Choice


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Rating: 4.8/5 (26 votes)
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zxoChoiceInteractive Flash pieces have generally been designed as either games to be played or art to be interpreted. However, the line between game and art has been steadily diffusing, and there are now many offerings where it's not clear whether the author's intended focus was engaging the user in gameplay or immersing them in artful ponderings. One particularly beautiful example is Choice.

Choice is the product of the Department of Visual Communications and Design at Ling Tung University in Taiwan, presumably a product of one of the students, although I can only speculate, as I cannot read the Chinese language.

Luckily, you don't have to be able to read Chinese either to experience Choice. All you need is a mouse and your own two eyes. However, you'll probably want to engage your ears as well, for there are some wonderful ambient sounds to encounter. To begin, click the game title and then click the flashing numbers to freeze them. Write down the number that appears—you'll need it at the end. Click the numbers again and then click anywhere on the text that appears to start the game. From there, it's up to you to explore and complete the six stunning levels, each one its own fascinating milieu.

Analysis: Joye, who submitted the game, has posted translations of all the Chinese text on her blog, as well as a step-by-step walkthrough for each level. However, I would suggest only using the walkthrough as a last resort, because the experience provided by immersion into the environment is something that cannot be replicated when using shortcuts. Before resorting to the walkthrough, check the game itself for hints: click the book in the top right corner to bring up some text (in Chinese) which hints at the purpose of the level. Click the book again to highlight all of the hot spots in the scene.

In terms of game play, Choice feels a bit like an escape-the-room game of mild difficulty. However, I think you'll agree that there's much more to the game than simply the joy of completing it. The accompanying music and visual effects are top notch, but the rich text really shines in beauty, drawing parallels from a simple game to philosophy, art, and life in general. The book on level 5 offers this little bit of wisdom (as translated by Joye): A person's life time is limited, a victory or defeat at the conclusion isn't the most important thing at all, but rather playing the course. The ups and downs of one's mood and passing a test, the successful feeling of checkmate.

Play Choice

34 Comments

Jasmine Author Profile Page May 28, 2007 2:12 PM

Whee!

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wctaiwan May 28, 2007 2:38 PM

Um, not to bring politics to a casual games website, but Ling Tung University is actually in Taiwan...

wctaiwan

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It's a strange one, but I like it. Very mysterious, but quite neat.

And I'm stuck...

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wctaiwan: who said anything about politics? I only see geography. ;)

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Ezrabbit Author Profile Page May 28, 2007 7:52 PM

Stage 5:

Hourglass puzzle not very fair. I can't click the stupid things fast enough.

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You know, something funny I realized about the book at the top of the screen...

If you open it and turn the page by clicking, it will show you all the places you can click for that level! :)

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Hand-E-Food Author Profile Page May 28, 2007 9:52 PM

Ezrabbit, for the hourglass puzzle:

You don't need to have them all active at once. Just keep as many as you can going continuously and the paining will fill up.

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I'm 'stuck' on the level where it's the room with the framed picture and the bamboo(?) tree, and I'm wondering again... what are all those little circles for, when you click on the book? =\

I've barely started playing though, will try some more. G'luck to everyone playing it. =)

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Ah, lol, now I know what the circles are for! *doh*

Okay, so I'm on the part where we light the match... I try to light the incense sticks but nothing's happening. Any suggestions?

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Nevermind... got it. Why do these things never work the first time. =\

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I tried this game before. I couldn't click the mouse fast enough for the 0/5 section or whatever that was. Is carpel tunnel syndrome a new avenue in P&C games?

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Corona - not yet lol. Read the spoiler/hint that Hand-E-Food gave. =)

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jessthemullet May 29, 2007 12:44 AM

I'm at the one with the chalkboard, but I'm stuck.

