Bars of Black and White


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Rating: 4.5/5 (311 votes)
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JessBars of Black and WhiteNew from Gregory Weir, eternally inventive creator of The Majesty of Colors, comes the enigmatic and unsettling Bars of Black and White. It is an escape game, but the point is not to escape the room; it is a social commentary—or maybe it's really just an exploration of one person's mind? The possible interpretations are endless, which is assuredly what Weir intended. One thing is certain, however: you'll leave the game with far more questions than answers.

You begin on your couch in your apartment. Everything initially looks normal enough, though you're a bit confused…when was the last time you went out? You can't even remember. Soon, with the arrival of a very special device, the true surreal nature of your situation becomes apparent. I think that this is definitely a game best played with as few preconceived notions as possible, so while I'd love to expound upon my own ideas of what the game represents, I'll let you develop your own.

Gameplay is simple and intuitive point-and-click, with only a couple of items to collect and one or two fairly easy puzzles. The simple but not sloppy line drawing-type graphics perfectly enhance the game's mood; they hover on the boundary of the real and the imagined, much like the game's protagonist. Weir has done everything right, and Bars of Black and White is truly compelling and emotionally evocative.

Time to escape...but into what?

Play Bars of Black and White

Walkthrough Guide


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

Walkthrough:
Sorry if you don't like everything so detailed.

  1. You start out facing a table. Turn Right, go straight, turn left, go straight. Click on lampshade.

  2. Turn right, go straight, turn right, and go straight into bathroom.

  3. Turn right and take medicine.

  4. Turn right and go straight. Take baseball bat from closet.

  5. Turn left and go straight twice.

  6. Click the buttons in this order: red, green, dark blue, light blue, pink, yellow.

  7. Turn right twice, go straight 3 times.

  8. Take bar code scanner.

  9. Go back, turn left twice, go straight, turn right.

  10. Scan bar code on wall

    that is made by the shadow on the lampshade

  11. Use baseball bat to break down wall.

  12. Go straight, turn left, go straight, turn left, go straight twice.

  13. Click on battery cover. Take batteries.

  14. Click back three times, then right twice.

  15. Use batteries on the electric knife.

  16. Turn right, go straight, turn left.

  17. Use medicine on spider. Take key.

  18. Turn right. Remember the computer game?

    Click top, bottom right, bottom left, left middle, bottom middle, right middle.

  19. Put key in keyhole.

  20. Go straight.

  21. Use electric knife on plastic cube.

  22. Take key.

  23. Here is a long list of directions, so follow them carefully:

    Step back twice, right once, straight, right, straight, right, straight, left, straight. You should be in front of the door.

  24. Use key on door.

  25. Turn right, go straight twice.

  26. Click on the scanner like you are about to scan a bar code.

  27. With the scanner still in hand, walk ahead.

  28. You are locked in!

  29. When the last bar code comes up, scan it.

    It will say "The End". Play again and try to find all thirty bar codes...

    29 are found in the game, and the one on the last screen should be your 30th bar code.

  30. Sorry, this is actually the end.

    Really!

135 Comments

Like it. Not difficult at all - more an exploration than anything else.

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Shuffledog Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 2:10 PM

How very odd.

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What do the new ratings mean? rating-g and rating-y????

[Edit: http://jayisgames.com/about/game-ratings ]

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Anonymous January 29, 2009 2:20 PM

I solved it...it was so easy. Am I the first?!?!?

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masozravapalma Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 2:24 PM

Easy, but really nice.

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I think the real point

wasn't to escape but find all the barcodes. I only found 12 and did it twice. Are you supposed to be able to scan things in the final hall?

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Compulsively scan everywhere you see vertical lines. They are all pretty easy to find.

Nice commentary. Easy puzzles, but they all served the narrative very well.

Nice lite game to play, with a heavy motive. Thumbs up.

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Anonymous January 29, 2009 2:44 PM

I got 14/30 barcodes...

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I... I played through once and got to the ending even, and I have NO IDEA how one is supposed to scan things.

Heck, I have no idea what this "very special device" mentioned in the review is.

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so im stuck with a key a saw and my barcode reader ive read every barcode related looking object available and whats with the tv

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masozravapalma Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 2:53 PM

I got 30/30 barcodes on first try.

kacy

Remember computer puzzle? Anything familiar on the wall next to spider. You have to turn right from spider.

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thanks i discovred that and found my way out right before u posted so where are all 30 barcodes i got the ones in the final hall way but i only found 21 out of 30 i feel kinda dumb cause i sent that lil wand all over everyting wether it had stripes or not

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Seriously, I've tried three different browsers and the mail never came. Am I supposed to do something to make it appear?

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I'm with svoight, I've not received any mail yet. I have a bat and a prescription, but no mail.

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Spider? What spider?? How many halls are there? Walkthrough please? I mean I feel real dumb but like the other person, I have an electric saw and wand and pills, broke through to the second area, and no idea what to do with the keyhole. Never saw any key.

Interesting game though- somebody's been reading 1984-

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To get the reader:

Win the computer game.

It's a touch-sensitive screen.

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masozravapalma Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 3:22 PM

Barcodes

Most obvious barcodes are:

2 on the starting table. (magazines)

2 on the cans by the cooker.

