While Kafka was anything but random, this game sure is.
It seems that the creator of the game had no clue what Kafka is really all about.While Kafka was anything but random, this game sure is.
It seems that the creator of the game had no clue what Kafka is really all about. Sure, there are plenty of absurdities in the writings of one of the best authors of all time, that one might find random, but they are grotesque and unsettling, they will make you feel insignificant, helpless and powerless against the weight of the system. They serve a purpose.
Here everything is just random without any real purpose. What's the deal with the monkey-detective? Or the astronaut, that we never see again? A flying fish or a flying boat? Random things just happen and we're done with them forever. The whole game seems completely amateur and lacks focus. You can't just throw random things at us and pass that as Kafkaesque, it doesn't work that way. To top it off, there is also a pointless Twin Peaks reference that doesn't go anywhere and a cameo of some dude in a fighting minigame in a style of Mortal Kombat.
The story has very little to do with Kafka, except that the protagonist of the story, named simply K. is involved in events that are beyond his own control and tries to find the way out of it (kind of, there are no clear motives for what he's doing), which is somewhat Kafkaesque, I must admit. There are some twists and turns, but overall, not too much of a story at all. The Kafka references are nothing but a pop-culture joke. Stretched over 4 chapters, the whole script probably took no more than 2 regular pages, including the dialog. The events don't connect to each other much or at all. Random things just happen and nothing really makes any sense or has any purpose.
The characters are non existent, even the main protagonist has no personality whatsoever. I have hard time to say anything else about any of them, because there is nothing to say. There is also a companion dog, fallowing K. for some reason. Do I have to mention that there is zero interaction with the dog throughout the game?
You might think that this is a short game and a single person effort, so how much of a story and character development I should expect?
But short games, and even games that were made by a single person can be good or even great games: Milkmaid of the Milky Way is a great example, Gemini Rue is a single person effort, while not exactly short, Fran Bow was developed by a team of 2, I'm yet to play The Darkside Detective, but I've heard it's great. The thing is, I bought this game because I knew it's short, I love short games. If I have just one evening a month I can spend point-and-clicking, there is nothing better for me than a 2-4 hour game.
Sure, short, small team games might not have it all, maybe the story is lacking, perhaps puzzles are somewhat weak, but there must be something that makes them worthwhile. I could forgive a lot if there is at least one aspect in the game that stands strong. In fact, I wouldn't mind anything that's wrong with this game, if at least puzzles were half decent.
But the puzzles in this game are downright annoying and actually the worst part of the game! They have absolutely nothing to do with the game itself, they are just a very amateur way of dragging this game longer than it should have been. Of course, the number sliding puzzle has to be in there, how else are you going to show your lack of creativity? Oh, here is an idea: maybe instead of creating some real puzzles as obstacles to overcome, why not simply depict going somewhere as a simple board game?!
Most of these puzzles can be solved simply by clicking and dragging things around. Sometimes you might not know exactly what you're supposed to be doing, but just click enough things around and eventually you'll get there.
Other times, I failed to find the logic behind the puzzles whatsoever. Sure, there were hints for how to solve most of them, but they still made no sense. There was a puzzle with a toy monkey, you drag the string, the monkey plays the drums. Notice the number on the hat and play the drums to represent that number. I get it, but in what way does that make any sense whatsoever? Why would there be something when we played the correct sequence?
Other times there were brute force puzzles: click on something, see what happens, rinse, repeat. Perhaps I just wasn't looking hard enough, but it looked like there's all there is to them. The hardest part of the most puzzles were to find things that you're able to click on, or find what obj… Expand