I've got the computer going, and I'm guessing the numbers on its screen are my cursor coordinates. I've clicked every spot I can find, but nothing seems to work. I know I'm probably just missing one tiny spot, but I can't figure it out

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Wurly early May 29, 2007 6:13 AM

jeesthemullet: For the chalk board you must click co-ordinate on a book, then use the computer to match up where it has to go on the chalk board.

Eg click and hold co-ordinate 599286, then use the computer to find the spot 599286 then release mouse

Hope that makes sense

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Kerrigwen, I haven't seen a post here yet that even mentions that puzzle. Trust me, I've read all the hints at another site and none of them helped me. It's all about speed. But thanks.

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WalkingToDaMan May 29, 2007 7:14 AM

Would it be remiss of me to stick a walkthrough here also? Cause if it ain't, I'll leave it here for yall who don't wanna use the provided link.

Intro:

Click on the word "Choice" to start up the game. You will see a slip of paper. It'll start mixing numbers like crazy. Click it to stop the scrambling. Write down those symbols which vaguely resemble numbers. Keep that safe somewhere. Then click on the numbers again to proceed.
When you get to the window with flowers, look down (move the mouse to the bottom of the screen). Click on the book.

1st Stage:

You'll see a door. Moving the mouse reveals that there's an infinite stream of doors. Neat, eh? Click on the front door to enter the stage. Then once the area loads, click on the lights until the whole area is visible.
The tiles in the center of the screen should be clickable. Do that repeatedly until you punch through to the other side.
Find all the breakable tiles and smash em. Then search the biggest hole. If you've got the right hole, it will be clickable...revealing a CREEPY EYE. If you feel like it, show it who's boss by punching it square in the center. Guess what? It's a CREEPY BLEEDING EYE.
The sign to the left of the eye can now be knocked down by clicking on it repeatedly. There's a small green plant behind the sign. Your goal for all the stages is to find the plant in it and get it to look like the one shown on the door seen before each stage (and in the book).
Anyway, look at the bottom right of the screen to see a bowl tipped on its side on the drain. Click it to set it upright, tip it back down, then tip it back up. Click the panel above the bowl to reveal a tap, which you should click to turn it on. Turn it off after that, and then click on the bowl to deposit your sprout in the bowl.
Now look at the tipped sign again. The three non red panels with arrows are what you want to use. Two of the arrows will show a symbol of a plant when you moust over them; the other will not. Click on the odd one out to make the plant grow. Then look for the arrow that does that again, and click on it to make it grow some more. Then repeat. Eventually, the plant will be full sized, and you will have completed the stage.

2nd Stage:

Click on the door like the first time. Click on the blurry spot that occurs after to open up the area.
There's a small ink painting in the top right area, on top of the lockers. Grab it and place it on the vaguely same shaped slightly darker spot on the wall in the same position. Mouse over the chair to reveal a small statue. Click on it to make it stay there. In the bottom left locker that's partially open, there should be an incense pot. Grab it and place it on the ground below the statue, where the coins are.
There's a plug right next to the stereo. Take it, then click on the outlet next to the window to plug in the stereo. Turn on the stereo.
Now you can grab the matches next to the stereo. Click to grab a match, then quickly hold it to the tips of the incense in the incense pot to light them. Keep the match next to the incense even if it has burnt out. It should start to make smoke. If they fail to light up, get another match and keep trying.
Now there should be a small piece of paper hanging out of the locker above the one you grabbed the incense pot from. Click on it.
Inside the paper is a map. Right after you open it, a series of dots should appear on the wall. Click on the wall where the regions are in relation to the dots in the wall to reveal all the regions shown in the map. The map will then go away, and you are left with the wall's pulsating image.
Remember those coins next to the incense pot? Click 'em. You'll zoom in on the wall. This next puzzle might be kinda familiar to some of you folk, as you're gonna have to click on the arrow on the top right, then guide the red dot to the other lower left arrow without touching either the blue regions or any of the red marks moving on the map. This will take some dexterity on your part, and unfortunately, I can't really help a lot here as the path is randomized every time. Here's some tips.
- Don't go in areas where a red cross is moving in the opposite direction in which you want to go. It's risky, but you can go against the spin of a circle, and sometimes it's the only way through. Also, take the easy nonblocked paths when you can.
- If there's a red spiral blocking the way, it can be cleared by waiting at the edge, allowing the coil to trap you, then slowly waiting and moving as it works itself around. You'll eventually get to the center.
- If you screw up, the game makes a very loud, annoying buzzing noise, then sends you back to the zoomed out view. You might notice that you've got only TWO coins now. This is because there's only THREE tries to do this. Once you run out of coins, the WHOLE STAGE resets, and you'll have to set up the whole thing again. Oy.
- If you have no respect for the rules and have the ability to right click right after you start the minigame, followed by clicking on the goal, you may go ahead and do so. Cheater.
Once you finish, water will flow through the map, into the picture. Click the picture, and watch it light up with color to finish this stage.