1 on the poster of head

1 on the cereal box by computer

Only really informative barcode:

Turn the lamp. On the wall appears barcode saying

BREAK HERE

Sneaky barcodes

Zebra stripes

Fence in front the White house

Circus

Other barcodes in appartment

Over the monitors left from where you find the knife

On the THERE IS NO WAY OUT board. 2 of them

The Wall

4 on the right side when you entr the corridor

5 on left side

4 on right side a step further

3 on left side

And last but not least

THE END

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To get the mail:

Go to the computer. Push the buttons on the screen in the order it is given on the paper next to the screen. It even draws a diagram, haha! The text will say that you hear a "click" or something and that will be the mail.

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For those having trouble with getting the reader.

How to really get the reader

On the computer screen, click on RED then GREEN, then DARK BLUE. Now click on LIGHT BLUE, then PURPLE, then YELLOW.

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Oh duh, I got it, to get the key:

go to the room with the keyhole in the triangle. Keep turning around in the room until you see the spider in the cage. Feed the pills to the spider, he dies, you take the key.

*dope-slaps self*

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Thank you.

I find the navigation in this game incredibly frustrating. Trying to get to a portion of the room that I can clearly see seems to involve completely random clicking.

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SonicLover Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 3:30 PM

Beat it 30/30 on my first try. BEEP.

|||||||||||||||

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I agree that the navigation is frustrating until you realize how it works. You don't really "zoom in" to areas like in other point-and-click games; rather, you just move forwards or backwards or turn to the left or right. So if you're facing the zebra poster and see the couch in front of you and on your left, and want to examine the couch, you have to move forward and then turn left, so you will be facing the couch.

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masozravapalma Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 3:42 PM

Walkthrough

Barcode reader is not really necessary for winning the game. But there is not much fun in the game than.
To get the reader:

  1. Get to rhe computer

  2. Click on the colours on the computer in order indicated on the note below, note the shape.

  3. Go to the main door (right behind you) and take look at the letter.

  4. Pick up the reader.

Necessary steps

  1. Go to the bathroom for pills

  2. Take the baseball bat from the warderobe

  3. Turn the lamp so the barcode is shown on the wall

  4. Break the wall with baseball bat

  5. In the long corridor on left side take the batteries from the recorder

  6. On right end of the corridor put the batteries in the electric knife

  7. From the knife turn right and go forward.

  8. Remember computer code? Same shape but no colours.

  9. Just click the circles in same order as you did on computer.

  10. Turn left and kill the spider with pills

  11. Take key

  12. Use key on the keyhole that appeared on the wall with circles.

  13. Go forward and use the electric knife on cube.

  14. Take appartment key

  15. Go to the main door and use the key on the keyhole.

  16. Turn right and head through the corridor.

  17. THE END
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Zephirius January 29, 2009 4:11 PM

This kinda reminds me of mateusz skutnik's stuff, you know like Submachine FLF, where you have no idea what's going on, but you do it anyways, also the whole idea of someone with amnesia who turns up in a cell.
28/30

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30/30 Barcodes Scanned.

When I saw that I had 29/30, I was like nooooo! Then I saw the last one XD

I think the game is really just to get you thinking. There is no huge secret, except for maybe the ending where

you find out the whole thing was a dream. Cliche much?

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masozravapalma Author Profile Page January 29, 2009 4:30 PM

I do read it another way

He is locked by someone (Community/rules/habit/society or just Them) and when he manages to break through and really see what is around he gets locked to the asylum. Because it is noone wants people going around and noticing that the King has no clothes...

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Nice and simple. Will not be searching for deeper meaning, just enjoyed the game for what it was. 27/30 barcodes.....

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30/30 first try, with the 30th being very cute, in my opinion. :3
It got trippy towards the end, though I did feel "oh, not this!" when I saw the ending.

Short and enjoyable game, I only wish the graphics were a little better. :{

0/30 second try, game is technically beatable without the scanner, but it isn't interesting if you don't read the codes, anyway.

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this is a genius game!!!

this is all of our true lives.

when we finish playing the escape-the-room game, we are playing in the 'real world' and our world starts to seems more and more mechanical, life less, black-and -whiteee.

this is the message in my opinion.

and it's time we take our lives and start doing something.

I'll start.

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I hate when I'm playing a game that requires you to be able to hear it in order to know what's going on. I would have had the reader no problem if I had had any indication that when I was

pushing the colored buttons on the monitor

I was actually accomplishing something.

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still don't know how to play this. computer? spider? can't see any of that.

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Got to the end: 829.713 seconds, 30/30 batcodes scanned. boo yah.

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Wildflower12 January 30, 2009 12:06 AM

Just like many other games at Kongregate, I can not load this game. I don't know what the problem is. I have the latest editions of Flash and Java. I am not sure what else to try. I really want to play this game!!!!! Help!

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Elzo, if you look around the room long enough, you'll find a computer along with a few colorful buttons you can mess with.

The spider is found later. Don't ask me why they have one, it's just there and you have to deal with it.

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I can't seem to scan the bar codes in the final hall for some reason...

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JIGuest,

Turn left and right at each step forward in the final hallway.

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Quite nice game.

But I disliked the movement-control. Wasn't to clear from the start...

30/30 barcodes.

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Easier than most escape games, but I really liked this. The concept is different and original.

