Game Review: Access Denied

Access granted.

Developer: Stately Snail
Publisher: Stately Snail
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (reviewed)
Available on: Steam

It’s a puzzle game where it took me literally an hour to beat all the 36 puzzles it has to offer. I was hoping for a bit more, since I really love these types of abstract puzzles where you aren’t given any explanations, just a problem for you to solve. I guess I’ve been spoiled by games such as the Room-series, where each puzzle builds upon the previous one. Here, you’re presented with a self-contained puzzle every single time, just with a new mechanic thrown in and later on you’ll get puzzles made of combinations of all those mechanics.

Most of the puzzles are straightforward enough, where it only takes you seconds to realize what you’re being asked for and it also takes no time at all to achieve the win state. Other times the principle is really easy, but the way getting there takes some time. And by far the fewest are puzzles where the solution itself is quite roundabout but the way to that solution is fairly easy again. I guess that this keeps the frustration level fairly low, since there was never an instance where I felt like giving up, but I’ll also readily admit that at least 2 or 3 puzzles got solved entirely by accident. I didn’t even brute-force them, I just started entering “solutions” and the game just played the congratulation-melody without me ever knowing what I accidentally did right. The first couple of levels are entirely tutorials so hardly a lot is being asked from the player. Some levels actively try to fuck with the player by giving false clues, but that’s kind of a dick move in a game where you’re never given clear explanations. But thankfully those are extremely few and far between.

The presentation is pretty good, it looks better than a puzzle game has the right to be, but I would’ve liked some actual music instead of the same repeated audio loop of rainfall. I guess for $3 you can’t ask for much, but I really wasn’t anticipating such a short session when I booted up this game. Oh well.


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