When I was a child, I longed for Mousetrap. Yes, the game from Ideal that promised primary school aged children up and down the country a game combined with a Heath Robinson device. Unfortunately the technology of the day could not deliver an experience in excess of my imagination, and I drifted out of adolescence with a mousetrap sized hole in my life.
That was until now. A chap who trades under the unusual and likable moniker @ProperBostin has released a game for the iPhone and iPad, TraptionBakery. I’ve crossed paths with Jon a few times on the Internet, and have seen some screenshots of this game as a work-in-progress, yet nothing prepared me for the finished article.
The game starts with a picture on the wall of a truly magnificent Heath Robinson device. And that is it. From here on boy, you are on your own.
As you zoom in and pan around the bakery, you’ve got to admire Jon’s attention to detail. Everything is exquisitely drawn and animated, with neat touches like the upside-down Dalek. There are clues as to how you interact with the machine. Sometimes it’s obvious, often much less obvious, usually requiring at least a couple of logical steps.
When I first started to play TraptionBakery I had to put the game down in sheer frustration, only to pick it up five minutes later because the puzzle was so addictive. I’ve woken up twice with a possible solution in mind. And that is how it gets to you. I’ve toyed with the idea of sharing some tips with you, but I feel that would take some of the enjoyment out of the game.
An awful lot of work has gone into making this game, and it shows. If you are interested in what went on behind the scenes, Jon has documented it here. It’s a really good insight into what goes on during the games development process, so if you are thinking about a career in games design or development, it’s well worth a read.
I am glad that there are still independent developers out there like Jon and the Pickford Brothers who are perpetuating this very British cottage industry and releasing interesting and challenging games that may otherwise be shunned by the larger labels.