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"a game best played with as few preconceived notions as possible"

"hover on the boundary of the real and the imagined"

"Bars of Black and White is truly compelling and emotionally evocative."



What rubbish. I liked Jayisgames much more when it was simply a straightforward games review site. Now one has to beat one's way through a thicket of inane hyperbole each time one wants to read a review.

Please, stop it. Your reviews make little or no sense when you try to write them in such a ludicrously pretentious manner.

[Edit: We have always embraced hyperbole here, it's a casual game website for gosh sakes. Mean-spirited comments, though, are not tolerated. You are hereby warned. -Jay]

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billyswong January 30, 2009 8:45 AM

I love the idea that the colourful outside view from the window is actually

a picture hangover at the corridor

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'thicket' of inane hyperbole....now who's being pretentious?

Seriously, I really enjoyed this game and I don't envy people writing reviews, trying to put across the general feeling of a game in new ways all the time

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potatoface January 30, 2009 11:21 AM

what's up with the Rolling Stones reference:

"I'm a man of wealth and taste"

???

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Cool game. I hate room escapes, but this was something... different. I love the mysteriousness of the thing. Reminds me of his other game, Majesty of Colors.

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"a game best played with as few preconceived notions as possible"

"hover on the boundary of the real and the imagined"

Did you play the game, Bluechip? This is a pretty straightforward way of describing it, really. Anything less would be dishonest.

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HONESTY BREAKS THE TRUTH.

But seriously, you seem to be critiquing the reviewer for writing well; just because you disagree with the opinion doesn't mean it's a wrong one.

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So was that real, or was the dream real? Or are both real and he was teleported or something? Or were both a lie and were there three universes? Kind of reminds me of Synapsis.

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When I click "begin", I hear birds but nothing happens. I've tried several times. Am I doing something wrong?

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"But seriously, you seem to be critiquing the reviewer for writing well"

Not so. If anything, the reviewer deserves to be criticised for not performing the essential job of a reviewer, which is presumably to provide an accurate appraisal of a game.

For instance, instead of attempting to ascribe some deep meaning to this game, which is clearly not there, perhaps it would have been more appropriate to point out that, well, it's not actually a very good game at all. Perhaps it might have been a good idea to point out that it suffers from poor directional control areas on the screen, a problem exhibited by many escape games produced by inexperienced designers. Perhaps it might have been wise to point out that the monochrome line drawing style in which the game is presented, far from being a statement of stylistic intent, is actually just a function of piss-poor artistic design. Perhaps it may have been more appropriate simply to say that this game represents a creative failure, particularly given that The Majesty of Colors, an earlier game by the same author, achieved so much more than this one in every conceivable way.

I could go on, but I think you get my point.

[Edit: Then next time, try offering some constructive criticism about the game in your comment, rather than criticizing the reviewer for highlighting her opinions about the game, which are entirely valid. Reviews are subjective, and each person may see different things within a game. No one review will be "one size fits all" or all-encompassing. We are a casual game review site that offers casual reviews of casual games. Your initial delivery was unacceptable and I could go on, but I think you get my point. -Jay]

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I don't want to make it seem like all the JIG staff are piling on here, but I think it's important to recognize that nobody's trying to create meaning out of nothing here.

Your opinion about the game is valid, Bluechip. It's fine to let us know that the game isn't working for you, and also why. But if other people are having a different experience from yours, give them the benefit of the doubt that they are reporting it accurately.

In my personal experience, the line drawings established an appropriate tone for the story, the controls didn't bother me (they feel like classic RPG controls from games like Wizardry), and I was interested and emotionally involved from beginning to end. It seemed to me that all the visual details were carefully chosen.

Weir is a risk-taker as a developer. That means when he hits the mark, he may hit very hard, but he may miss some players completely. Don't feel insulted when it doesn't work out; just let us know what you think, support your opinion, and move on.

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I've got to say that I wasn't massively impressed however, .....

I did find the whole radio, background music quite amusing =)

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There are other worlds than these, indeed. I enjoyed finding lines from some of my favorite novels and music winding through the game; it added to the queer balance of the familiar, the unfamiliar and the absurd.

I didn't enjoy the game for the usual mindless escape fix, or for the challenge of difficult puzzles. I enjoyed the game because it made me think.

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Anonymous January 30, 2009 9:49 PM

yeah 30/30 oh ya

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I got all 30 barcodes and won the game on my first try! :)

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Love it. Nice and easy, simple, and yet there is someting slightly eerie and disturbing about it. Sort of mysterious, but still enjoyable. Found it kinda creepy that

in the hall somewhere, you could see some monitors. If you looked carefully, they were pictures of the sofa area and another one. :O

But that kinda made sense, since it said

"YOU CAN NOT ESCAPE" and "THEY CAN NOT SEE YOU THINK" and "THE MIND IS THE CENTER OF ALL REBELLION"

I especially liked the ones in the coridoor. The long, looonnggg coridoor.

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Wow. I spent way too long on this game because...

I didn't realise you could turn right/left in the final corridor.

Oh well. Still had fun.

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nahtanojs Author Profile Page January 31, 2009 5:41 AM

Walkthrough

Turn right, go forward, turn left, go forward and turn the lamp. Turn left then forward. Follow the instructions on the paper.

