Demo News: Puzzle Depot
What is it with videogames and crates and barrels anyway? If the world were like videogames, every alley would be filled with large crates, and every office cluttered up with barrels (preferably of the exploding variety). Puzzle Depot takes this concept to the logical extreme and runs with it – throwing you into a twisted world of professional crate pushing. Somehow, it’s one of the most fun games I’ve played in a good long while.
I’m not sure exactly why, but I’ve always had an aversion to puzzle games. Like a fittingly grumpy Frank Costanza, one may think that I’m simply too lazy to think things through – and that’s probably true – but it’s not why I loathe the puzzle game. Rather, I suspect it’s because puzzle games are often about figuring out the ‘one weird trick’ (sorry) and that once I’ve “got” it, the actual doing feels more tedious than fun. So I need to time the bouncing balls to hit that switch in time for me to slide under the door before it closes? Aha! Now let’s try it 10 times until I get the turn-order or timing perfect? No thanks.
But Puzzle Depot doesn’t fall into this trap. Not only is each room is quite small, meaning puzzles are short and fast, but each is filled with a mix of objects, enemies to overcome, NPCs to inject some humour and storyline, bonus collectibles, multiple approaches to solutions, and more. And all this wrapped up in some delicious RPG elements. The actual gameplay is no slouch, either. Smart, strategic puzzle solving will enable you to preserve your precious radioactive goo clearing tablets, hazmat suits, rusty crowbars and the like, opening up more pathways through future puzzles or enabling further optional exploration. Or, you can just say ‘screw it’ and blow through all your gear smashing up those giant roaches for looking at you the wrong way. Your choice.
A story filled with heapings of humour and well-written dialog, inventory and equipment management, combat, and some light RPG elements… These are not things you’d usually expect to see in a puzzle game based on Sokoban of all things, yet here we are, and it dam well works. Perhaps next we’ll have a Sudoku FPS/RPG Mass Effect style?
Puzzle Depot is currently in development, and the final product plans some enticing things like optional challenge dungeons, several playable characters with varying attributes, and maintaining its emphasis on multiple solutions. From what we’ve seen in the demo, it nails the tone and fast-paced action-orientated puzzle solving (never thought I’d write those words together) absolutely perfectly.
The demo is ready for disptach right now, get to work!