Sunday, April 27, 2008


A pox upon the House of KDE! KBlackBox was frustrating, in that I couldn't really figure it out. This could be because I keep trying to do so when I'm hungover, tired, and miserable. I kept putting off actually writing the review so that I could approach it with a clear head, but whenever I have a clear head I'm not masochistic enough to try, and so in the interests of progress, I give up. Is that ironic or oxymoronic?

As far as I know, it's a bit like Minesweeper in that the point is to predict where the balls (playing the part of 'mines') are hidden in the field of play. Unlike Minesweeper, where your only option is to randomly click a few tiles in the hopes that they will give you clues as to the locations without blowing up and ending the game, you have tools dissociated from the field of play. You have lasers. You turn on lasers, and then you get feedback in the form of a number or letter that indicates where the light-beam ended up.

I know what you're saying to yourself: How could Minesweeper plus lasers be bad? The answer: the feedback the lasers give you seems to run counter to the feedback they're supposed to give you, and even if they didn't, that feedback is hard to interpret. It's possible that I'm just interpreting the manual wrong (likely, even), but even allowing for that, it's still just amazingly hard. Almost on the level of that Einstein's Puzzle (review here) thing.

KBlackBox is not very appealing graphically. It has no sound.

I give up on making sense of this game. It is either impossible, or very difficult, or I am very stupid. I freely admit that a combination of the latter two is the most likely scenario. If you like logic puzzles that make you feel dumb, and have hard-to-interpret ASCII-art renderings of in-game screens as directions, you will love KBlackBox. If not, you had best pass. As per usual, this version is a release behind, and the most current release looks slightly better.

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