If done correctly, turn around and go towards the door and pick up barcode scanner.

Go back and turn left and pick up bat.

turn around and go forward and turn right. Take pills.

turn right, forward, left, forward, right

scan the barcode on the wall

turn left, forward and scan wheat-Os

go back turn left, forward and scan gate on picture

turn left and scan all three barcodes

turn around and move forward and scan the ugly thing

turn right and scan the two barcodes

turn right, forward, left, forward and use the bat on the wall

go forward, right and scan the tent

turn around, forward, right, forward, left and scan the barcode

turn around, forward and solve the same puzzle again

turn left, feed pills to spider and take key

turn right use key

go back, turn right, forward three times and click on the cover and take the batteries

back three times and turn around

insert batteries into electric knife

turn right and forward twice and use electric knife on cube and take key

go back twice and turn right, forward, left, forward, right, forward, left, forward and use key on door

turn right, forward, left scan barcodes turn around and scan more barcodes do the same for the next part of the corridor

go forward and watch cutscene and scan last barcode

finished!

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DaSilvaMonkay January 31, 2009 10:31 AM

I agree with the review. It was very well-written. The game was very simple and easy, yet one can feel enough effort has been put in to make it an excellent game, rather than the feeling of sloppiness one feels from any other black and white game. This game was much more simple than the other escape games in that the walkthrough was practically written in the game, despite the game being simple enough already. And yes, it did spark off a whole chain of thought in my brain.

I feel that the game tries to convey that many people in the world are blinded by what they THINK is important/real, when in fact they are staring at a lie. Perhaps a call for us to all awaken and see the world around? Find your solace in a drop of rain, or a gossammer thread. Too many people face insanity in the endless monotony of today's world. Go out and have some fun.

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I love the comments by Jess. They are always so fresh, and they come from some true level of a fun-loving spirit.

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"Some people are more free than others."

I think it's from Animal Farm. I get the same uneasy feeling when I play this, just like when I read the book.

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it seemed a bit depressing sometimes: "ideas can be killed", but it's interesting

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Anonymous February 1, 2009 5:59 AM

This was a very interesting game. Although I personally did not see how it was so simple (I actually read all of the spoilers in the comments) I did enjoy it after I understood it. However, because it had that implied message thing going on, it did disturb me to some extent, especially considering that the message which questions the boundaries of reality inspires too much thinking.

Otherwise, (simple?) entertaining game.

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Nickolais February 1, 2009 1:50 PM

Nice game...

"I am a man of wealth and taste."
It's a reference to Rolling stones song "sympathy for the devil"
Really great song.

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I really liked this game. It is one of the few that I have ever solved all by myself. I liked the hunt to find and scan all the barcodes.

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tenkuchima Author Profile Page February 2, 2009 9:44 PM

very fun and creative

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somekind21 February 4, 2009 6:25 AM

game was pretty easy, just the navigation was poor. i had 29/30 barcodes on first time. i only used walkthrough to find the use for last key.

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woohoo!!! fun game.... simple.... 30/30 first try in 234.592 seconds!!!

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anonymous February 4, 2009 6:19 PM

Bluechip, you made me sad :(

Because limiting the random thoughts and connections of the mind is just what the game was trying to warn us against.

lots of people have opinions, like Jess said.

i thought this game was great... kind of creepy, like the creator was trying to tell us something. a lot like 1984. you're always guessing who "they" are.

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Interested Gamer February 7, 2009 10:12 PM

Wow, that's some pretty deep stuff. Make sure to read all of the codes on the walls as you leave. It's like you lock yourself in your mind (apartment) in order to keep your sanity, then in advertanly escape back into your insanity. Gratz man, awesome concept.

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i loved the gunslinger reference =]

"there are other worlds than these"

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Anonymous February 8, 2009 4:06 AM

I think I don't like to look around like the creator. I don't think life is that cruell.
Great game, creepy too.

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My interpretion:

This guy wanted to find out the truth, and did. (The outdoors represents the truth, I think.) But They couldn't let him tell everyone, so They condemned him as insane (the padded cell). OR maybe the truth drove him insane and They were trying to protect him? Well, I just love art/games like these!

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i got all 30 at first time its really easy
just pass all things with bars. for starters you should try going to the pc and click rgbcpy

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It was a really good game. I expected it to be a happy puzzle sort of game, but it was really sad and depressing. The end came and I saw trees and stuff. I thought something dead would pop up and scream. It didn't, though. It just went white and then I scanned the end beep!

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Um... am i stupid or is it just impossible to scan the barcodes on the way to the sponge room?

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I beat it in 214.411m as soon as I figured out

how to get the ones on the walls. You have to turn right and left with every step into the hall

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i cant even get to the computer!!!!!!

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gamefreak6701 Author Profile Page February 19, 2009 7:42 PM

Walkthrough:
Sorry if you don't like everything so detailed.

