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About the StoryOn the seventh floor of HQ, the professor rushed into the games room as people yelled and slammed doors in the corridor outside. He hugged you to sleep. That is your last memory. You wake to discover that something terrible must have occurred. In the event of an emergency, your mission is to search the rooms, rescue your colleagues, and then meet the professor outside. But things seem different tonight. Red Radish Robotics is a web-based work of interactive fiction, combining a dystopian sci-fi short story with an escape game.
19th Place - 26th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2020)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The concept is a fine if unexceptional one – robot waking up after some kind of disaster and trying to reconstruct what’s happening while solving straightforward puzzles – but the trouble is, it isn’t too hard to suss out what’s happened, and the puzzles are all quite straightforward. The closest thing to a twist is that the robot has been deactivated without fingers, so you need to gather them one by one until you have a full complement of ten, which allows you to get to the end-game. But ten is too high a number to which to have to count, given that you mostly find them by unlocking doors (some with keys, some by oiling stuck hinges), opening multiple safes, finding a note where someone’s written down their computer login and clues to their password… Again, there’s nothing wrong with the classics, but in too large portions it feels overly starchy.
There are ways to be destroyed or get to a dead end, but a limited number of respawns are possible (respawns also appear to somehow rewind time as to at least one object, which is helpful but confusing!) The writing is typo-free and does what it needs to to communicate the setting and what’s going on. And there are a couple of puzzles that have a bit more zip to them, like the final one (Spoiler - click to show)(though requiring the player to lie to the “bad” robot, then sucker-punch him while shouting out that I’m fine being a slave was maybe not my favorite aspect of the game). But my interest started to flag on like the sixth spin through the same eight rooms to see what one new quotidian interaction my incremental progress had unlocked, before having to do the inevitable seventh. All this speaks well of what the author will do next – and there are indications there’s more work already in the oven – hopefully with a bit of trimming to cut away any unneeded filler!
Red Radish Robotics does a good job of telling a story. The narrator's childlike perspective explains why you are given some choices that are self-evidently terrible, and although the brief identity crisis is not a shocking plot twist, other developments are effectively foreshadowed with more subtlety.
You're asked to escape from the 7th floor of a research facility that has become a giant deathtrap. There are many, many ways to end your escape prematurely, although you are given 10 "respawns" that function like an "undo" button.
In some places, the story gets in the way of the implementation. A few locations and objects needed to be re-visited and re-examined multiple times because the narrator is not properly motivated during early encounters.
Overcoming almost every obstacle is a matter of finding the right links and clicking them in sequence, which meant that I enjoyed uncovering the story more than solving the puzzles in Red Radish Robotics. As you search for a way out of the building, you gradually reveal what happened, why the facility was abandoned, and why you were left behind.
In this game, you wake up in an office building that seems fairly destroyed and embark on a search and rescue mission. It was quite a surprise when I discovered that (Spoiler - click to show) someone had taken all my fingers!
The map consists of two floors (for most of the game) with several rooms, each room containing various objects. As you explore the map, you find more of your (Spoiler - click to show)fingers, which gives you greater access to other things.
The UI was smooth and the writing was good. The puzzle structure was a little constrained, though. At most points in the game, it seemed like there was only one course of action possible at a time, so I spent most of the game 'lawnmowering' through choices (trying every possible action over and over). I think that allowing a bit more nonlinearity would make this an awesome puzzle game, and so I'd definitely look forward to anything else the author puts out.
+Polish: Smooth and perfect.
+Descriptiveness: The writing had some pretty clever moments for me.
-Interactivity: The linearity of the puzzles felt constrained to me.
-Emotional impact: Because I was repeating options so often, they lost a bit of their impact.
+Would I play again? I think I would, yeah.
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This is version 5 of this page, edited by JTN on 8 November 2020 at 7:17am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item