Here's my review of Elsewhere :) Initial location:
First of all, you are in a strange place where you first have to figure out how to reach the exit. And this is a turnoff at the start. You will be facing a hard time puzzle. It's not hard to figure out what is going on... the problem is the solving part. After 10 unsuccessful tries, I just went for the flymode to get myself out! It might be the lag that is at stake, but let me tell you, I love running & jumping and stuff like that but you have to make a perfect run, jump at the right time, turn without bumping into any obstacle to "maybe" have a slight chance to slip yourself through before the way is blocked again. After 10 tries with that silly door closing up on my nose, I just decided to cheat.
So for the alpha explorer who doesn't necessarily run in this game (or like to run intensively), it will be a killer! I would suggest you, Denost, to maybe extend the period when the ways are open because people will either just:
1) cheat to go further on or,
2) quit the age and never return back.
Well, it's a timed puzzle but like Denost said in a following post, you need to understand the logic. If you see that a door is somewhat impossible to reach then... it is
- Show Spoiler
Once out of there, you understand that you will swim a lot in this age. You were stranded on a small island nearby a huge crescent-like island. There are 2 smaller islands on the other side of that bigger island. Let's call that "Area 1". From my experience from Somewhere & Iceworld, I knew I had to clear this whole area before going further on. That's what you have to do as well.
How to define an "area" from the other... simply by the mean of transportation... you can swim within an area but to go from one to the other, unless you know the route by heart or having plenty of time on your hand... (Hours of swimming literally), I'll suggest you to find yourself a mean of transportation. This is your goal.
In every Denost's ages, there are a lot of information to gather and to put all together. This "area 1" is really important as you will gather the most information. You have to touch every button, every sheet of paper, there will be each time a close-up, take pictures, take notes, I'm using FRAPS screenshots feature for this. If you don't gather those information right from the start and go on on your journey, you'll be in trouble.Area 2: Prison Island
Once you'll have find the way to travel out of this "area 1", you will arrive in the "area 2", the Prison Island. This area is really hard. It's a journey on its own because this island is not meant to be welcoming at all.
First, you'll have to work your way inside a small complex near the drop off where you'll gather more information. Then with all what you will have gathered so far, you'll soon figure out that you have to find a small canyon on this huge island. Good luck! Once there, the suffering will only begin; you'll face a new time puzzle at the very top of it. It's quite insane.
Make sure you know exactly the path to follow, you'll have gathered that information earlier on. Even with that, the puzzle itself is quite hardcore. You'll have to do a no fault run. And what is frustrating is that the red light turning green is not turning green before a certain time... which time? I have no idea. So you might be ahead of that green light, you don't have a clue... You might just arrived too late also, you have no idea either... And after you touch the green button, there's no sound indication that's you have done it correctly or not. You have to run to the next button anyway, hoping everything went well. After the 4th button, you have no sound indication that you solved the puzzle so it's quite frustrating. And to see if you completed the time puzzle you have to go all the way back to the bottom of the canyon to see if the door you came in and shut right after your passage is unlocked... After several unsuccessful tries, I had to cheat and use flymode to go from one green button to the other, I would still be there without it...Area 3 & Beyond:
The 3rd area is a whole puzzle in itself, there are numerous islands, you must seek for a sequence somewhere, then follow it. Again look at every details. If you find odd that a opening is on a cliff, try to see if there's something at the other end instead.
There are flying carts in those areas. The whole areas beyond the "Prison Island" are nicer and more captivating.
During your journey, you'll reach an island with something moving around real fast. At first, I thought it was some kind of predator, but it turned out that you are the predator and you must prey on it!
Run for your life:
- Show Spoiler
From that "area 3", there's also a possibility to visit a "charming" secluded island. I found a mean of transportation to go there, all was fine. I got there and was puzzled as to why the barrier was locked. I used skydiving techniques (no cheat) to go over them and find another blockade and a strange feeling getting me. I managed to successfully jump over that invisible blockade. It didn't take me a long time before figuring I ended up on a secluded island for a good reason... I was the prey and there was a predator out there looking for some explorer tenderloin... You hear the "hiss" sound on a permanent basis, sometimes you see the predator running. I came close to meet its path but I avoided it. There are doors opening and closing real fast letting you discover maze complexes in the hills. You can go in those complexes but let me tell you, you're not safe at all in there, the creature can go there as well. So you are always under the permanent fear of having the creature behind your back. And after I while, I figured out there were nothing on that island. There's a pillar that looks like the others one spread all over the age but there's no calling button whatsoever so I'm figuring this "Hell on Earth" island shouldn't be on the excursion guide. It's a detour at your own risk...
NOT TRUE FINALLYEnd notes:
There are 8 saving points in grand total.
The means of transportation, so far, are not very friendly. Once you reach the other area, there are no callback button in the previous area... (If you play offline, circling through all the spawnpoints is equivalent to circling through all the saving points, no need to Relto out if you reached the wrong one). Using the /spawn will make you circle through some areas that you might not want to see right from the start (big spoiler)
Those islands are also much desolated. It's very dark as Sirius already told and you cannot see far into the horizon. There are some bushes here and there but not that much. It's quite oppressive but actually it might add to the experience since you are not supposed to see very far in the distance. The water effects are very well made. The waves are well designed too.
The puzzles are well done, I dislike the 2 timed puzzles but beside that they are quite captivating. If you like timed puzzles then you'll be delighted.
They could be improved by:
extending their time just a little bit
making the red lights go green longer in duration so you don't have to guess: "Am I too early or am I too late?"
adding sound effects in the prison island to help us to know if we got it right or not...
The story is rich, the areas are vast, it's like putting the 4 parts of Elodea all together and even... it's bigger than that, it's Somewhere & Iceworld all together!Review:
Except for the timed puzzles, I really enjoyed the whole experience. I've reached the end so I can clearly tell you it's a marvellous adventure!
It won't be suitable for everyone though; you have to be a hardcore adventurer to really enjoy it. If you just want a small age with 1 or 2 puzzles and enjoy the sheer beauty of the location you are in, Elsewhere won't be for you. If on the other hand, you like to have a real adventure experience, like to explore, are always curious of what's on the next corner ("What's over there, let me see...") then you are in for a real treat!
Sense of adventure: that's pure adventure!
Puzzle difficulty: mostly acceptable, timed puzzles might revealed themselves hard for many explorers
Vastness: more than huge, it huger than Somewhere & Iceworld all together
Story: very richly documented
Settings: very well made, although it's a bit desertic, but we are already accustomed (Somewhere & Iceworld were desertic too)
Lag: I did feel it but nothing to be worry about (far less than in Somewhere for instance). The highest degree of lag I encountered during my chase of the ********* in a faraway island, part of your journey.
Means of transportation: numerous,
hooving carts: 2
flying carts: 3 (of which one is a real treat, it's a tourist ride.)
?????: 1 <--- there's something more to ride on
(the nicest ride ever in Elsewhere, you can even relax on a couch, drink coffee, etc.)
Have a nice exploration journey! I UPDATED THE WHOLE TEXT