181/365 – Meditation Games #181 – Balloon Crisis

Developer Credits: Enclave Games, Andrzej Mazur, Ewa Mazur

Launcher Quote: “Whatever it takes.”

Games that have a crisis that you have to solve, that present to you something that you have to fix in order to prevent something bad from happening, are one of the oldest dilemmas to solve, and a means to test the player when they’ve gotten a chance to get a hold of the mechanics. Whether it is trying to disarm something within a time limit, make a daring escape while fending off enemies, or perform a miraculous rescue despite having all the odds against them, a good old-fashioned challenge that solves a problem is one of the most fun things about games.

Sometimes, however, the dilemma, isn’t as obvious, nor is the solution, which is part and parcel some of the best parts of some of the hybrid action/puzzler games of the modern era (Uncharted and the Tomb Raider remakes come to mind). When the solution or even the puzzle isn’t immediately perceived, that’s part of the appeal or challenge for me, because the cognitive process of trying to figure out what’s going on is part of the satisfaction when finally solving things. Trying to figure out if I needed to weigh down the person holding the balloon, cut the string to the box, try to cut off the string to the balloon, and seeing if I needed to stop the inevitable fall into the hole are all parts of the puzzle that I had an interesting time trying to deal with in order to fix the problem I was presented with.

Real life, obviously is not so easy – for example, you rarely get an opportunity to try to do this and get repeated chances to solve a dilemma. Even in cinema or movies, you rarely get a do-over for something that went very wrong (something which makes the launcher quote, a saying from one of the most popular movies of the year so far, a bit more interesting to see, and the repeated mechanics of the game even more so). But it’s nice to know that at least in games, which have some of its foundations in having at least 3 chances in order to do something right, that you get the chance to learn and to eventually get past obstacles, which makes puzzle difficulty and dilemma solving all the more worth it when finished.

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