Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror

Random Thoughts While Playing

I immediately remembered the feel of the first Broken Sword game and fell right back into the characters. I continue to love the “cell-animation” graphics and the high quality animation.

The initial scene was a bit ridiculous. Tied up in a burning house while being attacked by a poisonous spider? OK… But luckily things got a little less over the top.

They have removed the map for navigation and you just follow an essentially linear story-line. This seems to work well.

I again appreciate the ‘mini-games’ within the larger game. ie you are placed in a location and can’t leave until you have solved the puzzle. This removes those lingering suspicions that you need some piece from some other area to solve a puzzle.

I continue to dislike Nico as the love interest. She never shows a shred of interest in George. No idea why he’s so head over heels for her.

Ketch’s Landing – The worst puzzle ever

OK… the puzzle at Ketch’s Landing has me stumped and a little annoyed. It seems like I need to get this red ball from the cat so I can use it in the slingshot to hit the surveyors target so the surveyor will leave his map to come fix it so I can look at his plans. I am a grown ass man and I can’t take a ball from a cat? OK well I’ll go through the puzzle and figure out how to get a fish from the kid on the dock. Done… OK i’ll use it to lure the cat away from the ball. No actually I’ll just feed it to the cat, watch as it eats the fish and never grab the ball. So WTF. Even if this isn’t the solution to the puzzle (and it’s been hinted that it is), he should at least be able to grab the fucking ball while the cat is eating the fish, not to mention he could just grab it to begin with. This puzzle is lame.

OK I had to use the hints to solve it. The answer is to use the inner tube on one of the flag poles and put the fish on it. Here’s the problem – I already did try putting the inner tube on the flagpole before I had a fish. It just hung there and did nothing. It also gave me the option to remove it ‘I guess this wasn’t a good idea after all.’ it said when I removed it. I thought that was weird at the time because it was the first time I’d seen such an extensive red-herring. Usually the game would just stop you from doing something if it was a blind alley. OK whatever I thought and then I put the inner tube on the tree. Bingo! That must be where the inner tube is supposed to go because A) it solved the mystery of the ‘U’ shape in the tree and B) once I had attached it I couldn’t remove it. I COULDN’T REMOVE IT. Fucking idiot game. I would classify this as a bug. I wouldn’t mind this so much if the game had set the precedent early on that it would let you paint yourself into a corner and require a restore. But this game has gone to great lengths to avoid that. So the lesson is: your user is not just paying attention to the puzzles but is building expectations from the game based on the type of puzzles and the solutions already found. When you so drastically cross a boundary like this one – allowing the player to screw themselves after a full game and a half of not allowing that – they will see it as misleading and unfair.

OK I finished it. The game was good over all. The ending was a bit of a letdown but overall I did enjoy the game a lot.

Leave a Reply