Critical Play: Puzzles

I played Factory Balls Forever, a computer game designed by Bart Bonte. The premise is to use various objects and buckets of paint to construct patterns on blank styrofoam balls. The player does so by clicking on the objects and paint buckets in a certain order to produce the desired result. 

I didn’t expect to have as much fun with it as I did.It capitalizes on a kind of fun that I gravitate to a lot: abnigation. The game has me doing something completely pointless and menial that has no real stakes attached to it. The different puzzles are much more imaginative than I had anticipated. I found myself laughing a lot when I saw the way that various random household items could be used to create elaborate color schemes. 

It’s a one player game but I can see how it could be expanded to be multiplayer. Since the puzzles get increasingly trickier, allowing multiple people to play could definitely make it feel easier to play. However, fun is subjective so making it collaborative might have the opposite effect on some people. 

Like I said earlier, I enjoyed playing the game a lot. I think my biggest critique of it is the onboarding process. There are no words to describe what is going on, only pictures. Although the pictures are nice and intuitive to follow, they give no insight into the goal of the puzzle. I was confused for a bit about what I was supposed to be doing until I took a guess and got it right. 




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