  1. You start out facing a table. Turn Right, go straight, turn left, go straight. Click on lampshade.

  2. Turn right, go straight, turn right, and go straight into bathroom.

  3. Turn right and take medicine.

  4. Turn right and go straight. Take baseball bat from closet.

  5. Turn left and go straight twice.

  6. Click the buttons in this order: red, green, dark blue, light blue, pink, yellow.

  7. Turn right twice, go straight 3 times.

  8. Take bar code scanner.

  9. Go back, turn left twice, go straight, turn right.

  10. Scan bar code on wall

    that is made by the shadow on the lampshade

  11. Use baseball bat to break down wall.

  12. Go straight, turn left, go straight, turn left, go straight twice.

  13. Click on battery cover. Take batteries.

  14. Click back three times, then right twice.

  15. Use batteries on the electric knife.

  16. Turn right, go straight, turn left.

  17. Use medicine on spider. Take key.

  18. Turn right. Remember the computer game?

    Click top, bottom right, bottom left, left middle, bottom middle, right middle.

  19. Put key in keyhole.

  20. Go straight.

  21. Use electric knife on plastic cube.

  22. Take key.

  23. Here is a long list of directions, so follow them carefully:

    Step back twice, right once, straight, right, straight, right, straight, left, straight. You should be in front of the door.

  24. Use key on door.

  25. Turn right, go straight twice.

  26. Click on the scanner like you are about to scan a bar code.

  27. With the scanner still in hand, walk ahead.

  28. You are locked in!

  29. When the last bar code comes up, scan it.

    It will say "The End". Play again and try to find all thirty bar codes...

    29 are found in the game, and the one on the last screen should be your 30th bar code.

  30. Sorry, this is actually the end.

    Really!

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Molly who has waaaaay too much time on her hands :] February 19, 2009 10:55 PM

I just played this game for two hours. That's bad, but the game was very fun... and confusing... but what do I know? I am a blonde, after all. This game was very entertaining and it kept me busy and frustrated for almost 2 hours! I'll make my cousins play it. :P Hehe. I couldn't figure out the codes on the back wall and the fact that...

hehe there is no spoiler i just wanted to make one :D

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EscapeTheFate February 20, 2009 6:05 AM

I absolutely love games like these.
The art is so simple and it seems so simple, and yet the meaning is so complicated at the same time.
I think its about guy that found out the truth about something, something THEY didn't want the world to know.
He told everyone, but then they came along and stated he was insane and locked him away, just for the sake of that secret.
The the pills are like something for amnesia, thats why he cant remember anything, like the last time he left his "apartment" and why he doesn't remember how long its been since he went out.
Because hes been locked up for so long. Eventually he gets a bar code scanner and scans everything. And the scan tell him that everything is not what it seems, people can be cruel and deceitful, but one of the scans say "Everything I'm telling you is a lie" which my guess is that, not all people are like that, and not everything is cruel and deceitful, so yeah.
Thats just my take on it, I loved this game.
Got me thinking...

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ruth grahame February 22, 2009 12:34 PM

I loved the simplicity of it. It's the only pointandclick I've ever solved without a walkthrough, and I loved all the mind-trick messages.
I did use a walkthrough to get all the barcodes, but it was worth it.
Please make more games this good!!

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II I III I IIII I . Wanna know what that says?? THIS GAME IS HARD

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What is true in life and what is not?

Throughout the game, you find conflicting arguments. "Some people are more free than others". But "it is all alive"!

It seems as though, They think "you should have stayed inside". But "forgive him". Almost if he was sorry.

But they are such different perspectives! Perhaps it is an organization with many people. Remember the white house pic in room one?

Who is good in politics? Who is bad?

The person helping you progress seems like the good guy: "break here". But in the end, you are isolated from the rest of the world, and Freedom itself. You are never to reach freedom.

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This game was pretty good. It was simple, yeah, but it was also interesting. The way I see the end is:

He was in the padded cell all along. Or the whole thing was just imagined, and after scanning all of the codes, he sees the reality. Of course "They" were behind this, but I don't really think that he was free and then sent to the asylum. That's just my take on it. I'm not a strong believer of the "it was all a dream" scenerios but hey, it's possible.

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LORDY JONES February 25, 2009 8:25 PM

I BEAT IT IN 806 SECONDS with no help. first try. aw yeah

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Here are what all the barcodes read:

1.

It is all a lie. (can of beans)

2.

Your life is not real. (can of soup)

3.

You know nothing. (poster with man facing away)

4.

Some people are more free than others. (poster of a building with american flag)

5.

They are always watching you. (poster of a zebra)

6.

There is nothing outside this place. (magazine titled "Scientific American: Alien Plants")

7.

You are not a person you are a control subject. (movie titled "Wholphin: DVD 1")

8.

They are feeding you poison and lies. (box labeled "Wheat Os")

9.

Break here. (breakable wall with lamp)

10.

They have always been here. (circus tent poster)

11.

Save all barcodes. (survelliance area)

12.

They cannot watch you think. (board in spider and triangle room)

13.

The brain is the center of all rebellion. (board in spider and triangle room)

14.

You can't see colors anymore.

15.

There are other worlds than these.

16.

Why do good things happen to bad people.

17.

I am a man of wealth and taste.

18.

You should have stayed inside.

19.

This is not the way the world should be.

20.

Is any person truly sane.

21.

Is any person truly free.

22.

Forgive me.

23.

Is the truth a lie or is the lie a truth.

24.

You must read them.

25.

Even ideas can be killed.

26.

Everything I tell you is a lie.

27.

A barcode is a series of black and white bars.

28.

Used to represent data in an optical form.

29.

