ir/rational Redux


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Rating: 4.3/5 (210 votes)
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Trickyir/rational ReduxWhen one wakes up in a featureless white room, apparently at the whims of a malevolent steam-punk artificial intelligence, the first instinct is to escape. But... why? What's your argument? Can you justify your actions? Such is the question posed by ir/rational Redux, a puzzle adventure game by Tom Jubert, of Penumbra story-telling fame. Propositional logic has never felt so intense!

Though it has the apparent trappings of a graphical adventure game, the real meat of ir/rational Redux is in its unique language-based argument system. Click to progress the story, until you come to a bit of propositional calculus you must pass. Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds! Choose the correct statement from the drop-down menus to fill in the missing lines and complete the argument logically. (It has been noted that some systems may not display all options automatically, so you may need to scroll these lists with the [arrow] keys.) If you need assistance, you can ask your brain for a hint by clicking in the upper-right corner. No doubt the central premise of ir/rational Redux could have come off as incredibly dry, but overall this is a supremely engaging work. A unique brand of dark philosophical humor is present throughout, and the puzzles manage the right balance of posing a challenge to advanced logicians, while remaining welcoming to the novice. One nitpick: The somewhat-crude mid-game tangent about Australian gaming politics feels out of place, more suited to one of Yahtzee's rants rather than an ontological mystery. That said, while playing ir/rational Redux, you truly get the feeling that you're playing a game that's something different and something special. It may not be for everyone, but it's hard to argue against giving it a try.

Play ir/rational Redux

Walkthrough Guide


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ir/rational Redux Solutions

Generally, if you're looking for a hint to push you in the right direction, the in-game "Brain Hint" is a great resource. Below you will find the correct choices for each drop-down menu puzzle bracketed below.
Level 2/10

Line 2: [IF I would like the lights to come on THEN I should press the switch.]

Level 3/10

Line 4: Assumption: [A perfect God exists]

Level 4/10 - Prove you are breathing oxygen.

Line 1: IF I am alive THEN [I am breathing oxygen] OR [the laws of human biology have been broken.

Line 2: [I am alive] AND the laws of human biology haven't been broken.

Level 5/10 - Complete the Machine's Test

Line 5: THEREFORE [Jill is NOT ill] and [Jack is ill]

Level 6/10 - Is the Machine's conclusion rational?

Line 5: THEREFORE [The Machine must assess me]

Line 6: THEREFORE [The Machine cannot release me]

Level 7/10 - Formulate an argument logically proving that Michael Atkinson is...

Line 1: IF [there is no evidence that video games are more dangerous than films] THEN [video games should be treated similarly to films]

Line 2: IF [video games should be treated similarly to films] THEN [Australia is wrong to ban 18+ video games]

Level 8/10 - Complete the argument and decide whether or not it is safe to escape.

Line 4: THEREFORE [there is a good chance I will be caught]

Line 7: THEREFORE [The Machine will not kill me if it catches me]

Line 8: THEREFORE [I should try to escape]

Level 9/10 - Prove that the machine is not perfect

Line 2: [The Machine thinks smugness is a relevant clue]

Line 3: [The Machine thinks smugness is a red herring]

Line 4: IF [The Machine thinks smugness is a relevant clue] AND [The Machine thinks smugness is a red herring] THEN [The Machine has contradicted itself]

Line 5: THEREFORE [The Machine has contradicted itself]

Level 10/10 - The Final Argument

Line 4: [A]

Line 6: [-E]

Line 8: [O]

29 Comments

Can't seem to figure out 4 for some reason, and the hint hasn't helped. Kind of frustrating. Otherwise it was an interesting game so far.

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An interesting bit of IR overall, but I had one massive problem with it in that a number of the drop-boxes didn't drop far enough to show all the options, and didn't have any kind of scrolling bar either (OS X, Chrome). Had to manually scroll down with the arrow keys on them, which for some reason made them ALL scroll down.

Still, interface issues aside, nicely done.

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cheeken Author Profile Page July 15, 2012 1:47 AM

This was a neat diversion from your typical flash game and I enjoyed it. The narration was nice and the story made the puzzles - which probably would have been pretty boring were they in the form of a bulleted list - more fun.

