Electron Dance
24Apr/160

Dabbling with… Wrong Wire

The final episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2016.

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And so we end where we started, with a prototype from Introversion Software.

In addition to Scanner Sombre, the other prototype they had on show was Wrong Wire, a bomb disposal game. The obvious touchstone is the local multiplayer game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games, 2015) in which a team of experts with bomb specification manuals have to work with the one player who has physical access to the bomb. Introversion designer Chris Delay gave me the impression it was a bit of GAH! moment when Keep Talking came out as this prototype was already under way!

Still there should be little to fear. Keep Talking is a party game while Wrong Wire is a single-player puzzle game.

When I sat down, I didn't realise that the previous player had rage quit leaving me with a fiendish bomb as my "tutorial". I thought, bloody hell, this is hard and there are no instructions at all. Once I figured out there was a restart button, all was well.

Wrong Wire was a hand-crafted experience rather than procedurally-generated. Each level posed a different threat and it made me wonder how far the prototype could go, because it didn't seem like a procedural mash-up of the elements on show would produce something necessarily interesting. That is, it came across like the amount of work invested in each level's design was disproportionately high compared to the amount of time you might play it.

Despite some fiddly issues with the controls (no NOT AGAIN, why does clicking here open the little glass door, I was reaching for the wire!) the prototype was an enjoyable series of puzzles to play through. I was definitely more wedded to Scanner Sombre, but I wouldn't be upset to see Wrong Wire on release down the line.

That's the end of this year's Rezzed series. Thank you to those who have been along for the ride!

Interested in the other games I dabbled with? Check out the series index!

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