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Smokescreen Day#6 Part 1: Party in the Streets

Two more missions today — this is the weaker of the two, but only because Mission 8 is INCREDIBLE. Mission 7 takes us from where we left off last time, and it’s time to save a party. This game is simply endless with the new mechanics, and today we get a ChuChuRocket variant. It’s  a good attempt, but I struggle with it for a interface reason that I just miss.  Spoilers within.

So Mission 7 starts right where 6 left off: Max is having a party, but someone posted it online as a festival with an open invite. This mission starts with a call from Max re-explaining this, and indicate that posts imply that Max is also offering free drinks to minors. He’s freaked, and wants my help stop his uncle’s bar from being overrun.

We start by going to the event page that the hacker put up for the fake festival. Max gives me permission to change the event, and asks me to put up a post that will keep people away. When I click on the posting spot, I get a choice of five possible statements to scare off the potential guests. A lot of the selections are ridiculous  (e.g. the host kidnapped by aliens), so I pick the one that seems the most reasonable: that cops will be at the party looking for underage drinkers. I think I’ve been clever, but Max tells me that what I did was probably not good enough. Did I pick the wrong answer, or do I get that every time?  I think this feedback was just narrative, but it’s  confusing when it also refers to something you chose.

Max then takes me to the actual game. The screen shows a set of roads winding around house from a top-down perspective. There are green dots on the roads, which a good opening card tells me are places where I can place arrows to direct traffic. The narrative is that the other White Smoke admins at the party are out placing signs to direct traffic. My goal is to keep cars away from the driveway where the party is.

I have a lot of trouble with this the first time. It seems like the arrows I place are not the arrows that appear on the map, and thus I lose the first time terribly. About halfway through the third time, I figure out my mistake. The arrows you’re placing are street signs. The perspective is for the drivers on the road, not from the top-down perspective. It’s not really ChuChu Rocket after all.  I’ll take the blame on that one — I’m not sure how obvious the mechanic is, but the instructions and icons are clear and there’s no particular reason why you would make the assumption that I did. It’s still a challenging game, and it takes me two more tries to get all the cars. Pretty fun overall, but too hard I think.

The narrative continues with phone calls as I play. Cal calls Max looking to make up. Max admits that he avoided Cal out of guilt because of the accident, and ending up okay when Cal was in a coma. Cal pushes Max further to apologize for the Daily Hate accusations, but Max won’t go that far. Cal hang up pissed; Max is just confused. But when I finished the game, and Max reveals that the party was contained enough to stop any real damage, a call comes in from Jo indicating that Cal is having a flashback to the accident. Everyone freaks out, and the story ends on the cliffhanger.

I end with three out of five achievements: I miss one for not playing better in the game, and one for no reason I can discern. I decide not to go back and play it, which is the right choice, because Mission 8 is OSSIM. Stay tuned for that.

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