Friday, September 26, 2014

Bad Rats - 20/20 hours


No, I shouldn't say that. For one thing, that sort of hubris invites a downfall. For another, Bad Rats wasn't that bad.

The worst part of the game was the inconsistency of the physics engine, but most of the time, it worked adequately. I spent a significant portion of the last 10 hours replaying the game and running the original solutions to see how well they worked. In twenty-eight out of the forty-four levels, the original solution worked the first time, and in ten out of the fourty-four levels, I had to run the original solution between 2 and 5 times (it also turns out that a couple of the ones wound up coming up in this category on my third playthrough, which makes me suspect that it's probably closer to a 20-20 split). Only in six cases did the original solution require six or more reloads.

However, of those six, one required 11 tries, one 13, one 15, and one 25. So, most of the time, the simulation was fairly reliable, but when it was unreliable, it was really unreliable. I suppose, in a way, that might even be worse than being completely broken. If it were completely broken, you'd probably realize right away. As it is, there are at least four bombs hidden in the middle of the game. The game is functional before these levels and functional afterwards, but these levels would stop you dead.

"Fortunately" I was playing for time, rather than for any particular goal. The key to many levels was simply repeating them more times than any reasonable person would bother.  What that says about my own level of reasonableness, I'd rather not speculate.

In the final analysis, my feelings about this game are . . . meh. I don't hate it, but I don't have anything especially positive to say about it either. I kind of like the core idea - arranging objects to solve physics puzzles - but the execution is incredibly shoddy. However, my spirits are currently high. I feel like I have crested a hill. All of my remaining games are ones that I'm actually interested in playing. I didn't technically need to play Bad Rats for 20 hours (even aside from the self-imposed nature of my challenge, I had permission to gloss over this game), but having done so, I feel like I've accomplished something.

Something pointless and silly, granted, but nonetheless I accomplished a goal, and that feels good. So, I will probably always remember Bad Rats with fondness, even if it really doesn't deserve it.

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