I did encounter a bit of frustration, though. In the first problem, the game encourages you to select a solution that fits logically, even if it involves an assertion or implication is nonsensical to you. In other words: use logic, not intuition or common sense. However, this convention is not carried forth throughout the game. As early as problem 4 (the one where you have to formally prove a guy is a, erm ... jerk), you can make selections that logically prove all the assertions you seek to prove - but you're told you've got it wrong. Only a particular combination of selections work - a combination that involves the intuition and common sense the game instructed were not necessary. In a game about logic, this kind of inconsistency seems out of place. But not a big deal.

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jdiwnab Author Profile Page July 15, 2012 4:42 PM

I was doing fine, until the one regarding Michael Atkinson. I went to look at the walk-through, thinking I was just overlooking something. But I don't see the options for

Australia is wrong to ban 18+ video games

I skipped that one, and got to the final puzzle, and couldn't find a good answer for line 8. Again, looking at the walk-through, I see that the answer that I should use isn't there. It's there on the first blank, but not on the second or third. I tried filling out the first spot with the answer for the third, but it didn't take it.

Maybe my instance was just buggy.

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ckdoiron Author Profile Page July 15, 2012 4:54 PM

jdiwnab, I had the same problem. The listed spoiler for Line 8 of the final stage didn't appear in the drop-down list for me either, so I don't think it's buggy. I think somebody just typed the wrong letter in the list of cheats/spoilers and/or got them mixed up and typed them in the wrong order.

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Daibhid C Author Profile Page July 15, 2012 5:56 PM

A very interesting game, and a nice change of pace from the usual escape genre.

@cheeken

I'm not sure that's right. The argument itself is already written, you just need to complete the "If...Then" statements that justify its "Therefore"s. The wrong "If...Then" statements don't lead to the given argument, and therefore, within those constraints, don't reach the required conclusion.

I think. But it's late and I'm tired, so ICBW.

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I was doing mostly fine until the last puzzle. Even after seeing the walkthrough, the puzzle and the answers make no sense what so ever to me. Could anyone explain it?

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@Avetre: I don't remember parts one and two, or even all the details of part three, but

The double-headed arrow indicates that the logic goes both ways. ie, X Y means that both X leads to Y, and/or Y leads to X.

The statement on the right has an OR in it. So if you know that either part is true, you can assume the whole statement is true. (You have an apple. Do you have either an apple or a banana? Yes.)

Thus, the statement on the left is also true (because of the double arrow). There isn't an answer in the dropdown box that shows the whole of the part on the left, but you can still deduce that one of the things in the dropdown box is true.

Because both V AND O are true, you know that O is true. You don't care about V, apparently.

Also, Descartes much? The whole puzzle about God being real was a deduction of Descartes in the first chapter of Discourse on Method and Related Writings, a book which I stopped reading after I saw that exact flaw in his logic and decided he wasn't such a smart guy after all. So, that was fascinating to me.

Cool game, anyway. Cheers!

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Oh, I remember what part one was. Something like,

M
M -> (G -> A)
G
?

You know that M is true, so you immediately know that the thing that M leads to is also true.

Thus, G leads to A.

You know that G is true, so....

A is also true.

Hopefully that helps. Someone else will have to help with part two, as I really don't feel like doing the whole game again to get the question. (Or you could post it...?)

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Nice game, original idea. This game makes me feel good about having had mounds of math and philosophy classes.

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josimar624 Author Profile Page July 16, 2012 9:47 AM

Well, I don't understand Level 4. Why are "you" assuming in line 2 that "the laws of human byology haven't changed"?

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sonicscrewdriver Author Profile Page July 16, 2012 1:01 PM

Huge warning for flashing lights! Epilepsy trigger!

Did anyone else get this or just me? I had to close the game.

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jdiwnab Author Profile Page July 16, 2012 1:21 PM

I played this on another computer, and the answers that I thought where missing where there, so I was able to fly through the game finally. I suspect that it was something like what An Onyx Mouse mentioned: no scroll bars to indicate that there where more answers, and nothing about the length of the drop down to indicate that something was chopped off. I didn't try to arrow down to find more. Some font differences must have pushed some of the responses past some height limit.

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skylightica Author Profile Page July 16, 2012 9:54 PM

Love the uniqueness of this from the other escape games! Lately logic and rational thought has been making me excited.

