Deep Chalk: First Phase


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Rating: 4.3/5 (171 votes)
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zxoDeep ChalkBestowing a name like Deep Chalk on your game is not a frivolous undertaking. "Deep" suggests layers upon layers of meaning, complex undercurrents carrying bits of knowledge that are almost as satisfying to examine as the currents themselves. Deep Blue. Deep Purple. Deep Dish Pizza.

On the other hand, "chalk" doesn't bring much to the table. Besides teaching tool, sidewalk decorator, and athletic friction reducer, we don't really have that much use for chalk. Rarely is it considered a plus for something to be described as "chalky".

You can begin to see the clash of ideas that are suggested by the juxtaposition of these two words. Likewise, the game itself encompasses a dual nature, though perhaps not by game author Zack Livestone's design. On the deep side of things, we find a charming and interactive point-and-click, in which you clear the way for a powerful crystal to escape its confines, presumably to reach a higher plane of crystallinity. Certain game elements, rather than activating when you click, respond to the very touch of a cursor; others require more of a karate chop. Otherworldly music sampled from Boards of Canada permeates the black-and-white Samorostian landscapes. No guidance is offered; it is up to the player to figure out what can and what must be done.

Ah, but now we come to the chalk. Yes, I suppose you could say that the white line-objects on the black background suggest chalkboard imagery, the mouse-over interactions reflect the transitive nature of chalkboard doodles and so on. Fine. But there's also a certain dryness to the game that seems to stem from a lack of empathy with the crystal. We don't understand why it's so determined to get wherever it is trekking towards. Similarly, the puzzles also feel dis-connective, making Deep Chalk seem at times more like a find-the-hotspot game.

So, while on the surface Deep Chalk may appear to be a worthy contemporary of Samorost, it doesn't quite reach that level in the end. Not that I'm trying to undersell it — the atmosphere is captured fantastically, augmented by the complex and shadowy visuals. To be fair, the three short levels are only the first installment of the game, so Deep Chalk may yet reach its potential. Nonetheless, they are certainly worthy of a play in their current form, and we'll be looking forward to further installments from Zack.

Play Deep Chalk

Play the entire Deep Chalk series...

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

walkthrough.

0.title screen

click switch

1.ice window

click top of the middle icicle. click the crystal that comes out

drag crystal to the bracket to its left.

click button on left side of the end table

mouse over the hook that dropped down

follow the little cube that floated down to the base of the end table. click there. click the box behind the table base. click the floating cube to plug it in.

you found the door! click the crystal you dragged into the bracket, then the crystal in the door and you're out.

2. telescope

click down the vertical switch to set the telescope.

hold mouse over the telescope's eyepiece until something happens.

1969

enter the code into the numbers, then pull the horizontal switch

press the top of the thing that folded out, then keep your mouse on the glowing ball until it goes into a hole. a bridge comes down, and you made it to the last stage!

3. forest

find all the glowing balls to complete the ladder.

on top of the curly plant second from the right

behind the right leg of the boardwalk

middle of the balcony on the branch

behind the bottom leaf of the top-right 3-leaf. mouse over it to move the leaves.

behind the top leaf of the 3-leaf closest to the ladder

click the doorway to move the crystal up to the second story.

mouse over the 3 hooks in order.

left, middle, right

click the skybox thing

you win!

For those of you who would rather not be told what to do, I want to try my hand at a hint-through (which I prefer as well).

Entry

Looks like a button

Push it

This may be a pull cord of some kind

Er...pull it

Room 1

What's the first thing the instructions say to look for?

Where might a crystal be hiding?

Something white or see through--like the window...or the icicles

Click on the icicles until you find a crystal

The intro told you something else about the nature of the crystal

Is there something that looks as though it needs an energy source?

Getting the crystal there may require more than one activity.

Try clicking, dragging--maybe both

Definitely both! The crystal should now be in the generator

Do you see something that looks like it might require electricity to work?

A button, perhaps?

Push the button on the stand. If you knock over the glass of water, that's OK!

See if you can't get that hook to do something

You can't click it--try something else

Once it swings over and attaches, something falls out. Where did it go?

