It’s a puzzle game again, of course, because that’s all I do now, apparently. The suspicious nature of releasing a line-tracing puzzle game a month after the release of The Witness is not lost on me, but I promise it’s a coincidence. I feel like this game’s mechanics are a pretty natural result of the “Home” theme word, needing no other sources of inspiration. At the very least, I can say with great confidence that the similarities are unintentional. Oh well.
A small source of personal satisfaction with this game is the level select screen. I have long since wanted to make a level select screen for a puzzle game which uses the same puzzle mechanics as the rest of the game. An “overworld” puzzle, of sorts. I wanted that for Marcela Martins (which was one year ago this month), although I’m still quite happy with the map I built instead. I wanted it for Raise the Sun, which wound up with a boring grid of buttons instead. I felt better about the “overworld” in Puzzle Monks, but it still wasn’t quite the same. With Quitting Time, it was nice to be able to build a decent puzzle-based level select screen at long last.
I have, as a bonus for those of you who have read this far, some additional information about how to play the game. You can reset a line by starting over with the car. You can erase a line by simply clicking on its car (essentially restarting the line without going anywhere). You can even change a completed line by dragging the line back out of its house. Of course, you can let go of a line at any time and it will remain. You can then pick the line back up by dragging its endpoint and continuing where you left off. This may be a helpful thing to do if the line seems to get stuck and stop listening to you. The tracing algorithm follows your mouse cursor along the roads, but it also attempts to “smooth out” some of the human imprecision in mouse movements. If your mouse gets far away from the line without you noticing and the line takes a turn you did not expect, it can be difficult to convince it to go back the way it came. Just drop it and pick up the endpoint; that will put your mouse back where it needs to be and you can more easily retrace your steps and put the line back where you want it.
Sure, most of that could easily be discovered simply by playing the game, but now you have bit of a head start. See if you can use this advantage to beat the game before Richard, my most hesitant playtester (and also my bitter rival).