Final Selection

by Sam Gordon profile


Go to the game's main page

Member Reviews

Number of Reviews: 6
Write a review

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.