Posted on 12/17/10 @ 08:22 AM (updated 01/10/11
The ultimate out of the box scenario!
Victory: Lead Bertie and Extrañita through the scenario, they must not die!
Way to victory: Solve the puzzles along the road, using all your aoc knowledge.
However, the puzzles might be very difficult if not impossible for casual players. There is a full walk-through with screenshots available for when you're stuck here: www.aocbox.co.cc
Note: if a puzzle takes longer than 5 minutes to solve, you're probably doing it wrong :) Feel free to play on fast speed too.
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I've played through the game now; Those puzzles were quite hard. I liked most though, and well thought out. I still can't figure out what you meant with "kraut"fighters... What's a kraut?
For my opinion, this scenario had good chances to play it through right; however, there are some alternative solutions that really should be thought off. The "save points" along the way really helped structure, as it indicates points where what you did earlier shouldn't matter anymore.
Good puzzles, although some are fiendishly difficult and some are hardly worth thinking at- like the puzzle where you need to cut through the bamboo, the solution I had was exactly the same as the one in the first puzzle. Tbe joke in the middle of the scenario was a good mind-refreshment after thinking so much (although I already knew that one).
And here we have one of the best points. Most ideas were quite new (I've never played a scenario using these anyway). You could've varied the puzzles a bit more, however, as some were used twice (villagers-dropping-off, garrisoning tricks). Far not enough to lower the rating, though.
Map design: 4+
Really flawless map design to the end. Nicely made paths, rivers and towns all over the scenario. Quite inspiring to see to me, and I've hardly saw any parts that bored me or looked weird (apart from some points within puzzle, like the one in the far east corner of the map).
The story is not very depthed nor long, but still quite nice for a puzzle scenario, although I wonder how those two got on such a hard-to-reach island. The instructions were for most part not very clear; sometimes I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do and just guessed- I had it right for most part, but you could make points clearer, like what you should head for when you first meet the krautfighter-archers.
So, this scenario was nice to the end! Really adviced for players who have a lot of AOK experience and like puzzles.
Bertie's Quest is a pure puzzle genre scenario that is quite fascinating. Players who are attentive and willing to play it through should find some amusement for an hour or so. In addition, players might even learn something that they didn't know. In my case, the solution to Puzzle 3 was new to me. It was a good feeling learning something new. :)
Because of the scenario's format, replayability is essentially extinct. During gameplay, there were times where players need to wander around a tiny bit as the objectives weren't quite clear on what your key goal was. For example, at the mines, I had gained a mining camp but didn't realise it because there were also outposts converting to my side at the same time. To be fair though, the format of the scenario does give a hint that players would need to roam around and do some self problem solving. But, that slight feeling of being lost does negatively affect the player's experience with the game.
One of the most influential problem with the scenario was that some puzzles could be solved in sligtly or totally different ways. Generally, the different method takes a lot longer than the supposed method so I feel this detracts from the gameplay. I had an instance where I had to gather a lot of resources to complete the objective as I took a different route than the designer intended.
Personally, I found the balance perfect for such a genre. The difficulty of the objectives range from easy to hard so in essence, the scenario appeals to all levels of players. The harder objectives can be easily completed if the players look at the walkthrough.
Not much to say here that won't spoil it. There's 19 or so puzzles and a good amount of them is uniquely challenging, it really stimulates your brain. You should also feel enlightened after solving the puzzle so that's good.
Map Design (5-)
The map design suits the scenario nicely. Nothing detracts from the gameing experience and there weren't any overly long paths of nothing happening. The only fault I can see is that a few cliffs are too straight and too close to the waterline, personal preferences though maybe.
The storyline isn't anything spectacular but it suits the scenario well. It adds a little purpose to your gameplay which is a good thing to have. As for the story making sense, well, I gave it leeway because of the scenario's genre. The walkthrough is on a website and the link to it is in the file description which is likely a bad thing. It would be better if the walkthrough was in the scenario or if the link is given in the there. As previously mentioned, instructions were a tad vague in some areas. This with the walkthrough missing a few things hurts the score.
I did the task with the repairing of the tower differently. Instead of mining for stone, you could collect food and wood and use the market to complete it. That way is a lot longer though.
The one with the archer group, you could slowly kill them off by using your ram as bait. I'm sure you can also collect resources and build towers.
The killing of the boars can be done without the walls.
The toll guard one can be done by luring the guard out to the side and then using the boat to travel away so that the guard won't see you.
There's a few more, and probably some that I don't know of.