I’ve never been a fan of logic games, not because I can’t decipher the correct response or action, but because I often find them tedious and boring. You may argue that many modern-day titles incorporate a requirement for the player to make logical and informed decisions in order to progress, albeit, developers disguise the problem solving mechanic by rewarding the player with fantastic visuals, trouser splitting explosions and enough blood and gore to make the most hardened serial killer wet his pants; or her pants, in the interests of equality, of course.
Doors is the new puzzle title from solo developer and creator Calvin Weibel, Friday 12th February 2016 saw the full release of the game on steam for a respectful £3.99, and is available on Windows and MAC.
Doors is a puzzle game that requires the player to apply logic to a series of events. You must make your way through each level by selecting the correct door. If you make the wrong selection, you die. Bizarrely, Calvin Weibel represents life, for example, selecting the correct door, as leading to bacon. I’m sure the purpose of this is to inject some humour into the game, but I simply do not get the reason for it, and to be honest, I don’t find it particularly funny or quirky for that matter. Perhaps I’m missing some iconic representation or some form of irony, I’m yet to figure this one out, I can’t see the logic in it… Oh… I see…
As you make your short way through each level, you will be presented with a series of doors. Each door will have it’s own unique colour and shape. There will be a sentence on the floor, this sentence will always be true. Above each respective door is a message that will either tell the truth or not. For example, the blue door leads to bacon, it is the role of the player to take into consideration each of the messages and then use logic to make an informed decision about which door will in fact lead to the pinnacle of gaming excellence, the bacon. Any incorrect choice will send you hurtling to your eternal doom, in this instance I would suggest a Vegetarian Battle Royale, that you enter blindfolded carrying a flag on a pole saying “Bacon is love, bacon is life”, you get my point.
In essence, this is the core structure of the game. Other than a brief interlude whereby you peruse some abandoned offices, taking time to read the ironic signs placed strategically on the walls. Doors is nothing more that a game of logic, don’t be deceived.
Aesthetically I am a fan of the game, the developer has taken time to create an atmosphere of haunting beauty. The dense fog giving way to the eerie silhouette of splintered and jagged trees, as well as landscapes that stretch out into the great unknown. The sound effects are gorgeous, I would certainly recommend playing the game with headphones and cranking the volume way up high to be fully immersed in the experience. Although clearly care has been taken with the design, I can’t help but feel that this is deliberate, almost like the smoke of a magician to hide the imperfections. There is no reason to make the journey to each of the puzzles so long and cumbersome, you can’t leave the path and have an explore either. I can’t help but wonder if the developer did this to add more padding to the game. Although I am a fan of the design, it does feel somewhat forced and unnecessary
The puzzles range in difficulty, although if you take note of the information that is offered to you and think about things logically, then the title should prove to be an enjoyable and challenging experience. My greatest criticism though is of the utmost importance to any puzzle game, the player must be punished for making an incorrect decision. This is where the unequivocal failure of the title lies, quite simply, if you make an incorrect decision, you will start where you left-off armed with the knowledge that you did in fact make a wrong choice. Through the process of elimination keep selecting any door until you pick the correct one, you don’t lose a life, the puzzle doesn’t change, not a thing. You have the ability to do this for every puzzle in the game, for me, this is a real failing.
In terms of value for money, I would suggest that even at £3.99 you’d be lucky to get 30 to 40 minutes out of the game, I also doubt that you’d return to the title. As it stands then, having played the game through from start to finish, I did enjoy various aspects, such as the atmosphere. The game is beautiful in the simplicity of design, when I recollect my experience this is the primary element I tend to reflect upon. I’m glad to have the title in my collection of games, although doubt I would reinstall. So take it for what it is, a single-playthrough title that will test your mind. I would certainly try your utmost to complete the puzzles using well thought-out logic, rather than caving and employing the rinse and repeat process of elimination as this damages the experience.
Not the best title you’ll ever play, but certainly a long way from being the worst, and at £3.99 it is definitely worth testing your logic for a price that won’t seriously dent your wallet, or purse, in the interest of equality, of course.
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