I’m running another Thinky Games stream this weekend at the usual time on Saturday 14 October. It’ll begin at 11AM UK, 12PM CET, 6AM EST, 8PM Sydney on Saturday. You’ll need to hop over to the Thinky Games Twitch channel to watch: twitch.tv/thinkygames.

This week’s lineup:

Update 15 Oct: The stream can now be watched on the Thinky Games YouTube channel!

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6 thoughts on “Thinky Stream: Stoneman’s Adventure, Side by Size, Headlong Hunt

  1. I hope I will not be awake for the stream but I took one look at the picture and was like “Awwwww yes, gimme that soko.” Though the part about one-line drawing seems ominous!

  2. Ay ay ay, somebody forgot how to put in a close italics tag.

    Anyway, the stones are jelly. Through four levels of the demo, there are definitely some Sausage Fest characteristics, but the reunion-of-islands theme reminds me more of A Monster’s Expedition, which I’ve been replaying and have some thoughts on. Namely, one of its big strengths is how it can guide you to strange maneuvers by drastically restricting the available maneuvers–there are only three things that don’t obviously get you stuck in a loop or unwinnable situation so you have to try them. (As you gain skill you gain perception of “this obviously makes no progress” so the game can do more of this stuff.) And even the schmuck bait can be gentle–sometimes there’s an island where you can push over a tree in an obvious but wrong way, but even the wrong way gets you to one island (rather than two), so you’re not stuck.

    Also I finished the main game on the replay and there is this absolutely Giant area in the middle I haven’t unlocked, which I know I can unlock conventionally, but I don’t see where to start! Draaaakneeeeeeek!

  3. Apparently I should make clear that the comments on drastically restricting the available maneuvers, schmuck bait, and the big central section are about Monster’s Expedition, not Stoneman!

    I have played ~10 levels of the demo of Stoneman and it is clearly worth my three bucks and also clearly going to be a mind-bender. In some ways it does not restrict your freedom in the way I described, some of the first few levels have you drawing a line pretty free-form. (Which is part of the reason it’s going to be a mind-bender, those “construct a shape here and predict what it will do when you use it there” puzzles always wreck me.) But it does also have some of that restriction, in that in those puzzles at least it was apparent that your shape had to leave some room here to let you even get started, and then had to leave some more room there, and so on. Lotta experimentation-and-reset already, though.

  4. Thank you for clarifying your position, Matt. All commenters everywhere appreciate this.

    As is customary, I haven’t played any more Stoneman than I did on on the stream, but I was intrigued despite the difficulty curve being a little borked.

    As I intimated on BS, I eventually walked away from A Monster’s Expedition. Well, more graveyarded to be honest. I would loop around the same islands again and again, trying to find a weakness I had missed, such as a log I was supposed to hack across three islands. It became tiring.

  5. Monster’s Expedition update: I got a new computer and completely restarted, and I gaslit myself so hard on the next playthrough. I think of it as a game where if you just potter around and solve the islands in the normal way, you will reach all the normal stuff. And I was extremely surprised that I managed to reach the end without doing one bit that I remember vividly–by the blanket pub (?) you can go two directions, and both of them take you back to the blanket pub, but there’s some extremely clever design where if you do them both in either order the second one takes you back to the blanket pub in a way that lets you progress. And, as I just learned, there’s a completely different path to the end that bypasses this!

    But that’s not it. What’s it is that I had an ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS area in the middle I hadn’t discovered, full of exhibits (which are a sign that you’re supposed to get to them normally). I did the weird bits I was certain I could get to from the expansion. I did some other weird bits I wasn’t certain I could get to. I stared at the map. I began to wonder if there had been another expansion. I went to something near the part I hadn’t uncovered, and I stared at it so hard that I saw a new direction to push off from it, which got me to a snowman I’d never seen before (the one that looks like a bumblebee)–and the exit from that island was in the foggy area! Which took me immediately back to where I’d come from, but at least I could see that the way I was supposed to get there was by pushing off a raft from next to the lighthouse, which I’d somehow never done, even though it’s really early in the game.

    So yeah, I could use some way of getting hints for how to get places that aren’t on the critical path.

  6. Hello Matt. I think I remember hitting the area in the middle. For a puzzle completionist like myself, I found the optional content was tough to deal with. I’d look for “jumping off points” into areas where I felt there might be something but, to be honest, it was easier when you “finished” the game and the fog cleared. Even when you knew where you were headed, there were always too many islands you’d have to review intensely for any possible way down.

    You weren’t solving a puzzle: you were looking for a hidden puzzle. I think that’s why the endgame felt like a downer.

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