Skip to content

Smokescreen Day#7 Part One: Workin’ for the Man

While I get my next hardcore game set-up, I decided to go back and finish up Smokescreen. It’s been quite original in terms of introducing new mechanics and have a solid narrative. Today was Mission 10 and 11. Mission 10 puts you in a totally new role: that of the police. It’s pretty short, and it features a nice logic minigame which is only hampered by some poor design in the control and interface. Spoilers within.

So it’s been a while since my last Smokescreen, but that worked out great for starting with Mission 10, because it features none of the characters I’ve met so far. Instead, I am in the role of a police investigator. There’s a phone conversation that’s slightly too fast and too jargon-y for me to precisely follow, but the gist is that someone is suspected to have ordered bomb making materials and the police are trying to hunt down the potential terrorist. I am tasked with scanning phone records, passport use, emails, texting, etc. in a series of searches to try to find and capture the suspect before any act of terrorism can happen.

The game here is in the searches. The right side of the screen is taken up with a game board: a set of five circles at the top, four lines beneath that with types of connectors (7 in each line: three straight lines, two 2 combine to make 1 line, and two 1 split into 2 lines), and five circles at the bottom. The game is that solid colors appear in the circles above, and combinations of color (e.g. red-green, yellow-purple-blue) in the circles below. The goal is to draw lines between the top and bottom circles using the connectors and splitters to make the correct combination for the circles on the bottom. You have a time limit you have to perform within.

The game is pretty good as a logic puzzle thing, and it gets interesting challenging in places. There are two weird things. The first issue is that the icons that indicate what combinations you need to make are very small, and at least I found it hard to read the colors.  The second issue is that the way you create lines involves clicking on the origin point and then clicking on the final point, but there’s no locking in on potential start and finish points. It’s possible to click in a null area, and I’m not sure why it doesn’t just lock into squares that actually do something. There’s no real reason why I would ever want to click on a null area, and it gets frustrating when you lose time in a logic puzzle because you missed a hotspot by a pixel. Otherwise, the game is good, and the difficult ramps well with the exception of one shocking hard puzzle right in the middle. (It’s a fun puzzle; it’s just in the wrong place.)

I get through all of the puzzles on the first try, except the hard one that takes me three tries. The narrative proceeds that we find and enter the suspect’s house, but he’s already gone and there is no evidence of a bomb in the home. They track the suspect to the airport and find the terminal. They send in an anti-terrorist squad to apprehend the suspect, and that suspect turns out to be Max (one of our main characters, and the leader of White Smoke) on his way to a conference in the States. He’s arrested in front of his parents as the mission ends.

I get all of the achievements except one (I assume for perfect play). Overall, not a bad introduction back to Smokescreen. Let’s see how the next mission goes.

Posted in Core.

Tagged with .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.