There should be something clickable in the area where the little thing fell.

It's on the pedestal base

I'm sure you can figure out what to zoom in on. And what to do with the little cube. (if not...click!)

Ahhh freedom!....well, not quite....

You know what to do with a door, but for some reason, nothing happens.

Don't forget your endless source of energy!

Click on the crystal, if you haven't already

Room 2

That telescope looks important, but you can't find the peephole.

Surely there is something that controls the telescope.

Oh look! A lever!

Take a look, but be patient!

Where would you enter those numbers?

If you are still looking, it's right underneath the lever.

The next move should be obvious, but in case it isn't...

Click the lever under the numbers.

This next bit is a little tricky. See the directions to the left of those numbers?

It has to do with the strange machine that pops out of the wall. It produces some sort of little energy blob. Can you get the blob all the way to the upper left-hand wall?

You can't click it. What else might work?

Stay sharp and "chase" the little blob with the mouse until a window opens in the wall. You should go straight to the next room.

Room 3

This one is fun! There are lots of little moving parts. Wondering what is hiding?

Did you find a smaller version of the blob in Room 2?

Here's the main hint--there are five of them. If you look hard enough, you can easily find them all.

But if not, they are: behind leaves of the two right-most plants, on the upper bridge, hiding behind a leg of the lower bridge, and masquerading as part of the decoration along the bottom.

Do what you do with a door. Just a normal door. This one is different from the first one.

Now the task seems to be getting past the open bridge. Hmmm. Something must affect it.

Do you see something with a bit of a code? A numeric code?

Take a look at those hooks. Remember what happens with hooks?

The trick seems to be getting them all swinging, in the right order, at once. Be patient! It will happen!

From here, I think you can figure out what is going to let your little crystal go through the final door. It seems there is one more button!

56 Comments

nice look, though I'm thoroughly stumped by the second room. no idea where to get a code from.

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Cool game. Not as appealing as Samorost though.

@Peter;

I'm stuck in the second room too. However, you can find the code by looking through the telescope. Keep watching.

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nevermind. patience!

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this is cute. i should write a walkthrough in a bit.

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Dooreatoe Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 1:22 PM

Before people begin to wonder (I posted this to the lazylaces boards, too):

"25
Zackstone Says:
April 11th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I've made a puzzle/point and click game (namely ‘Deep Chalk') that is loosely inspired by the Submachine series and Ten Gnomes. I'd like to know your opinion on it - I'm already making a sequel, so any advice you give me will be useful. If you have time, of course… anyone else whose interested, feel free to comment on my site - http://www.deepchalk.net/deepblog - keep making games Mateusz, especially Submachines."

http://www.pastelstories.com/?p=17

I thought that was pretty cool. This is a nice, short, ethereal game. I look forward to the rest!

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Nice, but short. Would really have liked to see a few more stages. Not sure I understand the spilling glasses.

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in level 2, make sure to look closely at what's in the telescope; have patience and eventually a code shall come to you...

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Wisedude Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 1:42 PM

Overall, I would say a very good, unfortuanltley short game. I can definetly feel submachine influence in it (anybody recognize that crystal?), but I'd say it feels more 10 gnomes influenced. Puzzles were spot on, almost as good as Myst's. The gave you the clues, and the answers, and you just had to use them. A very good game but spoiled by its short length.

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ARGH!
Stuck in the 3rd room... I managed to get the "diamond-thingy" to the second platform... But what to do now?

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riddy,
if you're about to reveal hints or spoilers, please, next time put them in a spoiler box...

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Any help on the upper bridge in the 3rd room? Thanks.

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OK, I decided I'm too stupid for this game. I simply have no clue what's going on :(

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walkthrough.

0.title screen

click switch

1.ice window

click top of the middle icicle. click the crystal that comes out

drag crystal to the bracket to its left.

click button on left side of the end table

mouse over the hook that dropped down

follow the little cube that floated down to the base of the end table. click there. click the box behind the table base. click the floating cube to plug it in.

you found the door! click the crystal you dragged into the bracket, then the crystal in the door and you're out.