It's the perfect intro for noobs like me to an useful topic, it feels like I'm learning something instead of wasting time on the usual games. I would have like it more had there been been more difficult levels. <3ed educational link and extra DLC game too. Thanks!

Also, it's nice to reaffirm that my argument process naturally follows this proper style, though my confidence in its infallibility has fallen since it sometimes is ineffective towards emotionally charged people.

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I was disappointed that there weren't interesting consequences for choosing the bizarre statements like 'pink elephants don't like light'.

Also: What is a "pale" of water? It's certainly nothing like the pail of water that Jack and Jill normally fetch. Perhaps that's why Jack has taken ill. I bet his complexion has gone "pail". ;)

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I'm really enjoying this game, which probably says more about me than about the game. :P

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kept running into trouble at the end 'cause i thought, for some reason, that i couldn't use the same answer more than once.

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lycyfyrsam Author Profile Page July 23, 2012 2:40 AM

Isi:

you cant get 4 cos

there are too many combinations of the sentence thesis that should actually work & only one of them makes the game progress.

totally maddening! i really like the premise of this game--&, unlike so many games of high pretense, it's not badly written--but i thought i was gonna run into a problem of this sort &, ya know what, i did, i did.

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lycyfyrsam Author Profile Page July 23, 2012 2:49 AM

&, if anyone is still looking & still cares: yep, nope you cant get the last line in level seven if you are running a mac running OSX & chrome. i couldnt even scroll & get it.

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yimyeehau Author Profile Page July 24, 2012 10:53 AM

I liked this game and thought it was short and easy, but did find it a bit puzzling doing the Michael Atkinson part, even on the second time I finished it. I never knew that none of the answers were

Are you sure you want to?

related to Michael Atkinson parking or not parking in disabled places.

Believe it or not, I even thought that the last test was easier!

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yimyeehau Author Profile Page July 24, 2012 10:56 AM

@lycyfysam,
I use a mac and Google Chrome, yet it still works for me. I don't know why, but I can pass through all of the levels, and I can scroll without needing to use the arrow keys. Anyone have a reason for this?

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yimyeehau Author Profile Page July 24, 2012 10:57 AM

Sorry for the repeated comments.

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@cheeken
Unless I'm missing something, there's only 1 way to prove the point in 4.

So it would be like:
1. IF A, then __ OR __
2. __ and not B
3. Therefore C

Completed:
1. IF A, then B or C
2. A and not B
3. Therefore C.

Where A = being alive
B = Laws of biology change
C = Breathing Oxygen
D= Drinking water

I don't see any other combination, besides switching B and C around (it doesn't matter what order) in line 1. D has nowhere to fit at all.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlR40SFdOlCN70GVsDJZgp47N5j_ZZK7kI Author Profile Page September 18, 2012 6:42 AM

Here's how I solved question 10 easily:

G is yummy
IF M is yummy THEN IF G is yummy then A is yummy
M is yummy
THEREFORE A is yummy
etc

IF it helps THEN it is a helpful comment
It is a helpful comment
THEREFORE it helps :D

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Well... making me say that the machine contradicted itself twice in a row was kind of a bitchy move. I didn't get that for half an hour.

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I played it again, and I do understand now why it had to repeat itself. I should have gotten that.

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Great game, really creepy.

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donttalktomeaboutlife Author Profile Page April 3, 2013 11:59 PM

@ The poster from September 18, I'm not trying to be annoying or anything, but I thought, seeing as we're all learning about logic in this game, I thought I'd pull you up on a logical fallacy in your comment.

Just because an IF THEN statement works in one direction, it doesn't necessarily work in the other. If I follow your form with different subjects, eg:

IF it is a dog THEN it is an animal
It is an animal
THEREFORE it is a dog -

I would have to conclude that all animals are dogs, which is patently false. We may have sufficiently established that dog is a subset of animal, but we have not established that animal is a subset of dog.

Therefore, just because we have demonstrated that IF it helps THEN it is a helpful comment, we have not demonstrated that IF it is a helpful comment THEN it helps. For the structure to stand, you would have had to reverse your line 1,

A helpful comment may indeed mean by definition that it helps, but this is because of the language, rather than the logic of the syllogism. It makes semantic, instead of logical, sense.

Hope that clears things up a little :)

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