That can be read via a laser or other scanner.

30.

THE END

Note: 14 till 29 are in the tunnel

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Blessing March 7, 2009 2:52 PM

I loved this game; the concept was that of novels like 1984, Animal Farm, The Giver, Feed, The Uglies Trilogy, etc: Utopian and Dystopian novels. I'm only thirteen, but I think this game is genius and recommend it to all my friends.

~*Peace!*~

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Gregory Weir is definitely going to impress, if he follows through on his "one game a month" promise he made in January.

I like these little "art statement" games, like this and The Majesty of Colors. Not really challenging and not a massive emphasis on gameplay, but very artistic, with an interesting story.

I also like games where the story and gameplay go hand in hand, rather than having one feel like it was awkwardly tacked on to the other. This and Majesty of Colors both have that.

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Madlenka March 31, 2009 1:20 PM

30/30 in 192.704 seconds. no help!

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Boffinbox April 2, 2009 3:41 PM

30/30 in 130.856

:)

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i finished it in 52 seconds :P
only 1/30 barcodes scanned :D

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Very interesting social commentary. A sort of Truman's Show. I think the minimalist graphics added to the experience. Thanks for another great Flash game.

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undiscoveredsuitcase May 10, 2009 1:56 AM

did anyone else have a really, really strong urge to scan the window during the final scene?

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AtomicSong Author Profile Page May 27, 2009 7:28 PM

I did not enjoy it.

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I think that the game meant that the guy was drugged to think that this was real life, so when someone gave him the barcode scanner it was really that his conciense was leading him out of this alternate reality, so when he freed himself, he freed his mind, and found himself in containment, because he is just a lab rat. So there is no real freedom for him. He is stuck forever in there.

Dramatic right?TEEHEE!!

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I did not enjoy the game. To be honest some of the reviews can be a bit far'fectched and are a bit well over the top. Though the games controls was clumpy, the graphics were awful and the atomosphere of the game? Well it was depressing and not creepy enough. I did not enjoy the game...plus it was boring. I would never recommend this game to anybody, that would be kind of evil to inflict the pain of this game on them. lol look at my over the top review of this game.

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I like this game quite a bit. It's quietly disconcerting, and simple enough for me to be able to grasp the gaemplay.

I suppose the eerieness comes in if you get into character and imagine if it was real...?

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what a fantastic game.
truely the work of a genius whose mind's skills are far beyond that of our own.

i, personally, am a writer. i love writing stories much like this game: one definite ending that everyone knows happened, but extremely open to interrpetation as to why the things did happen, and what it means. i was pleased to find out that i am not the only one who can dream up stories as this.

when i played this game, i was awestruck.
first, it involved a breakthrough in art. i remember clicking on the link and thinking: "what horrible art." however, to my surprise, by the end of the game, i was glad that drawings had been so. they greatly added to the overall mood of confusion, suspense, and terror.

as i progressed in the game, i began to piece together the basic story: the man is living a lie. as he goes forth and demolishes his old life, he learns things he probobly shouldn't have, and realizes that what he had hoped to find and what he did find were two totally different things. i commend the creator for developing a plot as this. not many games have this kind of deep, meaningful thought.

another thing stuck out to me: the barcode scanner. what an ingenious way to convey thought, and help the player understand what is truely going on. the idea that one would find clues to one's own existince on simple barcodes left me tingling all over.
(needles to say i am now completely obsessed with barcodes. every trip to the store has me glancing at all the bars, and trying to decypher them [: )

overall, the game was an excellent piece of work created by a man who puts his whole heart and mind into creating his games. he takes you on a thrill ride full of ups and downs, and, when he's finally finished, he leaves you, as Jess said, with more questions than answers. it opens all of our minds to what may really be out there, and makes us think about what the lies, truths, evils, goods, lights and darks that really lie behind those bars of black and white.

-Ace

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I enjoyed this title. It's a nice, light escape type game with a quaint little narrative. I was quite pleased with the story itself and the messages you can find. I got 29/30 barcodes on my first run.

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Too much thinking will make you gone crazy. :)

Found this game disturbing, sad, and makes me question what is sane and insane. Insane seems a word given to those who are far too different than others, which if they are disturbing others-- they will get locked.

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Anonymous June 26, 2009 5:40 PM

Wow....
Totally insane game.

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No Hero June 30, 2009 9:03 AM

Social commentary? Exploration of one's mind? Come on, this is only a new escape the room game, and a very simple one at that. Barcodes as representative of the captiity of the mind? I think the idea is as old as barcodes themselves.

Breakthrough art? The author has used 8 bit graphics in all of the other games, and in this it's handdrawn art. I am starting to think he just isn't able to do proper graphics, and I won't comment on how well handdrawn art fits the game's theme until I believe he didn't pick it because it's the limit of his style.

This game was fun but really easy, I got 30/30 barcodes on first playthrough. The art is so-so, and it's really confusing to navigate at times. That's all there is to it, nothing more.

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Magmarrax July 1, 2009 1:44 PM

170.406 Seconds. 28 / 30 Barcodes. Darnit! Almost a perfect speedrun.

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This is my first ever walkthrough. Let me know what you think.

Game Walkthrough:
1)

When the game starts, turn right, go forward, turn left and go forward and turn the lampshade to reveal a bar code on the wall.