2. telescope

click down the vertical switch to set the telescope.

hold mouse over the telescope's eyepiece until something happens.

1969

enter the code into the numbers, then pull the horizontal switch

press the top of the thing that folded out, then keep your mouse on the glowing ball until it goes into a hole. a bridge comes down, and you made it to the last stage!

3. forest

find all the glowing balls to complete the ladder.

on top of the curly plant second from the right

behind the right leg of the boardwalk

middle of the balcony on the branch

behind the bottom leaf of the top-right 3-leaf. mouse over it to move the leaves.

behind the top leaf of the 3-leaf closest to the ladder

click the doorway to move the crystal up to the second story.

mouse over the 3 hooks in order.

left, middle, right

click the skybox thing

you win!

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A lot of (or all of) the sound so far is snippets of Boards of Canada songs.
I like it :)

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ThemePark Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 4:25 PM

A note for the walkthrough on level 3:

The order you have to touch the hooks changes from game to game. You can see the order by looking at the number of dots above the hooks.

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Oh, so good! Just have to be patient with some aspects, but I didn't even need a walkthrough. I can't WAIT for the rest. THIS is how games like this should be.

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For those of you who would rather not be told what to do, I want to try my hand at a hint-through (which I prefer as well).

Entry

Looks like a button

Push it

This may be a pull cord of some kind

Er...pull it

Room 1

What's the first thing the instructions say to look for?

Where might a crystal be hiding?

Something white or see through--like the window...or the icicles

Click on the icicles until you find a crystal

The intro told you something else about the nature of the crystal

Is there something that looks as though it needs an energy source?

Getting the crystal there may require more than one activity.

Try clicking, dragging--maybe both

Definitely both! The crystal should now be in the generator

Do you see something that looks like it might require electricity to work?

A button, perhaps?

Push the button on the stand. If you knock over the glass of water, that's OK!

See if you can't get that hook to do something

You can't click it--try something else

Once it swings over and attaches, something falls out. Where did it go?

There should be something clickable in the area where the little thing fell.

It's on the pedestal base

I'm sure you can figure out what to zoom in on. And what to do with the little cube. (if not...click!)

Ahhh freedom!....well, not quite....

You know what to do with a door, but for some reason, nothing happens.

Don't forget your endless source of energy!

Click on the crystal, if you haven't already

Room 2

That telescope looks important, but you can't find the peephole.

Surely there is something that controls the telescope.

Oh look! A lever!

Take a look, but be patient!

Where would you enter those numbers?

If you are still looking, it's right underneath the lever.

The next move should be obvious, but in case it isn't...

Click the lever under the numbers.

This next bit is a little tricky. See the directions to the left of those numbers?

It has to do with the strange machine that pops out of the wall. It produces some sort of little energy blob. Can you get the blob all the way to the upper left-hand wall?

You can't click it. What else might work?

Stay sharp and "chase" the little blob with the mouse until a window opens in the wall. You should go straight to the next room.

Room 3

This one is fun! There are lots of little moving parts. Wondering what is hiding?

Did you find a smaller version of the blob in Room 2?

Here's the main hint--there are five of them. If you look hard enough, you can easily find them all.

But if not, they are: behind leaves of the two right-most plants, on the upper bridge, hiding behind a leg of the lower bridge, and masquerading as part of the decoration along the bottom.

Do what you do with a door. Just a normal door. This one is different from the first one.

Now the task seems to be getting past the open bridge. Hmmm. Something must affect it.

Do you see something with a bit of a code? A numeric code?

Take a look at those hooks. Remember what happens with hooks?

The trick seems to be getting them all swinging, in the right order, at once. Be patient! It will happen!

From here, I think you can figure out what is going to let your little crystal go through the final door. It seems there is one more button!

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Just as a side note... how in the world do you eat that kind of a pizza? With a spoon, or something? I mean, seriously, that thing is huge.

Its not even 7.30 am and I'm already impressed. Good on you, Zxo.

