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Allergy Assassin


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Rating: 3.5/5 (29 votes)
Comments (19) | Views (10,256)

allergy-assassin

Lori.hThere is a killer on the loose and soon he's going to find his mark... or at least you better hope so because you're him. A contract killer hired by a large company to get rid of an evil villain so, hey, that makes you a hero right? But you're not ordinary assassin-for-hire, no, you specialize in deaths that look like an accident. You are the Allergy Assassin, killing people by food-or-air-based allergies, and you're good at it. Things aren't so easy as they first appear in this logic puzzle of a game, by Ash K, Rev. Lord Dr. Lorin Grieve, and Brandon L for the Ludum Dare 32: "An Unconventional Weapon". You are serving five different people from five different companies, and must gather clues to decide which one is from Dastardly Holdings LLC, and what they are allergic to. You're going to need pen and paper for this one, and more than likely a logic grid to solve all five different scenarios.

Move around with the [arrow] keys, and interact with people, paper, and more with the [spacebar]. Each one may give you a simple statement that holds clues to finding out who your target is. You are given the names of people as they speak to you, and by selecting the table you can see both the food and potential food-based allergy choices. You're given the option of the laxatives, which will send your target to the bathroom to be confronted by your choosing of cats or bees. But you're not told up front about all the companies, and if you don't do some investigating yourself, it may take a bit to find out what all the allergies are. It can be a little tricky to get a good start off in the beginning, though that really is just part of the fun. While it would have been nice to have a menu to pick which scenario you'd like to do, as it is just randomized and therefore hard to make sure you got all five puzzles, Allergy Assassin is still a great brain teaser that goes well with its cute pixel animations and the endings to correct solutions are a great prize for getting it right.

Play Allergy Assassin

19 Comments

The usage of "They" for every character's pronouns just baffles me. It's just a needless distraction; nobody would care if every character was just called "he" or "she". Hell, they could all be the same gender for all I care, that's not the point of the game.

Although maybe I have a bit of a bias for one of the puzzles, where one of the clues is "I don't know how they get enough protein, being a vegetarian allergic to nuts." How who gets enough protein? Is this intentional? Is it a typo? Are you talking about someone else in this room, Avery, or are you talking about yourself?

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maybe they are all the same gender and it just happens that said gender calls for they/them pronouns ... hmmmm ...

that clue you cited sounds like it's just telling you that the vegetarian in the room also has the nut allergy, since that'll help you pare down the other allergies & dishes. you don't know /who/ the vegetarian is, but you know they have the nut allergy (idk how you think someone could be using 'they' to refer to themselves but whatever)

this game is cute but it's kind of annoying to have done all that work just to find out you could have copped out w/ the bomb lmao ... or at least that the bomb doesn't have some special ending

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Patreon Crew SonicLover April 29, 2015 2:24 PM

I've almost figured out the scenario I rolled up, but a critical piece of information appears to be missing.

Am I correct in assuming...

...that each possible allergy is present in one and only one attendee?

If this is true, I've got it solved. If not, it seems to be unsolvable.

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Patreon Crew SonicLover April 29, 2015 3:46 PM

Okay, so I bit the bullet and made the "it IS solvable" assumption. And it paid off!

The ending was a little underwhelming, but still amusing.

Reply
Night Stryke April 29, 2015 3:53 PM

I just can't seem to narrow down my scenario enough to solve it; there doesn't seem to be enough information.

Additionally, the names of the companies are important to my puzzle, but one of them wasn't even mentioned in the scenario so I had to reload for another scenario that mentioned it, then reload until I got the scenario I was working on again.
Another thing is that if not for this review I wouldn't have known that cats and bees are part of the puzzle; there's no mention of them being important unless you've already made a decision on whose food to tamper with, but knowing they're part of it helps to narrow things down. Also, on that note, as there are 5 people but only 4 allergies, does one person just not have an allergy?

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Patreon Crew SonicLover April 29, 2015 4:52 PM replied to Night Stryke

Yes. One person does not have an allergy. That threw me for a little while, too.

