M.I.L.O.


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Rating: 4.6/5 (48 votes)
| Comments (34) | Views (97)

FunnyManM.I.L.O. Waking UpMeet M.I.L.O., yet another marvelous entry into our our recent upgrade-themed Casual Gameplay Design Competition, by Studio Cypher. M.I.L.O. stands for Mildly Intelligent Living Organism, an odd name for a robot to be sure, but the one carried by the robotic main character of this puzzling game.

Naturally, I say the game is puzzling not because it's hard to understand, but because it's full of puzzles. You play as M.I.L.O., who wanders through the sixteen levels of this game pushing buttons, carrying items, and avoiding the deathtraps set for him. The controls are simple: arrow keys or WASD to move, [space] to pick up or drop items, and [Q] and [E] to turn M.I.L.O. without moving.

The goal of each level is standard: reach the exit in one piece. As you'd expect from this kind of game, there are plenty of buttons to push, enemies to dodge, lasers to avoid, and items to use. Enemies and lasers kill you, bombs blow things up, and crates and doors get in your way, but that's about where the conventional nature of M.I.L.O. ends.

To help M.I.L.O. on his way through the dangerous warehouse, his father has kindly thought to give him some spider bots as friends. Spider bots are simple critters, when you set them down, they run in the direction you're facing until they hit an obstacle or something kills them. On their own, spider bots are fairly dull, but later levels also come equipped with an Upgrader, which allows you to fuse another item to a spider bot. Bombs make them useful for combat, mirrors let them deflect lasers, rockets make them pushy enough to move boxes, and batteries let them power things. You'll have to make full use of all of the spider bots' forms if you want to make it through M.I.L.O. in one piece.

As you go through the game, you'll read the notes left behind by M.I.L.O.'s father. Some of them give you clues to progress through the game, and others simply add to the backstory of the game. Keep a sharp eye on what the notes say, because there's more to this game than fits in a single browser window. If the ending you see isn't very satisfying, you need to look deeper and think outside the box.

Analysis: When a game is entered into a competition and doesn't win anything, there's a strong tendency to think that it was boring, badly-made, or just not very good. M.I.L.O is another in a long line of reasons why you should fight that impulse with all your might. There's still a bug or two hiding under the surface, but M.I.L.O. is a quality piece of work. The puzzles are ingenious, the story fun, and the parts of the game that live outside the flash will keep you busy for a while and enjoying every head-scratching moment.

In fact, the biggest shame about M.I.L.O. is that even with the extensions, you eventually reach the end. Studio Cypher, we hope to see the next episode of M.I.L.O. very soon. And we'd love to see a level editor to go with it, so that we're not brought to a standstill when we finish the official levels.

Play M.I.L.O

Or play M.I.L.O. at StudioCypher's Mildly Intelligent website.

34 Comments

queen-of-diamonds Author Profile Page May 8, 2008 12:27 AM

Cool game, nice controls!!

Currently stuck on level four, but I'll manage.

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There are many helpful comments posted in the comments section for this game on the competition page...

http://jayisgames.com/cgdc5/?gameID=18

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MILO is one of the very few games that could make me become a die-hard fan... yes, it's that good! :)

I was glad to see this well-written review: it covers enough to give people some ideas about the game... and yet, I felt that some things were missing.

1. Strategy
Getting MILO through the stage in one piece is not the only goal of the game; to get to the scoreboard, one has to devise strategies to complete the stage in the fewest steps possible. I read the review a couple times but couldn't find any mention of that.

2. Metagame
The metagame aspect of MILO could have been emphasized a bit more as well. After all, it takes perhaps as long, if not longer, to solve the puzzles after the Flash game has ended. I know, it's a bit tricky without giving away hints or spoilers, but I feel that the review could have elaborated at least on the size and complexity of the metagame a bit more.

"The intriguing storyline spans multiple websites, features a series of passwords to crack, a hidden Flash minigame, email contacts; it requires knowledge in ancient history, HTML..." - and that's just from the top of my head.