3rd Stage:

Once again, click the door to get in, then click on the blurry area to open it up.
First off, grab the podium (hold the mouse button down), and stick it on the left side where there's nothing on the ground. Once it's firmly placed in that area, grab the eraser thingy on the chalkboard (the left red object) and hover over the top left area of the chalk marked portion of the board. Click and hold down the mouse to scrub the board clean.
Now you can click on the thingy sitting on the right side of the chalkboard. Keep clicking and it'll fall over and knock those neatly arranged books down. Muahahaha. Moving on, there should be a small blue disk sticking out on the left side of the collapsed heap. Click on it once to grab it, then move it to the computer and click on the small slot located on the right side of the machine to place the disk inside.
Look above the computer. There's a switch. Flip it. Oh noes, a loose wire! Flip the switch off, then squint very hard. Click on the right end of the loose connection, then the left. It should stick right back together. Flip the switch again, then push the really tiny button located under the left side of the screen.
All systems go! You'll notice some numbers on the screen. Upon further inspection, you'll notice that they change when you move the mouse, and on even FURTHER inspection, you'll notice that half of the number changes when you move up and down, and the other half when you move left and right. This is a coordinate system. Welcome to the literal meaning of "pixel hunt".
Now comes the annoying part. The pile of books you knocked over holds the key to the puzzle. Mouse over them and you'll see that some of the books show numbers. The one you want is the red book that's to the right of all the other books which show numbers. This one should be correct. Carefully align your mouse to make the computer show the same number as the one you saw from the red book, and within 2 pixels, your mouse will turn into a stick of chalk. Click to draw a nice picture of some leaves.
All the books make you draw a picture of leaves, but only one makes you draw a whole bunch of leaves. This is the one you want. If you drew a wrong one, you can grab the eraser and remove the drawing in the same way you removed that writing earlier. If you got it right, look up and pull on the projecter handle to unravel a nice identical picture to the one you drew, but in color! Click on it to end the stage.

4th Stage:

By now, you must have figured out how to start a stage. If not, I truly pity you.
Anyhoo, there's a tiny candle on the bottom right. Click on it to light up the corner, revealing an odd brown rectangle. Click it to grab it. Place this right under the rightside pane of the window in the middle of the screen. Speaking of windows, pull the left one open by clicking it. Click on the line near the bottom of the open window's view. This should make a clicking noise.
There's a small box to the right of the same window. Click on it repeatedly and fast to connect the wire to power up the similar looking box on the lower left side of the screen, which also reveals a bunch of gears in the wall. Pull the blue valve open by using the lever attached to the pipe, then flip on the powered up switch next to the lever.
Now you have to spin those two gears with the numbers on them. Thanks to the handy labeling on the box, you will know that the gears should be lined up so that the left gear's "0" and the right gear's "5" are touching. Once this occurs, water will fill the system.
You'll notice the box on the upper right side of the screen has lit up with numbers. Here comes more fast clicking. You need to make it so the box says "05" (one track clue, eh?). When you click a number, it'l go down by one, but then it will almost immediately cound back up to the number 9. In order to beat this insidious device, quickly tap the rightside number all the way down to "0", then quickly switch to the other number and keep that at "0" while the other side counts back up. With any luck, it'll hit "5", while you have kept the left side down to "0" and the machine will lock the code in.
Voila! The machine fires up, and the odd paper shifts to reveal a button. Click it and a plant will almost explode forth from it. A bee will come in through the window and rest on your newly sprouted flower. Punch out all the other panes in the window on the right to set it free and end this level.

