923rd played so far

Genre: Adventure/Puzzle
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: Electronic Arts

There are quite a few games on the list described as Adventure/Puzzle games. They include Myst, one of the earliest examples of the idea, giving you an area with puzzles to explore, Professor Layton in a few guises, which has literal puzzles amidst light adventuring and Zack & Wiki, which feels like it takes an action/adventure level and inserts bigger, more complex puzzles into it that I wish I could see more in action/adventure games.

I don’t know where Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure quite fits in, but it appears to draw on more platforming elements than those and feels like it’ll be its own, different stream.

Our Thoughts

Although the title says this is Henry Hatsworth’s adventure and the book calls it such, I don’t think it really plays like anything else in the genre. Rather, it feels like a puzzle platformer – although not as the genre is currently known, as with Limbo, but as a game you play as a standard platform game, then drop into a match three game to permanently get rid of your enemies after you defeat them in the platforming sections, as well as getting you powerups to use during the platforming. Do it for long enough and you can go into “tea time”, which lets you kill everything you come across. You get money to upgrade between levels to get more puzzle time and powerups and to do more damage.

It’s an interesting idea, but where normally you’d want these two elements to reinforce each other, here it feels like they’re interrupting each other. The match three time limit is too short to always meaningfully make progress, while the platforming doesn’t work when you have to interrupt it so your puzzle doesn’t overflow. This becomes even more obvious when you get the enemy arenas where they keep coming in at you. It really becomes a frustrating mess more than a fun experience. It comes down to what was there earlier – if this was more of an adventure game, it could have slowed down the pace and give the puzzle part more time to breathe.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure doesn’t really satisfy what I was expecting it to do. It doesn’t give you enough of a puzzle to keep it interesting, but you can’t get a good action game when you have to get into the puzzle. It’s more satisfying when you can just rampage through, but it also feels like just skipping part of the game entirely – anything that makes people want to skip the game to continue feels wrong.