3. Humor, graphics etc.
Then, the sense of humor was also an important factor that made MILO fun to play. Add the little quirks like MILO's 1st-person-view camera, and the polished graphics that few other entrants managed, and you've got one pretty good contender.

Impressions
I can't help but feel a bit disappointed that the much-awaited review didn't shed any more light on why MILO scored so unexpectedly low in the competition - on the contrary.

The gaping hole between the audience's choice (2nd), and the judge panel's final decision (5th) couldn't be explained by 'a bug or two'. If that were the reason, some of the award-winners couldn't even be considered.

On the other hand, I agree that a level editor would be a great way to extend the replay factor a lot. But even without it, I'll head back to the game and play it again anyway.

Thanks StudioCypher, for making this great game; and thanks Jay, for organizing the competition that delivered such quality entries. :)

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SiamJai - I really do appreciate the fact that you enjoyed this game a lot. I did, too.

However, it's important to note that MILO did not score low in the competition. Just the contrary: it placed 5th overall (in terms of score) out of 21 entries, which puts it right up there in the top 5.

Thanks very much for your input and feedback for the review. We wish to encourage everyone to chime in with their own impressions and accolades for the StudioCypher team. :)

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You should have pointed out the meta-game! Granted, it's not really part of the game but adds an uber-cool layer to the whole thing...

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Jay: 5th out of 21 is an accomplishment indeed. Thanks for reminding me of the advantages of looking at the bigger picture. :)

FunnyMan: I appreciate your frank explanation very much. I can see that you are familiar with the doubtful thoughts I had about the results, because you gave me the only kind of answer that erased my doubts without making me disillusioned about the whole thing.

I'm grateful for that, but now I worry that people would start commenting the wrong way. It would be a pity to see the discussion deteriorate because of my curiosity.

If you think it will help the discussion stay on track, please feel free to delete stuff before it's too late. :)

Thanks again.

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zmaster May 8, 2008 8:12 AM

sweet game

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dotcomlarry Author Profile Page May 8, 2008 9:36 AM

"If you think it will help the discussion stay on track, please feel free to delete stuff before it's too late. :)"

Transparency and accountability are paramount on a community-driven site. Mysteriously vanishing comments lead to a long, slippery slope.

[ We trimmed my comment temporarily to avoid sending the discussion offtopic. It's being restored for transparency's sake as I write this. -FunnyMan ]

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Tanakka May 8, 2008 9:57 AM

Did anyone pass level 10 ?

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Game wouldn't even load. Pity, i like games like this one.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page May 8, 2008 12:38 PM

This game has a funny error in coding.

You can pick up and carry windows!

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Agent Icarus Author Profile Page May 8, 2008 3:39 PM

Okay, so I'm stuck on L10, namely

Opening the door

Can anyone give me a little nudge?

/First post after many months following this site!

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Agent Icarus Author Profile Page May 8, 2008 3:51 PM

Yeah, okay, ignore that.

*blush*

Level 11 here I come!

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pls reveal the hints for lvl 10! I cannot get past the bots in the top right hand corner. Thanks!

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M: Like Jay wrote above, you will find many hints and hand-holding walkthroughs in the Comments section of the competition page. Over there I posted a detailed guide on how to get rid of the sentrybots in the upper right corner of Level 10. For the sake of convenience, I just copied it below:

"There are many ways to do the bomb part of level 10. Mine is not particularly step-saving, so you might want to modify it if you'd like to go for highscores. :) See below:

(Starting off assuming you've opened the box room already)

  1. Pick up the spiderbot, enter the box room, turn right and let the bot go all the way to the right corner. (Be careful that you don't step on any red tiles first!)

  2. Now that the attention of all sentrybots is focused on the spiderbot, you can proceed into the room safely. Pick up the spiderbot, take it outside, face northward and let the spiderbot go all the way up alongside the left wall of the box room. This will make one of the sentrybots move a bit, but don't worry.

