The Courtyard Assassin was NowhereT's submission to the 2012 Minigame Competition
The scenario is an entertain puzzle scenario in which the player must complete a number of tasks to gain access to the castle and assassinate the king. The game is enjoyable with some good puzzles and a nicely designed map and will keep players entertain for a short period of time. The puzzles are well crafted and the gameplay is entertain. There are a number of bugs and issues that I encountered whilst playing but I did managed to complete the scenario, mostly through guess work it must be said. Using a villager as a main character was quite annoying as well as trying to travel through the dense forest meant accidentally turning him into a lumberjack.
The balance of this scenario was hard to judge. Overall the puzzles are well balanced, some can be completed with relative ease whilst some take more thought and technique. The biggest issue with the challenges was the lack of directions and I sailed through most of it by sheer chance and guesswork. For a puzzle scenario this is of real importance because the player need t understand how the challenges work in order to know what to do and solve them.
While the puzzles are interesting and some are unique I didn’t find that this scenario brought much new to the table. The scenario boast a nice map design and some unique little puzzles, yet overall I found it to be pretty basic. Some of the puzzles were pretty standard such as finding a saw to cut through some trees. Overall points are awards for the effort put into the scenario and the effectiveness of the technics and mechanics of the scenario but unfortunately there’s nothing new to awards extra marks for.
Map Design: 4
The design of the map was probably the great aspect of this scenario. While I find it odd that a scenario titled The Courtyard Assassin was set in a dense forest outside a castle rather than an actual courtyard, the forest itself was generally very pretty. Terrain mixing of the forest floor is done really well with excellent artistry. The placement of the trees are done well to allow a dense look but creating clear pathways for the units.
Unfortunately I found this the scenario weakest aspect. The story is simple and not expanded in much detail. There’s no introductory screen to set the scene besides a short sentence or two in the history section. The story is simple but does an acceptable job of leading the player through the challenges. The real problem with this scenario is the complete lack of instructions. They’re so vague that you might as well not bother reading them. There’s no insight into what your supposed to do or how to achieve it. The author has provide some hints and even written walkthrough if you get stuck, but even this was not well written and didn’t help. I passed through the scenario on mostly guess work.
Overall this scenario has potential but really needs some extra work to reach that and make it enjoyable and fully playable.