Increpare x 2

Increpare has released two new simple browser games in rapid succession, each with rules left up to the player to discover: Promises is a brilliant little single-screen game that demands a mere 5 or so minutes of your time. Answer that demand. Negative Space looks like Tetris and controls like Tetris, but does not respond like Tetris.

If you only have time for one, do play Promises. As for Negative Space, it’s a neat idea but once figuring out how it works I didn’t have the patience to play it through to completion. The process of discovering its game-mechanic was satisfying, however.

  1. In “Promises”, if I talk to the person behind the three doors have I “won”? It seems to me that I’ve violated all the promises I’ve made to obtain the keys. Is that the point? Or am I missing the right solution?

  2. Yup, as far as I can tell that’s the only solution. You didn’t happen to luck into being able to complete it on your first try, did you? I guess there’s a 1 in 6 chance that the game will be winnable on the first attempt, which would have the effect of making it seem like there’s not really a game there at all. In any case, I was taken with it, especially compared to the amount of time it asks of you, but I could see how someone could dismiss it as merely a simple (didactic?) promises-kept/promises-broken statement. The more generous way to describe it would have something to do with implicating the player in the question of what a promise means vis-a-vis one’s chances of getting caught.

  3. I did have to play it through several times before I “won”, then I played several more times to understand exactly what the rules were.

  4. Got it. Then you definitely experienced it the way it was intended. Hope I didn’t come off as too defensive.

    It is interesting, however, to think that the game could be more or less broken by someone happening to visit the stations in the only workable order on their first play-through. Random choices would lead to 1 in 6 doing so, but I bet it’s smaller than that in practice because of how things are positioned.

  5. For future reference, here’s my take on Promises, in reply to someone who thought the solution felt illegitimate since you’re ‘forced to break the rules’:

    But you *do* have to play by the rules! Your promises just aren’t worth much once you’ve extracted what you needed from everyone within eyesight. Before that point they will look upon you harshly if you step out of line. Good thing your love was hidden away in that locked room and missed your cheating ways.

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