  3. Now let's start the destruction! :-) The position of the bombs is a bit complicated to explain, so let's assume that the box area is a 4x4 grid, the lower left corner being the origin of the grid. With that in mind:

  4. 1st bomb: 0,3 (this doesn't kill any bots, just clears out a bunch of boxes.)

  5. 2nd bomb: 1,2 (kills the front bot)

  6. 3rd bomb: 2,3 (kills the middle bot)

  7. 4th bomb: right next to the last bot. You can approach it safely, so just let the bot have it!

With all the bots cleared, you have a safe way to the mirror, a spiderbot free of sentry targets, and hopefully some bombs to spare. Good luck with the rest! :-) "

If you need visual help, check out my YouTube channel. I'm making video walkthroughs of the more challenging MILO levels, including 10. :)

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I'm stuck at level 5, stupid as it may be. Could anyone help me, please?

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DeeDeeiam May 13, 2008 9:21 AM

I'm completely stuck on level 15 >.> Help?

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There is help for lvl 15 if you check out the competition page link in the first comments of this post.

I'm with Marie, can't get past 5. Can someone give a walkthrough please? I played this game about a month ago on another site, couldn't get past 5 then either, glad it's on here now so I can get some help.

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I'm stuck on level 5

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Carny Asada Author Profile Page May 13, 2008 11:32 PM

MILO keeps crashing my browser on level 13! I'm using Firefox on a Mac.

Other than that, I love this game.

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Here are some hints on how to get past the obstacles on Level 5

1. Bottom sentry bot:
Assemble a power-plug bot, send it into the plug following the cable line. The sentry bot's attention will be drawn to it.
2. Push a crate onto the lower right button; this opens the battery room door.
3.Upper left sentry bot:
Walk into its field of view and it will run straight into the laser.
4. Plug out the power bot, turn northward, put it down.
5. Get the other battery and assemble another power bot. Send it to the upper plug.
6. Upper right sentry bot:
Simply walk into its field of view on the way out. It will be destroyed by the laser. (Hint: if you pick up a yellow spider bot before reaching the exit, you'll get some bonus points!)

I'll make a video walkthrough if you need more help.

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Claribel Author Profile Page May 15, 2008 5:46 AM

This game is a rare example of one that really merits replaying. There are a number of tricks to raise level scores that are not immediately apparent first time through when you're just trying to solve problems. I've replayed some levels a dozen times and still keep finding new point scoring tricks - but there is always someone who has a higher score, and I can't figure out how.

If anyone knows how to get the 700,000 plus scores on level 1 I'd love to know!

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Mister P May 17, 2008 5:19 PM

Okay guys, maybe I'm really to dumb for this game, but I can't even finish level1. As soon as I move the highscore list appears and im out. or is this may a bug?

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I am having problems with level 6. The small room bottom right. I can't turn my laser spider guy around to deflect the laser. Each time i try i end up dying by walking right into it. any pointers?

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winfrith June 2, 2008 6:24 AM

How to get the unknown upgrade:

spider bot+rocket+mirror

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why do i keep getting booted off every time i start to play when i move and arrow key or hit the space bar? I can use my work computer but not my home one.

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konfused June 14, 2008 7:04 PM

i cant get past lvl 4 HELP ME!!

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I need help on level 4.

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Anonymous July 16, 2008 1:13 AM

I need help on level 3

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help! i am stuck on lvl 6. mainly on getting to the exit
heres what i have done already

i've gotten the plug in bot and the mirror bot. how do i get into the little room with the mirrors? then i think you make another mirror bot and are able to deflect the final lazer, kill the security robot, and get to the exit. am i right?

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Anonymous February 8, 2009 4:59 PM

Level ten, how do you clear out the sentry bots?

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I can't play this game and it sounds really fun!

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drakono Author Profile Page June 11, 2009 2:37 PM

Dratted undocumented features! I also was completely stuck on level 6. Then I found the 'q' and 'e' keys turned the robot.

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