How many times have you heard players complain about how easy a game is only to scream at the system when they come across a more challenging section? Perhaps you and I are alike and wish developers would stop catering to the amateurs out there and actually create a game that challenges you -- with no cheats or alibis. Welcome to Violett.
Now this may look to you like the usual puzzle game, and you would be correct. However it is not an ordinary game.
At first blush, you may think the storyline is pretty similar to other puzzle games. Something bad happens to the young lass in question and she has to travel through different arenas to figure out various mind games in order to return to her normal life. You would still be correct.
Yet after you begin this adventure, you experience a horrible epiphany: This is the game everyone has been demanding to have published for puzzles -- and you hate yourself for having been one of them.
Forget all those simple instances of "if you take this piece and put it here the door opens." Additionally, Violett is spoken in Japanese, which lends a surreal, Alice-in-Wonderland feel to it.
The game is very unforgiving, and you must save right before each puzzle as there is no reset. There is a loose path you have to follow for the most part; however, how you choose to follow it is up to you. So Violett is not as rigid as other puzzle games.
To get an idea of how my three-day schedule for playing this game went, see the following diary. Do not be too concerned about spoilers; I want other players to feel every challenge I did. And I mean feel.
Log in, fiddle around to figure out simple movement and interplay with buttons, complete first room’s puzzle easily, think Violett is cute but boring.
Enter Room 2. OK so the jug can be tilted, and grabbed, and then I have to ...wait why is that fly not doing what it is supposed to? I have followed the hints. This is supposed to be easy. OK so it is now in the...GET BACK HERE!
(Small break to let neighbor know I am not killing the cat.)
OK, so finally get through Room 2. Challenging and fun. There is more to this game than I thought.
Stairs!?! That...portal. I was just right next to the door that...I need I AM NOW ACROSS THE DANG ROOM! How do I get..NOT THAT ONE!
Rooms 3, 4, 5 and 6 all are fairly easy. Back to wondering if there is much to this...wait, what do you mean I have to go back to Room 3 to get something for Room 5? Are you kidding? There is a Room 7 that has an entrance somewhere past Room 4? If this bug doesn’t stop poking me with his spear I HAVE TO FIND A COSTUME? It’s a BUG. I don’t think it CARES how I am dressed!
The stones...they...won’t align. (Giggle.) I turned ‘em this way and that way and they won’t align. (Bug-eyed look.) The bridge goes up and down, up and down (arms flapping to show you the directions) and the flags go back and forth and...why did I ever think this game was not challenging? Why did I ever want challenging? THE FLAG IS ()$#*)*$_)(# IN THE $()#)@_ SPOT! WHY WON’T THE BRIDGE GO TO THE TOP!
At this point, my 8-year-old calmly tells me it's time to log off and go get some milk. My husband attempts the stone puzzle and promptly explains to me that the game is bugged. After a few random halfhearted pushes, it finally aligns. I do not know how, nor do I care to find out.
I would recommend this game for anyone who really is tired of "beginner" styles and who does not have to burn through a game just to complete it. The landscapes and graphics are rich with fantasy. The creatures and lore scattered throughout are detailed and wonderful. What some might call a downfall, I actually enjoy: No cheats, no storyline to have to follow, no easy-outs.
Violett is a Rubik’s Cube you play just to prove you can. No matter how many times you align that cube, you want to try it again.
If hard-pressed to find a downside to this game, I'd say that too many players could get frustrated and quit as they are used to being spoon-fed easy-outs or having challenging levels downgraded. The publisher has held strong on this game, creating a truly challenging experience.
Spend some time wandering through the different realms. Play with the different puzzles and see how many ways you can figure out how to solve some of them. For once, game designers heard the call from harder-core gamers...and listened.
Minimum System Requirements
+ Recommended for hard-core puzzle gamers
+ Landscapes and graphics rich with fantasy; detailed creatures and lore
- Not for players who want to be spoon-fed easy-outs or have challenging levels downgraded