Sometimes, in the course of an adventure game, we get to a point where we feel completely stuck with no way forward. We know there must be a way forward, but it seems like we have tried everything possible and nothing is getting us any further.
This happens to almost every adventure game player in almost every adventure game at some point or another. So, how can we get out of this rut and start moving forward again?
In this article I am going to discuss fixation.
Avoid becoming fixated on an assumption. Sometimes a player becomes convinced they know what they need to do to progress. They just can’t seem to figure out how to do it!
I have seen this happen to many players in both games. They get hung up trying to do X, spend hours trying to do X with no results, and it ends up leading to frustration and hopelessness.
In this situation, it’s best to ignore X entirely. Completely forget about it. Do something else that has nothing to do with X for a while.
What else can you do? Well…
What do you have?
First, take stock of what you’re carrying. Make special note of items that you haven’t used for anything yet. Think about each item you have and what it might be used for, anything it could be used for. And no, not how it could be used to achieve X. Forget about X! Think of anything this item might help you do. Take notes of what you come up with.
Next, Take stock of everything that is in the game area. The game areas for these games are very small and you can easily walk around with the examine button selected and examine every single object . None of the objects are hidden under things or any such trickery. They are all there in plain sight.
Read what the examine text says carefully. Use them and see what happens. Use all your items on them and see what happens. Do this slowly making sure you examine and use every object that can be examined around the game area. Don’t ignore anything or dismiss it as unimportant.
Take notes of everything it is possible to do with the objects, everything. And you’ve forgotten about X right? Good.
What do people know?
Much like what you did with the objects, talk to everyone about everything you are carrying, so use talk on them and also every item you have. Take notes.
Make a plan
Now you you should have notes on every item you have and every object in the game area. As long as you were thorough in examining and using objects and talking to people, you now know everything it is possible for you to do. Therefore, you also know that it would be a complete waste of your time to try to do something that you can’t do.
While continuing to ignore X, make a plan of action using this knowledge. Try to think of every remotely useful thing you might be able to accomplish doing the things that you know you can do.
You’ll probably come up with several ideas to try, so once you have done this, put your plans into action one by one.