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Night Stryke April 29, 2015 5:04 PM

So, I figured I'd give a different scenario a try. Figured it out in about 3 minutes. Spent about an hour on the other one and never managed to solve it. I'm convinced that scenario just isn't possible.

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ThemePark April 29, 2015 5:07 PM

@Night Stryke, are you aware that the two coats also give out hints (or sometimes red herrings)? I didn't notice them for a while, so I too was stuck.

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Night Stryke April 29, 2015 6:44 PM replied to ThemePark

The one on the chair and the one on the coat rack? I got those.

I've completed the other 4 scenarios and came back to the one I started on; I think I narrowed it down further this time than I did before, but I still just can't do it no matter how much I go over it. It's the one where the paper closest to where you start is a drawing of a triceratops.

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Patreon Crew SonicLover April 29, 2015 7:30 PM replied to Night Stryke

I just got Stryke's triceratops scenario myself, and I suspect it's literally impossible to solve.

There's no way to tell what the Dastardly representative ordered.

The chicken is for the Coach Industries representative (the receipt near the coat rack), so that's out.
The steak is for Dakota (Dakota's clue), but Casey's clue eliminates him as the Dastardly representative.
The vegetarian dish is for the Perfectly Ordinary representative (Avery's clue), so that's out as well.
The lasagna and the pork chop are the only meals left that the Dastardly rep could have ordered, but neither dish is mentioned by anyone or anything, so it's impossible to determine which it is.

Reply

As logic puzzles go, this one doesn't present everything as clearly as I think it should, but after playing several scenarios, I had enough information to figure out the blanks in my logic grid. I was able to solve all scenarios without actually knowing every name, so that helped.

SPOILERS AND SOLUTIONS:
There are 5 scenarios. As with all logic puzzles, you are to assume that given information is not intended to be ambiguous and all combinations are unique. Since most logic puzzles give you all the names you need right up front, I'll do that here, but hidden, if you want to figure it out yourself:

Avery, Bailey, Casey, Dakota, and Emery work for Avarice, Bell, Coach, Dastardly, and Perfectly Ordinary, and are allergic to cats, bees, fish, nuts, and bombs(which can also mean "allergic to nothing"), and they're eating chicken, pork chops, lasagne, steak, and a vegetarian salad.

First, read the note just to your left (screen right) as the game begins. If it is:
-A triceratops drawing,

put a bomb in the pork

-A note from Emery regarding pork,

Add fish to the chicken

-A note from Bell regarding peanut oil,

Put laxatives in the lasagne and bees in the bathroom

-A note from Perfectly Ordinary,

Put laxatives on the steak - love that sauce! - and cats in the bathroom. (This one's the cutest.)

-A note from the Dastards regarding pork,

put nuts in the vegetarian option.

Interesting note: there is only one scenario where (I believe) you don't have enough information to complete the grid, but you do have enough to identify the target, his meal, and his weakness. (The triceratops note.) I found that

either Bailey or Emery work for either Avarice or Perfect and are allergic to either cats or fish,

but how you combine them doesn't change the answer.

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OK, by reading what everyone else is saying about the triceratops scenario, I'm starting to think maybe it was a good thing I cheated. (The scandal!) I hereby admit that I solved it by solving the other 4 first, then deducing -- based on the idea that logic puzzles always have unique solutions, so I'm betting this last scenario uses the name, meal, and allergy that have not yet been used -- the who, what, how, and just tried it without solving. When that worked, I filled out those parts of my logic grid, THEN restarted that scene (with difficulty, since you have to reload until you get the scene you want.) And despite that illicit boost, I still ended up with an incomplete grid.

Reply
AubsolutelyFine April 29, 2015 9:10 PM

I have spent over an hour trying to figure out the triceratops scenario; building and rebuilding grids, checking clues over and over, trying to find something I missed. I have given up, and decided that the only way to solve this one is by going meta like Chairman did. If anybody figured out a legitimate way to solve this, I would love to know how they did it. Please post if you did!

