Final Selection

by Sam Gordon profile


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Number of Ratings: 18
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1-18 of 18

- C4rd1n4l, October 19, 2020

- Zape, March 24, 2019

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great puzzle game, June 27, 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed this game. Notes made it simple although I also kept a list of "to-do" items to refer back to (there are a LOT of items to work with). Really well implemented.

Only warning is to specifically look at EVERYTHING. Missed a number of clues because I didn't specifically say to search the mantle, assuming if there was something on it the game would mention it when I looked at the area. Was a game changer when I realized my error and found much-needed clues.

Happy there was a walkthrough available just to verify a few points. Only needed actual help on one item where I wasn't using the words the game was looking for to put two things together.

I definitely enjoy this type of game more than dialogue-based games or games where you simply have to find random items and remember where they might fit. Great game!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A wonderful one-room puzzle box with tons of items and layers of clues, March 27, 2018
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This is a great one-room puzzle game in the same vein as The Wand or Lord Bellwater's Secret.

You are placed in a room and tasked with finding a certain word. This is quite a difficult task. The room is split up into 9 different sub-locations, each with puzzles, usually several puzzles. There are experimentation puzzles, intuition puzzles, red herrings, crossword-style puzzles, math puzzles, etc.

I was able to solve it without hints, but I think I played it once 8 years ago, and it gave me a hint on a particularly tricky problem.

About half of my playtime was just going to each of the 9 sections of the room and examining everything. The other half was putting the clues together.

- Audiart (Davis, CA), March 1, 2017

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun with lots of puzzling, December 17, 2015
by Deboriole (San Diego, CA)

This is a clever game. Not only because of its puzzles, but because some of the puzzles are not needed.

There are a lot of items in this game and you need to examine every single one. I did a very good job of this and was able to figure out 95% of the game, but when I came to the end I found I was missing two key clues. Upon looking at a walkthrough (I started to re-examine things to try to figure out what I missed, but the sheer volume of objects was too daunting) I found that I could have easily found the two clues if I hadn't glossed over certain examinations.

What I liked: Even if I was in one corner of the room and I wanted to examine something but wasn't sure of its location, I could still "x object" and my character would go to its location and look at it. That was a huge time-saver. I also enjoyed the humor in the game. There wasn't a ton of it, but I did laugh out loud a few times.

What I didn't like: I found that I routinely figured things out before I stumbled upon its clue which got annoying after awhile because I felt like I wasn't making progress, I was uncovering clues for puzzles I had already solved. There were also a few bugs... the most jarring being that one puzzle can be solved without knowing the object you need exists. I found this out by accident when I was carrying something that had a similar name to the object I needed. When I tried to use the object in my inventory, my character went over to where the correct object was and used it to complete the puzzle (instead of telling me the object I was carrying didn't work). Ha! I guess I should count that as a win, but I felt robbed of that puzzle's solution.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game a lot! The puzzles made sense and it was rewarding.

- hoopla, September 19, 2015

- Sobol (Russia), January 5, 2015

- dbigs, June 6, 2012

- calindreams (Birmingham, England), July 14, 2011

- loungeman (Bilbao, Spain), January 4, 2010

- Shigosei, December 6, 2008

- Katt (Michigan), August 19, 2008

- Maze (Rome, Italy), August 12, 2008

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A fun little puzzlebox, July 30, 2008
by Jimmy Maher (Oslo, Norway)

Much as I like to prattle on about IF's literary potential, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of solving a well-designed puzzler, and it's a thrill that's a lot rarer that one might expect. All too many games get the delicate balance wrong, which is why a game like Final Selection is such a special thrill.

You are about to be offered your dream job as the Director of the Museum and Institute for Puzzles and Problem Solving -- if you can pass one final test by solving an elaborate set-piece puzzle designed just for you by the outgoing Director. In other words, Mr. Gordon grabs the nearest narrative excuse to give you a reason to solve a blatantly artifical, multi-layered puzzle that unfolds within a single room.

At first it all seems rather overwhelming, as the room contains literally dozens of objects -- both the usual collection of oddities to manipulate and cryptic written clues that make you think this is going to turn into an impossible game of riddles. Stick with it, though, and everything finally falls into place as the puzzle's logic at last unfolds before you. When it does, the sense of satisfaction is immense.

