academia | advice | alcohol | American Indians | architecture | art | artificial intelligence | Barnard | best | biography | bitcoin | blogging | broken umbrellas | candide | censorship | children's books | Columbia | comics | consciousness | cooking | crime | criticism | dance | data analysis | design | dishonesty | economics | education | energy | epistemology | error correction | essays | family | fashion | finance | food | foreign policy | futurism | games | gender | Georgia | health | history | inspiration | intellectual property | Israel | journalism | Judaism | labor | language | law | leadership | letters | literature | management | marketing | memoir | movies | music | mystery | mythology | New Mexico | New York | parenting | philosophy | photography | podcast | poetry | politics | prediction | product | productivity | programming | psychology | public transportation | publishing | puzzles | race | reading | recommendation | religion | reputation | review | RSI | Russia | sci-fi | science | sex | short stories | social justice | social media | sports | startups | statistics | teaching | technology | Texas | theater | translation | travel | trivia | tv | typography | unreliable narrators | video | video games | violence | war | weather | wordplay | writing

Friday, November 10, 2017

Grim Fandango tips

Grim Fandango, often included on lists of the best videogames of all time, was recently remastered and rereleased for multiple platforms including the Mac. It's a classic of the "point-and-click adventure" genre, with a very well done Day of the Dead theme.

I loved the game, and I got stuck a lot of times in ways that I felt were really rewarding to figure out, but a dozen or so of the places I got stuck ultimately felt like the solution was a little bit too obscure to be fun. That's always true of this genre; the frustration can be rewarding, but sometimes the puzzles aren't quite calibrated right.

So as I played and figured everything out, I kept a running list of things I wish I had been told before I played. They're sort of hints, but designed not to interfere with the fun of figuring things out. I was careful not to spoil anything.

  1. Some doors have a separate deadbolt lock and wheel to open them.
  2. You can put multiple things in the same container, dish or bowl.
  3. When you have no idea where to go, a sign really helps.
  4. If there's someone you've spoken to already who could help you in a new way, go back and ask them.
  5. Keep talking to your friends from time to time.
  6. There are a few elaborate devices/situations/places that seem they must play a core role, but don't.
  7. The forklift is annoyingly precise; right is better than left.
  8. It sounds stupid, but open doors can be very distracting to people who are trying to concentrate.
  9. Metal detectors can sense metal in odd places, no matter how it got in there.
  10. Things that rattle suspiciously should be reported to the proper authorities.
  11. If you can’t get someone’s attention, maybe you need to be closer at the moment you talk to them.
  12. Dwell at important places and make sure to investigate every area you can touch. Crucial points, like fulcrums and joints, are especially sensitive.
  13. Notice little clues the game gives you; don’t assume it’s just being cute.
  14. If a character is present, remember the type of function they play.
  15. When stuck in a room, make sure you’ve identified everything touchable there. Sometimes your eyes need to do the detective work.