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A Day At the Iachini House Reviews
Review by David Whyld
A Day At The Iachini House is one of those ADRIFT games that we unfortunately don't see enough of: well written and puzzle driven. Of storyline there is little: the Puzzle Family are out of town and you have volunteered to do some chores around their house - fixing a broken step in the kitchen, washing an afghan, getting a fire going, etc. - but then this is a game which concentrates more on the puzzles and less on the storyline and I get the feeling the storyline could have been missed out altogether and it wouldn't have made a whole lot of difference.
What is appealing about A Day At The Iachini House is its ease of use: quite often tasks can be completed just by applying a little common sense to the problem in hand. Not every task is easy and straightforward, however, but there are few - if any - that are illogical, and even the more difficult ones you tend to find yourself able to complete sooner or later and, once completed, it's easy to see the logic behind them. Reading the backwards writing on the index card in the mirror was a nice puzzle (although I suppose you could argue it was illogical in the sense that in real life the average person can read back-to-front writing anyway, but as a puzzle it was certainly an interesting one).
A Day At The Iachini House is one of those games where items are liberally scattered around the locations, requiring little effort on the part of the player to find them. Generally examining everything leads to the discovery of items. What you do with the items once you've found them is where the puzzles come in to play. Every item I found had a use somewhere in the game although the one item I searched for endlessly (a bathing suit to allow me to take a dip in the hot tub) was frustratingly absent. Then again, from the hint relating to the hot tub, I'm guessing there is no bathing suit in the game. Pity I didn't think to check the hints before spending ages searching for it!
The hints system is one of the game's strengths - and also its weakness. Most of the puzzle solving can be bypassed by typing "hint" and often I had to struggle to figure out the puzzle for myself instead of just typing "hint" and being told what to do. A hints system is always a good idea in a game because there are times when even the best game players get stuck and there are few things more frustrating than being stuck in a game, but at the same time telling the player too much is often worse than telling them nothing. Instead of subtle hints, here you are generally told exactly what you need to do to solve a puzzle. Ironically, most of the times I succumbed to the urge to type "hint" and was told the solution to a problem I was facing, it turned out to be something I would almost certainly have figured out on my own anyway.
All in all, A Day At The Iachini House is a very good game. While there isn't any character interaction and the writing, though above average, never becomes particularly detailed, the game is always interesting to play and there's real satisfaction to be had from solving most of the puzzles.
Logic: 9 out of 10
Straightforward and logical all the way.
Problems: 6 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
Only one problem as such, but a pretty major one. I took a shower, went to watch TV and was advised I needed to take a shower! No matter how many times I tried this, I was unable to finish the game. Trying to take a shower again resulted in a problem as my towel was wet and no matter how long I left it on the towel bar it just wouldn't dry.
Story: 5 out of 10
No real story as such, just a series of intricate puzzles.
Writing: 7 out of 10
Above average throughout.
Game: 7 out of 10
One of the best puzzle orientated games for ADRIFT.
Overall: 34 out of 50
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