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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: Click Drag Type 2

For me, the most exciting part of playing a new game is the sense of discovery. A game that is well designed draws you in by presenting you with a challenge and letting you figure out how to solve it. While all games operate under this principle to greater and lesser degrees, some games express it in its purest form, where playing the game means figuring out the rules.

The prototypical example of this kind of game is the classic Myst. The player, transported to another world with literally no background or information to guide him, wanders through lush, surreal environments, slowly unraveling the story of Atrus the mad inventor through a series of puzzles. If you've ever played Myst or any of its sequels or clones, you know how it goes: sometimes you're standing right in the middle of a puzzle without even realizing it. The fun is figuring out how it all fits together.

This week's Friday Free Game is a pure puzzler just how we like 'em: Flash-based and free. It's a far cry from Myst, but the challenge is essentially the same. It's all about interacting with what's right in front of you, with only three little clues as to how: ClickDragType. The game's intro tells you the deal right up front: "This is ClickDragType... There are no instructions... You figure it out."

There are ten different puzzles and so far I've only worked my way through four of them; each one was unique, interesting, and usually involved multiple steps to solve. But these aren't brain busters: while they may be odd, each puzzle has its own internal logic, and once you figure out what's going on, you can solve the puzzle without too much fuss. You have to use everything that the game gives you: the sounds, the colors, orientation and positions of the various objects, and the relationships between them all. Try it out when you need that 15-minute distraction. You'll probably want to come back again to try out another one of these oddly amusing brain teasers.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.