2)

Turn right, go forward, turn right and go forward into the bathroom.

3)

Turn right and take the medicine off the shelf in the cabinet. Turn right and go forward and take the baseball bat out of the cupboard.

4)

Turn left and go forward twice to the computer. Press the circles in this order: red, green, dark blue, light blue, purple and yellow. You will hear a noise behind you.

5)

Go back twice, turn left twice, and forward twice to get the bar code reader.

6)

Go back and right three times to end up back in front of the lampshade.

7)

Use the barcode reader on the bar code on the wall and see that it reads: "break here". Use the baseball bat on the wall to break through it.

8)

Turn left, go forward, turn left and go forward twice and open the battery compartment of the tape recorder. Take the two batteries inside.

9)

Go back three times, and turn right twice and use the batteries on the saw on the table.

10)

Turn right and go forward into a room with another puzzle on the wall. This puzzle is exactly the same as the one on the computer, it just hasn't got any colours on it. Press the buttons in the same order as you did with the computer. This will then reveal a keyhole. We need a key.

11)

Turn left and use the medicine on the spider to kill it. Take the key, turn right and use it in the keyhole you just previously revealed. Go forward, use the saw on the block and take the key that is left behind.

12)

Go back twice, turn right, go forward, turn left, go forward, turn right go forward to end up back in the living room.

13)

Turn left, go forward, use the key on the door and go through.

14)

Turn right and keep going forward until……

YOU'RE TRAPPED!!!

15)

Scan the barcode at the end and it reads:
THE END

Walkthrough of the locations of the barcodes:

Barcodes 1+2:
On the left and right books on the table when you start the game.

Barcode 3:
Turn left when facing the table and see a poster of a zebra. The stripes on his body are actually a barcode. Scan it.

Barcode 4:
Turn left twice from the zebra poster, and go forward to face another table with a microwave on it. Turn right when facing this table and scan the fence on another poster.

Barcodes 5,6+7:
Turn left to face the table again and scan the back of the head on the poster on the wall, the beans can and the soup can.

Barcode 8:
You scan this on in the game just before you break the wall down with the baseball bat. It's the one when you turn the lampshade to reveal it on the wall.

Barcode 9:
Turn left from facing the lampshade and go forward into the computer room.
Scan the barcode on the Wheat Os box.

Barcode 10:
From the computer go back, right and go forward through the hole which you made with the bat. Turn right and scan the lines of the circus tent walls on the poster on the wall.

Barcode 11:
From the poster go back, left and forward and left and scan the barcode on the top left corner of the hole in the wall.

Barcodes 12+13:
From barcode 11, turn right twice, go forward and turn right again. On the wall are two barcodes. One on the back of the head and one under the "BE AWARE" sign.

Barcode 14, 15, 16,17+18:
From barcodes 11+12, turn right, go forward, turn left, go forward, turn left, go forward, turn right and go forward to end up in the living room. Turn left, go forward and use the key witch you got out of the cube in the hole behind the colourless puzzle in the spider room. Go through, turn right, go forward once and turn left to see five barcodes on the wall. Scan them all.

Barcodes 19, 20, 21+22:
From barcodes 14-18, turn right twice to face the right hand wall. Scan the four barcodes there. Turn left once

Barcodes 23, 24+25:
Go forward once and turn left. Scan the three barcode on the wall.

Barcodes 26, 27, 28+29:
Turn right twice and scan the four barcodes on the wall

Barcode 30:
The last one which you will scan anyway at the end. It's the one that reads "THE END"

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i got

29/30 codes and

i played it again just to find the last one

SPOILER MAZE BENEATH!! YOU WILL GET A PRIZE

YOU WIN. Prize : Satisfation of Winning

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The game seems boring because all you have to do is just scan barcodes find stuff and get out. Really it is kind of boring.

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Completely boring. This game could have had potential, but he ended it all wrong

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Anonymous October 12, 2009 2:01 PM

I cant open the game. It loads, but i cant get anywhere from that. When i click begin, it dosent do anything. Help me please.

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Anonymous December 9, 2009 2:27 PM

right, am i the only person who cries every time they play this? ahaha... cause i do. especially when i get into the hallway at the end.

awesome game, so creepy.

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The controls aren't that good so it delays your ending and it's just a mice game plus the barcodes give hints and the point that the all of them give you the meaning that the person in the game was in a dream and is confined.It's a really awkward mystery i wanted to know.

28/30 barcodes scanned and finished in 205

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random person January 1, 2010 7:45 PM

i love this game!
this is how i understand the story

"they"

are the government, except their not.... human. robots, aliens whatever, but the've just taken over and their not...human (sorry if this is feeling sci-fyish but...)

the main character

is a member of the "rebel force", if you will, who has been captured and had his memory erased or made to forget. either way, the knowledge of his previous existence is still in his subconcious.

the barcodes/barcode reader

is the thing that makes the protagonist remember who he is and why he is there. for those who have read the Uglies series

its like the pills that allow the pretties to break free of the bubbleheadedness

they were placed there by the "rebel force" in order to free the protagonist

the ending

he escapes, but is captured again almost immediately after, but his friends know they have succeded and will hopefully attempt rescue again

thank you!

