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    jp's Carto (PS4)

    [November 27, 2021 06:59:01 PM]
    I played a few hours of this about a year ago, and I picked it up again a few nights ago and finished it.

    The game is adorable in how it looks, and the story, and so on. Very cute, likeable and calming. The main draw for me though was the game's core mechanic (and the puzzles associated with it).

    The game has two modes - in one you're wandering around on a 2D map and can interact with objects and characters. In the other, you're looking at a map that's made up of square tiles (a la Carcassonne) and you can pick up the tiles, change their location and rotate them around. Sometimes (mostly in the beginning of the game) you find little sheets of paper in the world which are actually new tiles for you to place. Later in the game you have to arrange the tiles on the map to "unlock" a new tile that will suddenly appear. There are certain rules for how you can place tiles - mostly about different kinds of terrain lining up (you can't place if they don't line up - e.g. a road up against a forest). Furthermore there are some "interior" and underground locations where the same mechanic is used - inside houses (a hut, a multi-room library, underground tunnels and rooms) and there are some neat interactions between them. For example in the underground rooms you can't move/pick up the tiles, BUT each underground room is associated with an overground tile so you have to move THOSE (overground) ones to get the orientation underground that you need.

    The game has a neat progression system in how the puzzles get slowly more complicated or introduce a "new" type of solution/answer and I enjoyed how they didn't overuse the same puzzles over and over again. Also, the longer I played the "lazier" I got - taking advantage of the tile moving to, for example, relocate the tile I was on to be closer to the tile I wanted the character to go to, but I couldn't be bothered to walk that far (not that far, actually, but still). There's a bunch of secret little things you can do but I enjoyed the following puzzles:

    (a) Noticed a tile with a blue bird in the corner, then another. Turns out there were 4 tiles with birds and when I placed the tiles such the all the bird corners were together a secret puzzle piece popped out.

    (b) At one point you're asked to solve a super easy version of the towers of hanoi puzzle, then a slightly more complicated one and finally a REALLY long one (that's probably impossible with the space provided). The 1st two were on three mats in the same room, but the last one had a huge tower and mats in three rooms. The "answer" was to swap the rooms such that the starting room (originally on the left) was now on the right. It worked!

    (c) One of the challenges required putting a fish-shaped lake together from a bunch of "lake parts" - and then, following a kids drawing on a sheet of paper, re-arrange the lake parts into four specific fish shapes and fishing that type of fish from the lake with that shape. I thought this one was neat - but I had trouble getting all the shapes right even after I had figured out what I had to do.

    There were some more annoying puzzles as well - one where I left a mostly empty tile in the center when I actually had to leave an empty space (no tile) in the center. Sigh. Also one where I had to rotate pieces around so they lined up with lines on ice that the character (Carto) would slide on - all trying to get to an object used to decorate a snowman. This one I solved more through trial and error than actual puzzle solving. Again, sigh.
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    jp's Carto (PS4)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 22 November, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 27 November, 2021

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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