Tag Archives: France

Congratulations to me, for I found the year 2016

where is 2016 gd final thoughts capture

In hindsight, I really should have put forth a larger effort to make Where is 2016? the first game I completed this year instead of Rain. It only makes sense to ring in the new year with a game about…unearthing 2016 by flipping a bunch of hidden red switches to green, time-traveling to other countryside locations to repeat this endeavor, and then pulling a lever to release some jarring, chipper cartoon character from behind a locked door. Yeah, that only makes sense.

From independent game developer Mateusz Skutnik, Where is 2016? is a short point-and-click hidden object adventure set somewhere in France. I make that broad and dangerous assumption from the spatter of French words I saw on signage and rusty pipes. If this is set in, say, Middle-earth, please correct me in the comments below, but I’m more certain that it is not in Middle-earth than I am it is in France. Either way, it’s the countryside and small-town suburbia for your exploring. You do this by clicking areas of a static image, going deeper; in actuality, this is all you do, as well as lose yourself in the minute details of high resolution photographs of foliage and machinery.

There’s no traditional puzzle solving here. Simply find all the switches, turn them to green, return to the main switch hub thing, twist the knob–hey now, this is a family blog, people–and return to the main screen, which features a locked door, a rope to pull, and a clock with hands to manipulate. Do that a total of four times, with each scenario asking you to discover more red lights to switch, and you’ll complete the game. Easy enough. The struggle is discovering what you can click on and what you can’t, though the cursor will change when you are over a hot spot; still, there’s a bit of pixel hunting to do, and here’s a free tip–sometimes you can click in a section you’ve already zoomed in on for an even closer look at things.

I’m more than fine with Where is 2016?‘s length, as it was perfect to get through in ten to fifteen minutes and felt satisfying, in terms of finding all the gadgets to click, when I reached the end. Still don’t understand who that cartoon character was and why he was congratulating me on finding 2016. Perhaps he stars in one of Skutnik’s other games, of which there seem to be many. Sounds like the Submachine series is one worth examining. Also, he’s evidently been at this awhile, creating Where is 2015?, Where is 2014?, and so on for the respective past few years.

Where is 2016? features high resolution photographs for you to click on and dive into. You might think looking at a rusty, old farm plow is beyond tedious, but the closer you get to it, the better you see how it is put together. Then you notice the words etched into the metal, or the small scratches. The flecks of dirty, time. I don’t know if Skutnik took these photos himself for the game or if they come from some stock-based website, but they are crisp and energized, as well as perfunctory and plain. Adding gameplay mechanics on top of them definitely at first feels wrong, but eventually the two elements mesh together without much noise.

If you’d also like to start your year off right by releasing 2016 from its locked, dark chamber, begin click, click, clicking all up on Where is 2016? in your browser over here.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #3 – Where is 2016?

2016 games completed where is 2016 capture

Search sharp photographs
In France, for switches, secrets
The new year is here

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

Let me boast about protecting the Le Havre coast

Work progresses slowly on The Saboteur as I sneak and sabotage my way to eliminating more and more white dots, also known as ambient freeplay missions. I try to focus on pockets of them, but do occasionally get sidetracked when escaping Nazis in pursuit and end up in a different area of the map than previously planned for. However, with a headquarters located in a church in Le Havre, I decided to try my luck clearing out the place, knowing that if Sean was killed in action, he’d respawn pretty close by so I wouldn’t have to trek back across the countryside and could easily stock up on grenades and such. This plan took some time, a lot of dynamite, and too much frustrating on having to constantly fight the same Nazis in the same spots after dying and returning to the scene, but it worked. See:

Coast Guard (15G): You completed 76 ambient freeplay in Le Havre.

Yeah. 76 is a lot of white dots. I’m sure I took out a few when playing the main story missions, but there was a good chunk I had missed. None were too hard to destroy save for three dots inside the fortress atop the hill, which, as you can see from my now unlocked Achievement, were not needed.

Le Havre is a nice little port town in the upper left corner of France. There’s docks and boats and a wharf and seagulls. It’s quaint, something out of a literary classic, and I like that. I can only imagine what it’s like now, in 2010, with iPads and tourists and sneakers with power laces. Maybe not as quaint, maybe not as literary. I almost felt bad when some citizens would spy me placing dynamite and go running off, shrieking, “He’s got a bomb!” as if I was ruining everything. My bad. Only trying to free y’all from Nazi oppression. I can just go back to drinking if that’s what’s preferred. Sorry, Jules.

My next Achievement target is for clearing out 53 white dots in Saarbrucken. Should be a piece of cake in comparison to Le Havre. I got a few last night before getting too sleepy. The problem this time around is that there isn’t a local HQ in the area, nor a weapons dealer. So, I need to stock up and go in prepared, not wasting a single grenade or bundle of dynamite. Otherwise, it’s a lot of back and forth, back and forth, and that’s just not fun. Yeah, if anything, The Saboteur could use a fast travel system. I understand why it’s not there–those Nazi checkpoints exist to keep you on your toes and give you something to run from–but it would sure make this end-of-game grinding a lot more feasible. Oh well. Still having a great time, and that’s nothing to complain about.