This is Not a Minimalist Game

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Made in just 48 hours for the minimalist themed Ludum Dare, this itty-bitty adventure starts off as a quest to get a grisly trophy... and then to break a curse! The laws of the world might not make much sense to you anymore, but you won't let that stand in the way of a little destructionI MEAN heroism.

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Walkthrough Guide


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"This is not a minimalist game" Walkthrough:

Notes:

In a few of the puzzles in "This is not a minimalist game", you sort of have to guess what the developers were thinking. I've tried to make the hints as non-spoilery as possible, but even getting a nudge in the right direction might make finding the solution a little less satisfying. If you'd really like to avoid spoilers, read the tips first.

There's one area of the game that players who have difficulty distinguishing colors might have trouble with. I'm not sure if I needed to, but I provided a color note.

Tips:

  • Make sure to complete all possible dialogue with everyone. Sometimes, the game doesn't know an event is over if there's still dialogue left to go through.

  • Pick up every item you can. There's no penalty for carrying anything around, and it might come in handy later. Items can be collected with X, and used with the number keys.

  • If you're stuck, take a look at your items. Some of the puzzles involve using the items in some way. If you don't think you have what you need, think about items you've seen before. Note that in most cases, you'll be able to backtrack and collect those items again.

Walkthrough, with hints:

  1. Follow the tunnel down and to the right. Taking the upper path leads you to a red evil wizard; taking the lower path leads to a purple evil wizard. Both have a quest to offer-- bring them 100 evil wizard heads.

    • Hint:

      How many evil wizard heads do you already have?

      You can't do the quest for both evil wizards...

      ...so there's one extra evil wizard hanging around.

    • Solution:

      Take the quest with one evil wizard, then go kill the other one. It doesn't matter which one, but it's a little more convenient to take the quest with the red evil wizard and kill the purple one.

    After, go through the scene until you arrive at the new area.

  2. You'll find yourself in a new area. To the right is a rectangle who has a quest to offer-- bring him 5 squares. There doesn't appear to be a way out.

    • Hint:

      What happens when you take the quest?

      Can you get an item from the rectangle?

      Can you use this item to leave?

    • Solution:

      Take the quest with the rectangle. Talk to it again, and keep asking questions until you get a map. Use the map (by pressing [1]), then go to the quarry (by pressing [2]).

  3. Time to get working on that quest! The quarry is full of squares, some of them red. Visit the city if you'd like, but it's not necessary as of yet. Once you have five squares, return to the rectangle in area 1 and follow his directions.

    • Hint:

      Sometimes the game won't let you finish the quest. Are all of your squares the same? Think about bringing back some squares with different properties.

      What's one common way to destroy something in a minimalist game? Think about how these games often ask you to fight.

    • Solution:

      Collect 5 squares, at least one of them red. After you bring them back and the rectangle becomes distressed, jump on the red squares.

    Go to the city ([3] on the map), and talk to the one standing rectangle.

  4. Go to see the signs ([4] on the map). The signs can be taken and picked up for later use.

    • Hint:

      You need to use items in order to make the next change to the world.

      Specifically, you need to use one item on another item.

      Think about what might have an interesting reaction with the signs you just collected.

    • Solution:

      Return to the quarry ([2] on the map). Find a red square, and use a "This is not a square" sign while standing directly in front of it.

    Return to the city, and talk to the rectangle.

  5. Let's investigate the "strange stuff" ([5] on the map). You'll find an area full of numbers.

    • Hint:

      You can't pick up the numbers, but can you interact with them in some other way?

      Have you tried doing this to all of the numbers?

    • Solution:

      Look for the "3" (from the start: go right, take the bottom fork, and follow the bottom left path.) Jump on it.

    Return to the city, and report your findings to the rectangle.

  6. Something has changed in the world.

    • Hint:

      Check everywhere you've visited before.

      Especially the quarry.

      Anything you can do to the new objects?

    • Solution:

      There are some new circles in the quarry, several yellow and several blue. Jump on one yellow circle and one blue circle.

    • Color Note:

      The rightmost circle in the quarry is yellow, as are the two leftmost circles. The others are blue.

    Return to the city, and check in with the rectangle again.

  7. Something else has changed in the world.

    • Hint:

      Check everywhere you've visited before.

      Especially the first area.

      Have you looked at all the new objects?

    • Solution:

      There's now some fruit in the first area. Toward the right, one of the fruits looks different. Pick it up.

    Return to the city, and talk to your rectangle friend once more.

  8. Go to the mirror ([6] on the map). Go right until you can see yourself. Even though the rest of the world has changed, your character hasn't.

    • Hint:

      How did you change the rest of the world?

      Is there a way for you to do the same things, only to yourself?

      Perhaps using items?

    • Solution:

      Get a red square, a yellow circle, a blue circle, and a detailed fruit. You can find the first three at the quarry ([2] on the map) and the last at the first area ([1] on the map), if you don't still yours from the last step. Stand as close to the mirror as you can, and drop these items until you're back to normal and the world shifts again.