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Wow...Deep...This is one of those games that gives me a feeling like my stomach is sinking...I love how the scanner told you those creepy things when you scan, like

You know nothing

I don't like that they never explained why you were in a

Padded cell. After all, your guy is hardly a maniac, since he was sane enough to find his way out of that nightmare life into another nightmare life, just in a padded cell.

Deep, wow. Need a sequel please!
:l

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This reminds me of inoculated since you have no idea what is going on. Although you do not kill stuff and this is not creepy like inoculated.

they both turn out to not be real

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Mister Man January 23, 2010 9:22 PM

What really motivated me to find every barcode was when I scanned the Wheat-Os and it said, "THEY ARE FEEDING YOU POISON AND LIES."

Instantly hooked.

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I got 23/30 on the first time. :-/

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Well, some ppl may not have appreciated it much, but I thought it was really great. I love all of his games, they really leave you with a sense of wonder.
For those of you who didn't like the art, I thought it really fit with the game. Simple art makes it much easier to get his meaning, and if there had been a bunch of frills instead of the simple lines I feel it would have detracted from the game.

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kotoktet May 7, 2010 12:35 PM

Did anyone else look at the map near the monitors and try to go through the bricked up and boarded up doors?

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devlon May 8, 2010 3:03 PM

I got all barcodes on the first try!! This is a really interesting game. Gregory Weir is a great game maker.

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michael May 30, 2010 6:20 PM

3 words,awesome,entertaining and just plain weird.loved the game,ending was cool,but i wish there was either a sequel or the game was longer.i was a bit skeptical in the begging,but the bar code that read "there is nothing outside here" hooked me. when i saw the fake window i never wanted this game to end. all in all, best game i ever played.

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Impressed June 26, 2010 4:07 PM

That one quote,

some people are more free than others

, yea that was from Animal Farm. Except they changed

Animals to People

. GREAT GAME. REALLY LEFT A LASTING MARK IN A GOOD WAY OF COURSE I'M GONNA TURN OFF CAPS LOCK NOW. Ok, Caps Lock off. Great game, yes it is from Animal Farm, bye.

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Just drawing the obvious parallel to John Carpenter's THEY LIVE...
Barcodes instead of sunglasses...
the switch from colour to b&w realities...
and the hidden room through a hole in the wall.

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'Some people are more free than others'

Do I smell a communism reference, in specific something from Animal Farm?

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One thing: Where's the cake? I mean, we got some beans, but it's not the same as "the cake is a lie."

Excellent game, creepy without being terrifying.

Finished 660.61. Poor spider.

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ukokira May 26, 2011 8:00 PM

For the people who believe the man is not crazy because he was able to get out of the house. Insane /crazy people do not knoe their insane/crazy.Insane people can be smart.I am a writer and this has a great many of possibilites for the end. all of his games ive played has left you with questions.

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GudMorningPpl May 29, 2011 1:12 AM

So it's

only a dream? Grrrrrrrrr! Why do i need
to solve it if it's only a dream?

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Zetsuke June 9, 2011 7:34 AM

This game is totally awesome! I vote for another one. Like, trapped in an old picture. Also, the game must tell who did all those barcodes.
11 out of 10 anyways! :D

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OwlCityer June 20, 2011 6:50 PM

I think the best part were what the barcodes said. :)
And my interpretation was that:

yes, he is in an insane institution or asylum, but also, based on what the barcodes say, that he had rebelled at some point, as in breaking out and seeing the outside world, only to be dragged back inside the asylum and his own broken mind.

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sYmPuL sYcOlOgYsT July 31, 2011 6:31 AM

I don't know if it is right, but I'm starting to believe that

The lunatic asylum at the end is the only thing that is real, and him or her waking up is him dreaming another dream

although the whole thing could just be a lot more basic, and be

him or her dreaming. this also makes me fell, though, as if there is some kind of problem for the person in the real world. as if they have done something bad, and feel like they are scared of getting caught and locked up, or they just have paranoia.




That's just me thinking about stuff too much, though...

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I think this game shows brilliance. The game play might not represent the best point and click game but the story and messages are extremely clever.

To me the messages are to the player more so than the protagonist within the story. They are true and relevant to all people. The fundamental existential questions we all tackle at some point - what is the nature of our existence, the purpose of it, what is reality, what can we know for certain, how did we come to be in this environment, what is freedom, are we free or bound in causal chains and so on.

Thoughts can create a prison and thoughts can free us. Freedom is available to any who seek it and is gained with honesty, dedication and knowledge.

If this all sounds esoteric and ridiculous to you then you are absolutely right and feel free to dismiss it.

If it intrigues you and you are compelled to see what is underlying this then keep seeking and pick up the threads wherever you find them.

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I love the art in this game. I thought it interesting that it wasn't even pretending to have detail in places you weren't looking, I thought it was calling attention to the art form. And it turns out that

it /was/, and it's likely that the in-game world didn't actually /have/ detail in those places-- you can argue about the universe's existence unperceived, but a dream world definitely doesn't exist unless you're thinking about it.

It reminded me of a book I read full of sinister

dreams, that drew themselves as you looked at them, and in which no detail existed that you weren't looking for.

Super creepy. Somehow at least seventy percent of the barcodes' messages really hit home with me. Lovely, lovely game.

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I have no idea what just happened.
None.

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