5th Stage:

Enter the stage.
The main focus is time in this stage. You'll probably notice the clock right off the bat. What you might miss is the flashlight sitting under the flowers on the left side of the screen. Grab it.
Point that sucker near the bottom left side, as there's a set of numbers which are hard to see without light. These are times. So is the number written on the calendar to the right of the clock. You'll have to enter all of these times (in no particular order) into the clock by clicking on it. Every time you stop (as in you've stopped clicking and the clock's hour and minute hands have come to a complete stop) at a time shown in the set, the clock will flash for a moment to indicate a correctly entered time.
Once you've entered them all in, the clock will slide a bit off the doors, and a butterfly will come and rest on it. Scare it off by clicking on the pole resting on the door, on the left side. It'll also knock off the clock, revealing a small block of wood. Click on it until you've tugged it out of the door. Shove those doors out of the way.
Now you can pick up the pane of glass resting on the right side of the screen and plop it smack dab in the center of the couch. Six hourglasses and a picture will appear. Your goal is to get them all to be flowing without any one of them running out of sand. There are two really slow ones, two slightly faster ones, a faster than that one, and a blazing fast one. As you can guess, you'll want to click all of these in order of speed, in a really, really fast manner.
Once you've done this, the picture should fill up with light (and that infernal ticking should stop). Click on the activated picture to finish this stage.

6th Stage:

Endgame, here we go. This room looks familiar. Remember where the book was when you took it? Put it back in that spot. Now the slip of paper should start going nuts again. Click on it to stop it, then take that number you've been keeping safe all this time and and enter it into the paper. Then add 1 to this number. Don't ask why. Click on the book again. And then again.
Who's done with this nonsensical game? You are. Do the winner dance. Oh yeah. Uh huh.
But seriously speaking, this game was supposed to be representative of something in your psyche, or perhaps Buddhism, or whatever that Chinese writing meant. So give what you've just done some thought. Perhaps you'll find something. Hopefully, it's not that CREEPY BLEEDING EYE.

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About the hourglasses

You don't need to click them as fast as you can from left to right. Look at which speed each one empties and first click the slowest, then the second slowest and so on. You don't need to be dead certain about the emptying rates, first three will do and then click the rest fast.

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Oh sorry Corona, mybad.

I'm stuck in the classroom scene and

I can't figure out what to do next. I've moved the trolley, erased the blackboard, dropped the ___ (eraser?) onto the pile of books, the books have slid, the tape is in the computer player, and the switch has been switched on, but how do I make the computer do anything? Please advise. =\

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samsonaba May 29, 2007 10:32 AM

Nothing happen at level 6 even if i use the password that i have printscreened from the beginning. How to get to the ending?

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Samsonaba:

add 1 to the number you printscreened

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For the hourglass level.. I think (I'm not entirely sure):

Once you break open the doors, use the flashlight on the back wall to reveal a very faintly etched number sequence. This might be order of hourglasses you must click!

But I haven't been able to test it because I keep getting stuck on level five.

I finally get the button to appear, but when I click it, all I get is the charging up sound. A flower? Zilch. La flora no hora.

Anyone else having this problem? I've tried to get it to work 3 times now by starting over. It worked the very first time I played the game.

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So I'm stuck at....

the 2nd level, with the statue on the seat and the pot of insence sticks. I've got the statue all there, the stereo going, the picture in its place, but now what? What do I do with the insence?