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Dead Star Author Profile Page April 28, 2008 5:49 PM

Friction increaser. Chalk is used in gymnastics and track & field athletics to increase the friction between the athlete's hands and the surface (pole, bar, handle, etc.) so that he does not lose his grip and slip.

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RedTomato April 28, 2008 7:08 PM

Lovely game and I liked the concepts, but I;m sorry, the text in the game is TINY!

Even in the opening screen, the info is in sub-pixel wild white on black, and is almost impossible to read.

I had to do various other levels with my nose right up against the screen. Level 2, with

the numbers on the leaf,

again that was impossibly tiny and faint.
Level 3, with

the swinging order for the hooks on the branch

, that is just taking the piss, I can barely make out that there's something there, never mind read the clever hint on there.

How about making it possible to swint the telescope on 3 to read the hint a bit better?

Dear game creator, you admired Submachine and 10 Gnomes, and so do I, but they didn't rely on making the game artificially hard by using impossibly tiny or thin fonts.

That's my only caveat in this otherwise wonderful game. Some of us don't have all that good eyesight.

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I couldn't read the instruction page until I blew it up 200% and made it full screen. It is easier to see what is going on though out this fun game if you do. Look forward to the next installment.

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I liked it:
Was fun, which all games need to be
Was short, which gives me the "yay" feeling without me wasting all of my time on it

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Did someone knock over more than six glasses of water? I can't find any more.

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aww! this is a very cute game ^-^

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Just a tip with the final level, if you're getting frustrated. You've got the crystal onto the upper level, and you are pretty sure you know what you have to do, but it won't work...

You know that you have to swing the hooks in order, but it isn't working

I find that if you furiously and repeatedly swing the hooks in the right order, by moving the mouse in a fast circle through all the hooks, it works

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Did anyone else notice the glasses of wter you could knock over? I think there were two on each level.

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I would love to make some positive comments about this game, but I must say the game designer made quite an idiotic decision to make everything so tiny and almost invisible. Not all of us have perfect vision and forcing the player to read near-unreadable font and search for things barely a few pixels wide is just plain rude.

Apart from that, I like the surreal feeling and overall atmosphere. Too bad it all boils down to squinting and pixel hunting in the most literal sense imaginable.

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I have 20 - 20 vision but the chalk text is impossible to read even after playing around with my monitor brightness and contrast, also tried switching from firefox to explorer it makes no difference, I love gnomes but so far hate this, lots of pixel hunting in the extreme, abot the only element I like are the telescope close up clues

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Nice game, have tried knocking all glasses over, unless there is more than 6 that is and also played through leaving them all untouched but made no difference , anyone know what is with them?

also for the size try setting your screen to its lowest res 800x600 or whatever it is , I still couldnt see

what it said if anything on the second telescope view

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Hmmm, that's strange. In my browser there wasn't any pixel hunting at all. I have it at a very high res setting, so everything looks smaller than normal and I had no trouble reading anything. I use Navigator--but that shouldn't make a difference.

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Part III

I will not be able to finish this game because...

the order that I have in my game is

one dot

line

three dots

line

two dots

So I am ... assuming ... that means to make the first hook from the left swing first, them make the hook on the right swing second, and then make the hook in the middle swing last or third. That does not work. Nothing happens. So I tried right to left and that does not work either. Nothing happens.

Oh and "just mousing over" the hooks does not work. It was mentioned above (thank you) that you have to move your mouse in a tiny little circle over each hook to get it to move.

Also, I was not able to get this to load in a firefox window. I had to use IE.

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Part III ... continued...

Rather than give up, I just took my mouse cursor and randomly swirled in amongst the hooks and since there are only three, it would eventually work... it did.
--- game finished ---

That said... this is a lovely game. The work here, creative and technological are things you will never see coming from me. So "hats off" to the creator of this game.

Thank you!!

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LivedInAShoe May 1, 2008 10:53 PM

I had trouble reading also, especially the introductory text, which looked as if written with chalk, but had serifs (eg Times new Roman font); lose the serifs (Ariel, Verdana, etc.) and it might be okay. You'd be amazed how many computer users have less-than-perfect vision. If it were html instead of an image, it could at least be enlarged in the browser.