  9. You're now back where you started. Follow the tunnel down and to the right. Take the lower path and follow the tunnel until you see another person. Talk to her, and watch the scene. She'll drop an object.

    • Hint:

      Your character has some very strong feelings on this object. Help him express those very strong feelings.

    • Solution:

      Jump on the object.

    Congratulations, you've finished "This is not a minimalist game". Enjoy the ending!

12 Comments

"This is not a minimalist game" Walkthrough:

Notes:

In a few of the puzzles in "This is not a minimalist game", you sort of have to guess what the developers were thinking. I've tried to make the hints as non-spoilery as possible, but even getting a nudge in the right direction might make finding the solution a little less satisfying. If you'd really like to avoid spoilers, read the tips first.

There's one area of the game that players who have difficulty distinguishing colors might have trouble with. I'm not sure if I needed to, but I provided a color note.

Tips:

  • Make sure to complete all possible dialogue with everyone. Sometimes, the game doesn't know an event is over if there's still dialogue left to go through.

  • Pick up every item you can. There's no penalty for carrying anything around, and it might come in handy later. Items can be collected with X, and used with the number keys.

  • If you're stuck, take a look at your items. Some of the puzzles involve using the items in some way. If you don't think you have what you need, think about items you've seen before. Note that in most cases, you'll be able to backtrack and collect those items again.

Walkthrough, with hints:

  1. Follow the tunnel down and to the right. Taking the upper path leads you to a red evil wizard; taking the lower path leads to a purple evil wizard. Both have a quest to offer-- bring them 100 evil wizard heads.

    • Hint:

      How many evil wizard heads do you already have?

      You can't do the quest for both evil wizards...

      ...so there's one extra evil wizard hanging around.

    • Solution:

      Take the quest with one evil wizard, then go kill the other one. It doesn't matter which one, but it's a little more convenient to take the quest with the red evil wizard and kill the purple one.

    After, go through the scene until you arrive at the new area.

  2. You'll find yourself in a new area. To the right is a rectangle who has a quest to offer-- bring him 5 squares. There doesn't appear to be a way out.

    • Hint:

      What happens when you take the quest?

      Can you get an item from the rectangle?

      Can you use this item to leave?

    • Solution:

      Take the quest with the rectangle. Talk to it again, and keep asking questions until you get a map. Use the map (by pressing [1]), then go to the quarry (by pressing [2]).

  3. Time to get working on that quest! The quarry is full of squares, some of them red. Visit the city if you'd like, but it's not necessary as of yet. Once you have five squares, return to the rectangle in area 1 and follow his directions.

    • Hint:

      Sometimes the game won't let you finish the quest. Are all of your squares the same? Think about bringing back some squares with different properties.

      What's one common way to destroy something in a minimalist game? Think about how these games often ask you to fight.

    • Solution:

      Collect 5 squares, at least one of them red. After you bring them back and the rectangle becomes distressed, jump on the red squares.

    Go to the city ([3] on the map), and talk to the one standing rectangle.

  4. Go to see the signs ([4] on the map). The signs can be taken and picked up for later use.

    • Hint:

      You need to use items in order to make the next change to the world.

      Specifically, you need to use one item on another item.

      Think about what might have an interesting reaction with the signs you just collected.

    • Solution:

      Return to the quarry ([2] on the map). Find a red square, and use a "This is not a square" sign while standing directly in front of it.

    Return to the city, and talk to the rectangle.

  5. Let's investigate the "strange stuff" ([5] on the map). You'll find an area full of numbers.

    • Hint:

      You can't pick up the numbers, but can you interact with them in some other way?

      Have you tried doing this to all of the numbers?

    • Solution:

      Look for the "3" (from the start: go right, take the bottom fork, and follow the bottom left path.) Jump on it.

    Return to the city, and report your findings to the rectangle.

  6. Something has changed in the world.

    • Hint:

      Check everywhere you've visited before.

      Especially the quarry.

      Anything you can do to the new objects?

    • Solution:

      There are some new circles in the quarry, several yellow and several blue. Jump on one yellow circle and one blue circle.

    • Color Note:

      The rightmost circle in the quarry is yellow, as are the two leftmost circles. The others are blue.

    Return to the city, and check in with the rectangle again.

  7. Something else has changed in the world.

    • Hint:

      Check everywhere you've visited before.

      Especially the first area.

      Have you looked at all the new objects?

    • Solution:

      There's now some fruit in the first area. Toward the right, one of the fruits looks different. Pick it up.

    Return to the city, and talk to your rectangle friend once more.

  8. Go to the mirror ([6] on the map). Go right until you can see yourself. Even though the rest of the world has changed, your character hasn't.

    • Hint:

      How did you change the rest of the world?

      Is there a way for you to do the same things, only to yourself?

      Perhaps using items?

