Exemplary? I guess in a way it is: the first area is back track galore, no fast travel, no fast clicking on exits. Just walking around the same five or six screens pixel-hunting stuff and clicking on stuff, waiting for whimsical animations to play out, sometimes pretty long, too, and listening to silly sounds.
The non-textual cues look cool but are not intuitive, both for the UI and the puzzles, to the point there is a pretty popular guide on their forum that explains what the menu options do (!)
It is pretty and it is whimsical. But as an adventure game it gives me nausea: it is stuck half-way between the desire of having puzzles, and being a toy that you touch and stuff happens, and it does well neither thing.
Since it was making roll my eyes so fast, I pulled out a walkthrough and made it to the second area, but I’m not sure that I want to continue. I recall John highlighting the backtracking and the bad puzzles, too, though he felt that they were minority, it’s bad enough to make me want go play something interesting, instead.
The hint system also is pretty bad as far as I can see, it’s just two pages of drawings. That’s not a hint system. **The Inner World **has a hint system. Click four rocks in a certain sequence. Great puzzle design?
The music is good, though.
Sounds to me like you’re making things complicated for yourself: there is a strongly recommended control scheme, so unless you totally hate it, it’s probably less hassle to just get used to it?
As for 8 directions, I think Viral Frog hit the nail on the head. With continuous aiming you run with accuracy problems because of the stick, whereas with 8 the catchment areas are larger and it’s easier, for a smartly coded game, to figure out what direction you’re pointing in.
Are you on an TKL that you don’t have arrows close together?
It is, enjoy!