One thing I liked was that there were no "last chances." For instance, the numbers moving in the telescope caught my attention, but not soon enough to get them all. I was glad I could look again, and did not have to happen to be looking there when they passed by.

I liked the sounds too, supportive of the game and the look and feel.

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this game was ok i won this game i had trouble swinging the hooks at the end took me awhile i won the game but thoes blobs r really hard to find igot 20/20 vision.

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Full walkthrough:

Beginning:

Click the black button.

Click the switch.

Fist room:

Click the base of the middle icicle on the left of the screen.

Click the crystal.

Drag the crystal into the box.

Click the rectangle on the pedestal.

Run your mouse over the rectangle over the new hook.

Click the space to to the right of the pedestal.

Click the rectangle.

Click the cube.

Click the crystal again.

Click the crystal again.

Second room:

Before doing anything, memorize the code beneath the base of the telescope.

Click the switch on the end of the ledge.

Keep your mouse at the dot at the end of the telescope.

Stare at the flower in the image. Four numbers will roll off a petal. This is your code.

Enter the code by clicking the triangle below a zero until the correct number appears.

Pull the switch below the code.

Click the rectangle near the end of the cone on the apparatus that appeared. Run your mouse over the circle that appears. Continue until it disappears through a hole.

Third room:

Move your mouse over the uppermost petal on the third large flower to the right, revealing a circle.

Click the circle.

On the small bridge on the right, there is a circle.

Click it.

There are four bunches of weeds at the bottom of the screen.

Click the circle at the top of the third bunch of weeds.

Roll your mouse over the bottom petal of the large flower near the top of the tree. This reveals a circle.

Click it.

Look at the rightmost support beneath the bridge on the left.

Click it.

Click the opening that appears on the tree.

There is a specified number of dots over each hook. Roll your mouse over the specified hooks in the order of the code.

Click the small cabin next to the crystal. This ends the game.

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This is a great game and all, but i can definately recognize the crystal from the submachines. The artwork, like the telescope, for example, is definately at least inspired from submachine. Also, the game was a little short. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE GLASSES OF WATER ARE FOR???

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ZackStone May 28, 2008 6:31 PM


Second Deep Chalk is up:

www.deepchalk.net/secondphase.html

ZS

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ok so the guy is posed by his own games

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This game is absolutely phenomenal! AWESOME job, and I seriously love how creative it is!
At first I couldn't figure out what to do at all, but I got used to it and its really fun n.n
I'm stuck on the second page of phase two though XD

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Ah okay, I solved phase 2!
Man I love this game XD

Here is a walkthrough for phase 2 if anyone is stuck:
http://jayisgames.com/archives/2008/06/deep_chalk_second_phase.php

Page 1:

Scroll mouse over all the flower buds. When they all bloom, the door will open. There are 20 flowers in all.

Drag the crystal to the door.

Page 2:

When you swing the light you can see a button on the right side of the platform. Press that button an another platform will appear.

Press the button on this platform as well, a third platform will appear.

Drag the crystal to the third platform.

Scroll the mouse over the string with the key and the string will break.

Click the key and it will unlock a mechanism.

Click the button on the mechanism and two floaty objects will appear.

Run your mouse over the objects constantly and follow them or else they will disappear. They will surround the crystal and transport you to page 3.

Page 3:

There is a tape cassette hiding at the bottom of the stand where the crystal is floating. Click on it and it will appear next to the box on the right side of the screen.

Drag the cassette into the box and push the button on the box. It will say something about a dandelion XD

Gather all of the gears by clicking them. There is one hiding at the edge of the cliff, one hiding in the plant next to the crystal, one hiding in the other plant, and one that is revealed to be hiding in the ground in the center of the screen.

When all the gears are found, click the button and a square with 4 buttons will appear. Click the buttons in the pattern drawn on the rock next to it.

Scroll your mouse over the black sparkles and a place for 4 numbers will appear.

Put in the numbers 1, 9, 6, 9, then push the button.

Push the last remaining button and a machine will come down.

Drag the crystal to the machine and you will be transported to page 4.

