I watched Zero Punctuation a couple weeks ago (The Walking Dead) one, and Yahtzee brought up a point I’ve been meaning to start a thread about. He mentioned the “typical” good adventure game puzzle (in a nutshell moon logic that finally makes sense after you do it), and The Walking Dead’s puzzles (hilariously easy like “I need a screwdriver to unscrew this!”).
So it occurs to me, there’s very few good ways to make a good adventure game puzzle. If you make them logical, they become ridiculously easy. However, the usual approach to making them can make puzzles that, while they make sense, are incredibly difficult to arrive at that solution. Especially when the game gives you the standard “I can’t use that” on the other 15 things in your inventory that could solve the problem if used correctly in real life.
I’m not sure. I really loved Telltale’s Back to the Future, I thought it had logical, fair puzzles. Of course, this causes the complaint by a lot of people that it was too easy. Other adventure games have clever puzzles, yes, but even in Monkey Island I’m frequently reduced to desperately rubbing things against each other praying to hop onto the developer’s train of logic.
So how do you make difficult puzzles without making bullshit puzzles? I can’t really figure it out.