Final Selection was originally entered in a one-room game competition, but I'd say Mr. Gordon cheated a bit. While you are indeed locked in a single office, and while the status line never changes, the room is actually mapped into various areas that the PC automatically moves between fairly seamlessly -- and thank God for that, as the sheer amount of stuff in the office would be completely overwhelming if just lumped into one place.

There are, however, a few glitches that can distract from the superb overall design. The PC will only carry a few objects at a time, automatically putting something down in the nearest handy place when you try to exceed that. While this is nice from the standpoint of realism, it can quickly get rather annoying, as you will soon end up with objects strewn all over the room, making it hard to get a good picture of just what is available for use at any one time. The excellent automatic note-taking system helps with this, but doesn't quite overcome it.

Perhaps inevitably in a game that has so much similar stuff packed into such a small area, there are also occasional disambiguation problems.

But overall Final Selection is a great little puzzler, challenging but never unfair. I solved it all by myself, and enjoyed it more than any puzzlefest I've played in quite a while.

- yandexx (Saint-Petersburg, Russia), June 29, 2008

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent puzzle-fest, June 28, 2008

If you don't enjoy puzzles this game is definitely not for you. Luckily I do - it's what got me into IF and it's what I enjoy about most of my favorite games. I missed this game when it came out and hadn't played it until today when I heard it mentioned by someone else who happened to be playing it at the time.

A few criticisms about the game would be the immense amount of descriptive material and the rather odd inventory scheme. Normally having every detail of a world implemented is a positive thing, and for the most part that's true here too. But it is a bit overwhelming, especially since almost everything seems important. I actually had quite a bit of trouble solving one part of the game because I forgot about the description of a part (1) of an item (2) that was on another item (3) in a section (4) of the room (5) described in the room description. That's five (!!) levels of recursive detail - and it was vitally important to the game!

Now in fairness the game is only one room, so the author had to have quite a few levels of detail to achieve the puzzle depth that he did.

And then there's the inventory. Because there is so much stuff it quickly becomes obvious that carrying everything in the room would be impossible for a real person. So the author implemented a neat little feature where the PC automatically sets things down if you pick up too much. This is nice in that it avoids the player having to manually juggle inventory but it has a nasty side effect. In a puzzle based game it is often very useful to type "inventory" to get a list of all the items you have at your disposal to solve a given puzzle. The inventory handling implemented in this game makes that absolutely impossible. So if you find something early on in the game and can't figure out what to do with it, later when you need it you might find that it's buried in a drawer somewhere and you've forgotten that it even exits. Which means you'll spend quite a bit of time researching every level of detail just to be sure you haven't forgotten something important.

That's it for the bad. The good is really good though. The puzzles are fun. Each puzzle is clued quite well and none of them require any weird guess the verb nonsense or impossible leaps of intuition. It's all fairly logical and once you have the right pieces everything falls into place. For anyone who loves puzzles this is a rare bit of fun. Frustrating at times and certainly not easy, but worth the time. There isn't a whole lot of back story so it's sort of puzzles for puzzle's sake. If you don't like that then don't bother because the game doesn't have much else to offer. But if you do enjoy a good puzzle this game is a must play.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Seems solid enough, but it's too difficult for me, December 18, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Sam Gordon, **

I'm afraid I really didn't like this game. It's very puzzle-based, but the puzzles aren't IF-like puzzles; as far as I could make out, they're riddles and word games and number puzzles. Although I managed to find plenty of objects and clues, I couldn't figure out how to solve any of them (bar the weighing machine puzzle, which just gave me another incomprehensible clue as a reward).

When I was pondering what star rating to give this game, I decided that if I was rating it on how enjoyable I found it, it would barely get two stars. I nearly decided to give it three, because I didn't think it was really fair to vote the game down just because I'm too stupid to get anywhere with it, but then I figured I was overthinking it. So it gets two stars. This doesn't mean there's anything significantly wrong with the implementation; it just means I never ever want to play this game (or anything like it) again.

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