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If anybody noticed at all, I posted an entire walkthrough if you're too lazy to check the one in the blog. It's under some random name, as Typekey keeps kicking me out after a certain period of inactivity....like the amount of time it takes to actually make a walkthrough.

As for your problem, you need to

grab a match from the tiny box under the stereo and quickly hold it to the incense sticks. Keep the match there until the match disappears for the best chances of success.

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Actually, about the incense -

take the lighter that's on the table; you need to light the incense sticks three times to make it *stay* lit. After there's steady smoke/whatever, click on the map in the locker for the marks to appear on the wall. Then click on those marks, and make your way through the river puzzle.

Corona... finished the game, not sure which 0/5 puzzle you're referring to. =\

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There are some interesting easter eggs in this neat game. Did you guys know that if you log in as 'administrator' in the game, you can unlock additional info and a super easy game mode? Here is how:

1. Main screen, lower left corner: click the book above "About"
2. Find the button (Answer) and click on it. Erase the text "Administrator ID", and type this six-digit code instead: 601895
(Alternatively, you can just click to the right of the (Answer) button and type the above code directly.)
3. Either way, press Enter. A sound and the word "Admission!" will confirm that you've done it right. Now you have access to additional info about the stages (I presume that's what the Chinese text next to each pic is about).
4. Accessing Super Easy game mode: after doing all the above, click on the word "Admission" and the game will proceed like normal - except the title screen will display (Easy Version) underneath the usual stuff.
Easy game mode not only shows all the hotspots in the game, but also displays them in the right order in which you need to click them. Just follow the rectangles - a game cannot get any easier than this!
Enjoy. :-)

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Loved it. Beautiful.

At the end of the game, it says you must not live for yourself but also others.

More like confuscanism (however you spell it).

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im stuck in stage 4..how to make the '0' and '5' touch ??

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Wow I can't believe I missed you guys posting this! I even subscribe to your feed, I wonder what I was doing May 28th that I missed it? ^_^;;;
The game was the project of six students.

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Also you can host a copy of the walkthrough on the site if you like. :D

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Karin M Designs Author Profile Page July 20, 2007 10:32 PM

I'm going to cry - I can't get past Stage 3! I know what to do, but

Every time I pick up the eraser to clean the blackboard and try and hold the mouse button down to clean the board, the eraser drops back onto the shelf - any solution for this problem?

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I don't know what to do at the (2nd I think?) scene with the blue map thing on the wall. The only place I see to click on it is on the top right arrow but when I click there it just buzzes at me and takes me out of that veiw. What do I do? And why do you click on the circle on the floor to get there? What is it?

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Beautiful start, but I got annoyed very soon. I don't like clicking on like, every goshdarn pixel on the screen, hoping something will make the game advance, sorry. That's not succesful gameplay, after the thousandth click the enjoyment wears thin. And yes, I played point&click adventures, there at least you have some better clues and feedback, even if the solution happens to elude you. Here is just pixel-hunting. And that's bad.

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I read Chinese thankfully, but all the talk about the life, the representation of the flowers for each door of life, love, education, enjoyment, the journey of life we all undertake, it's all getting a little too deep for me. [Ow, my head...]

The graphics felt so sinister at first too, but it's not scary after a while [b-but the scrolling letters across the teacher's desk, omg.. T_T I'm so glad I didn't play this during the first 15 days of Chinese New Year, it's so unnaturally scary...].

I found burning incense for the statue of one of the gods a familiar and assuring touch, but best of all has to be the ending: "No matter how much life is like a game, it cannot be repeated... a game can be repeated, but life cannot be repeated..." Then it fizzed out and my mouse cursor went crazy for a while. T^T Why is it so freaking SCARY?

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Wow, hourglasses are impossible! So frustrated. Do any of you got a specific order for clicking? thanks.

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