Page 4:

Drag the crystal down to the lower platform.

Scroll your mouse along the control buttons on the bottom of the screen to control the machine and harvest a flower.

There are 4 contraptions around the screen. Scroll your mouse over them to make each of them spin 3 times. Then push the button on the tall gray pole. It will lower the bridge and transport you to page 5.

Page 5:

There are 3 lights with switches connected to them. Scroll your mouse over the switch to turn in on and shine a light on the crystal.

Push the button and a light will follow your mouse.

Guide the light to the center of the page and the end, yaay you win! Not really seeing as how you cheated by reading this ;D haha.

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I could not finish the last stage. I took everyone's advice about moving the mouse really fast in a small circular motion for such a long time. My wrist is very sore right and probably in the first stages of carpel tunnel syndrome! It did not work for me. This game is no where near the league of Mateusz Skutnik's games but it is okay.

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Why are there meat hooks involved in almost every online game I play?

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MerenwenToadstool January 18, 2009 3:39 PM

I love the game, very much in the sae respect asSubmachine. Not sure I understand the telescope in Room 3, though. Is there a hint to be seen, or is it just continuing with the theme of the game??

Thanks much and cheers.

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Slayer-man-sam--SI-RULES February 6, 2009 9:46 PM

Takes ages to load

I MEAN AGES

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Samm : when u said mouse over the hooks in order,in the forest, u hav the rong order. Its Left Right Middle

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THANKS,that game is really hard!!!

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 1:53 PM

geez I'm stuck in the last one... I move hooks like everyone said and nothing is happening!
Awesome game :D hard, but fun.

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 2:55 PM

I'm in phase 3.

Does anyone know what to do in that room where you have that strange machine watering flowers and 3 switches on the left? I've stopped these needles to turn, but I'm totally stuck here.

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 5:33 PM

In phase 3

there's NO WAY I can move these 3 shiny things to move the bars. I always end up with two. but still, it's fun.

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 5:45 PM

I did all 3 phases with cheating only twice! I'll make a walkthrough for you later. great game. :)

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I don't see why everyone is complaining about the size of the font etc. I have really bad eyesight and i can see everything fine, even when i take my glasses off.

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I've just discovered the game, and enjoyed it a lot, however I still have no idea what the introduction said, dispite playing around with the monitor etc. Can anyone tell me what it says?

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Okay, so forget my last question, it's printed clear at the beginning of phase 2. I guess the creator was listening.

I'm stuck on room 2, phase 2 and

I followed the above spoiler, but don't have a wheel on my mouse.

does this mean I can't scroll down on the key, because just clicking with the middle key doesn't help.

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The creator is always listening ;-)

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carrie :) March 1, 2011 6:10 AM

Hey there,

this has been my favourite game for a while. Wonder where the main
homepage has gone. Hope Zack Stone is around and creates episode 4 at some point. Amazing! Carr

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^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

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Gift Rush 3> Johnny123 Your cute-as-a-button spider guy is looking to feed his hungry kids some cake. Swing through each level, grabbing your kids and drop them in the general vicinity of their favorite birthday treat. Be sure not to eat it yourself!  ...
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Exit Fate> Dora In this free indie RPG heavily inspired by the likes of Suikoden and other classics of the genre, Daniel is a man betrayed by his country and trapped behind enemy lines who suddenly finds himself in a unique position to help end the fighting. Recruit 75 party members for your castle, take part in huge battles, and enjoy hours and hours and HOURS of play time in this massive game.  ...
The Silent Age: Episode Two> Kimberly Joe is back to finish up what was started in the second episode of this fantastic point-and- click adventure. With the fate of humanity on his shoulders, Joe needs you to help him travel through time to find answers on how to prevent the human race from going extinct.  ...
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The Rogue Puzzle Game> Satori Clear your way through the dungeon in this unique Sokoban-like puzzle game by carefully selecting which swords to shove into which monsters to vanquish them all. The Rogue Puzzle Game was picked as one of only three finalists in the Game Nomad competition and is set to be presented at Gamer's Day, Arabia's largest gaming event.  ...

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