    • Solution:

      Get a red square, a yellow circle, a blue circle, and a detailed fruit. You can find the first three at the quarry ([2] on the map) and the last at the first area ([1] on the map), if you don't still yours from the last step. Stand as close to the mirror as you can, and drop these items until you're back to normal and the world shifts again.

  9. You're now back where you started. Follow the tunnel down and to the right. Take the lower path and follow the tunnel until you see another person. Talk to her, and watch the scene. She'll drop an object.

    • Hint:

      Your character has some very strong feelings on this object. Help him express those very strong feelings.

    • Solution:

      Jump on the object.

    Congratulations, you've finished "This is not a minimalist game". Enjoy the ending!

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Moral:

If you make the world simpler you are a wizard. If you make the world more complicated, people go crazy and die.

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Actually, I think the moral is more that

change is scary, but exciting, and ultimately worth it. The NPC who began life as a simple square was the one who responded to everything with cautious optimism and ultimately kept change coming, and I think if the moral exists, it's probably just that not every new experience should be met with fear and babbling. :)

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tchakkazulu Author Profile Page April 30, 2013 6:40 PM

This game makes me want to re-read Flatland. Very nice!

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The game isn't working on Firefox or Google Chrome for me...

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@icalasari, it works fine on Firefox for me. Doubt that helps though.

The real moral of the story is Ludum Dare is AWESOME and so is this game!

(I may not have a tight grasp on what morals are...)

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page May 1, 2013 1:51 AM

Yeah, a little problematic on Chrome for me as well. Not sure what command you are supposed to give in order to "use a sign" on a square. Nothing works. But I definitely liked the idea.

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the Jack Author Profile Page May 1, 2013 3:54 AM

To use an object in your inventory, press the number associated with it. 1 opens the map, 2 drops a square, etc.

I didn't spoiler that because it's a basic game mechanic / interface thing, and thus something the designer presumably intended not to be a puzzle to be solved. If Jay (or Dora, or StormAlligator...) feel differently, though, I wouldn't be offended if spoiler tags were added.

Especially for one made under such serious time constraints, this was a fantastic game! A nicely different otherworldly adventure.

I needed the walkthrough for the penultimate puzzle, which I think ought to have been better-hinted.
Also, I believe I found a bug with that puzzle which functioned as a red herring and kept me off-track:

(To be clear, I'm referring to the mirror puzzle, not the coda one.)

When I drop the "This is not a square" sign in front of the mirror, unlike all the other items, it can be picked back up... but it's the reflection-side sign that disappears! This led to me thinking the object was to make the reflection not match my side of the mirror. Of course, the bug only seems to affect that one item, so I hit a dead end.

Maybe I was the only one who ran into that bug, or the only one who followed it on a wild goose chase. But -- if you'll forgive the pun -- the bug seems to me to disrupt the symmetry of the game.

Granted, the bug in question made that puzzle seem more complicated than it was, and that colors my view of the puzzle's difficulty. But I found the solution different enough from the previous puzzles' solutions that that alone might have been enough to stump me.

I perceived the game as having more of a set of observations about human (or wizard, or polygon) nature than a moral per se. And that's just fine by me. It definitely made me think!

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Infant Tyrone Author Profile Page May 1, 2013 9:02 AM

Short but pleasant. Perfect for fiddling around with during breakfast. Good concept and the puzzles are simple enough

except the mirror which is strangely specific.

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dsrtrosy Author Profile Page May 1, 2013 9:03 AM

I also thought that was how the inventory worked. But when there were two items with the number 2 next to them and two with the number 3 next to them, it seemed to be a toss up which one actually dropped--and since there was no way apparent to toggle between them, I was unable to go on. So it seemed more of a bug or perhaps a browser issue than a game mechanic. Thank you for your sarcasm, tho.

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the Jack Author Profile Page May 1, 2013 9:37 AM

Nothing I said in my comment above was intended as sarcasm, dsrtrosy.

I, too, found the inventory / use-item controls unintuitive at first. I perhaps over-explained, but I had in mind that lots of other players, both now and in future weeks, months and even years, might come to this page if they were stumped by those controls. That's why I worded my comment the way I did. Most people who visit a review / walkthrough page on this site never leave a comment, and it's rather unlikely that the two of us were the only people who would ever be confused by the inventory display or controls of this game.

At the risk of offending you ('you' here meaning dsrtrosy, specifically) again, even though I found the double numbers confusing at first as well:

  • The white-on-gray numbers in brackets at the upper left of each inventory item -- [1], [2] etc. -- indicate which key to press to use that item.

  • The black numbers below and at the right of each inventory item indicate the quantity of that item type currently possessed.

Also, in most cases, a dropped item can simply be picked up again, should you ('you' here meaning anyone playing this game, generally) drop the wrong one.

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Weird problem on Mac OS X 10.8: the game displays its title screen, then asks me to download the latest Flash Player, even though Flash is already up to date (version 15). This happened in Chrome 37, Safari 6.1.4, and Firefox 21 and 32. I suspect there's something wrong with this game's Flash version detection routine.

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