Hard Puzzle 4: The Ballad of Bob and Cheryl

I remember the original Hard Puzzle. It was ... hard, largely because it didn't seem, at least to me, that there was much I could do with what I had. There was, however, an intriguing sense of the solution lying tantalisingly close, something to do with an exploit of a bug baked into the code. It always felt as though all I needed was a single spark of inspiration, some special way to look at it that would make everything clear. This, the (apparently?) fourth instalment of the ongoing saga, is much the same. Half of it seems to be about exploiting a "bug" deliberately introduced into the way things work. The other half, which I don't think was part of the original Hard Puzzle, seems to be about figuring exactly how this network of inter-related ... stuff ... works.

There appear to have been developments, however. We're now in some sort of underwater(?) module/station and it sounds like we're on the run from some shadowy group of people, who I think may be either zombies or mutants or both. There's a certain post-apocalyptic whimsy to the game that's actually kind of endearing. I could be way off base about these details because, to be honest, it's actually been a long time in between playing this game and writing this. I kept putting off the review because I kept thinking I was this close to cracking the puzzle.

No, I never did.

I guess that's the biggest takeaway from this game. Underneath the silliness, it is absolutely uncompromising -- and that is what makes it work. It's like Weetabix for breakfast, with a cup of builder's brew: it seems plain enough, but it's something of a British staple, with lots of crunch.