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For the love of god, how the hell do I turn off the music?! It's unbelievably loud/distracting, and I have to leave my computer volume on for other programs.

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ThemePark April 30, 2015 8:12 AM

I agree with SonicLover, the triceratops scenario is indeed unsolvable.

As the lasagna and pork chop are not mentioned at all in this scenario, you have absolutely no information about either, and thus you cannot complete a logic grid.

This game relies on a lot of assumptions that are not stated anywhere, and that are not logical at all.

For example, the assumption that exactly one person is allergic to cats, and one to bees, along with being allergic to laxatives. And that a mention of either means they are allergic even when they state no such thing. Saying you hate cats does not imply in any way that you are allergic to them.

Normally you are given all the information in a logic puzzle, even if you do have to look through the clues to gather it yourself, and not all scenarios name them all. Though, since you're only interested in finding out who belongs to Dastardly, that's a minor thing.

If you are going to make a game about logic grid puzzles, then those puzzles take priority over everything else. The graphics, sound and everything else do not matter if the logic puzzles are not properly made, because the entire purpose of such a game is to solve these puzzles.

Even with the limited time they had due to this being a Ludum Dare entry, they could and should have taken time to actually solve the puzzles that they created themselves. It would have taken an hour at the very most, and if you can create a scenario and divide it up into logical clues, you can also make sure that your puzzle is solvable.

Because of this, this game deserves 0 mushrooms, but as that is impossible here, it gets 1.

Reply

Wow, I just came across this after finding a ton of referrals from this URL on itchio! Thanks for reviewing our game, I'm really excited to see so many people playing it!

To address a few of the issues, we did playtest every single puzzle both before and after implementing them into the game and had a third party outside the team run through them as well.

The triceratops scenario is

the only one where you're supposed to use the bomb, you can't use the bomb successfully in any other scenario

I'm not the one who made the puzzles, I just made the art and coded the endings, so I'll ask our puzzle designer to take another look at that one and see if he can figure out what's not working for people. I'm very sorry for any inconvenience it's caused.

As for the comment about pronouns, We used neutral language intentionally, in part because it prevents unintended clues being dropped by use of gendered pronouns, and also because I'm agender and use they/them pronouns myself, so I like to include non-binary representation in my games! :)

Thanks so much for the feedback, everyone, it really means a lot to all of us!

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AubsolutelyFine April 30, 2015 4:41 PM replied to AshK

AshK
I think the main problem with the triceratops scenario is it isn't self contained. You would have to play the other scenarios, and go meta with your solution. I.e. "Since I haven't used this method yet, or killed this person, that means the solution is this!" That MIGHT be ok if we played all the scenarios in order, rather than randomly.

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AubsolutelyFine April 30, 2015 4:57 PM replied to AubsolutelyFine

AshK
I forgot to say thanks for making the game! Other than that scenario, I thought it was well done. Only other thing was would have been nice to know the other companies from the beginning. I spent a while trying to figure out Coach was before realizing it was a business.

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I'm usually pretty good at doing old fashioned logic puzzles with written clues and grids, but this game seemed to be beyond my ability to play this game.

First, I couldn't work out what to press to make the dialogue progress past the very first screen (the JiG review gave me the answer).

Then, I lost the first game because even though I read about finding the Dastardly employee, I assumed you had to taint all the meals with their various allergies. Clearly the first meal I picked was not of the Dastardly one.

Then, I couldn't figure out the next game without cheating.

Then, I couldn't get it to give me a different scenario when I reloaded the game.

It is a cute little game. If the names are more obvious as a person or industry (I got stuck on the 'Coach' thing too), and if there was another scenario where you have to kill off everybody with their various allergies, then that would be awesome.

One thing I didn't check for implicitness...

If you're reading their allergy information off their epipen/inhaler, then does that imply they either aren't a Dastardly employee/aren't to be targeted?
Because I doubt somebody's going to die from their allergen if there's one of those right next to them...

Also, does no character get suspicious that perhaps the addition of an allergen or a bomb was intentional and not just some horrible accident?

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