to see if I can make it further, but now I really feel like replaying Three. If you liked the predecessor, check this one out. Otherwise, you should probably play Three first.
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