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Cursor  Member Reviews - Laboratory R.A.T.S.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
  Wed 9th Nov 2005
By David Whyld - See all my reviews

One room games, of which “Laboratory R.A.T.S.” is such a thing, tend to be more puzzled-orientated than other games. Without a large area to explore, all the gameplay has to take place in a single location and so every puzzle you are going to encounter is there ready and waiting for you. And I’ve never been fond of puzzle games…

”Laboratory R.A.T.S.” involves several scientists at work deep underground in a laboratory. The idea is to get a microscope a work. Easy? Heck no.

Overall this is one mighty frustrating game. It might only be one room in size, but it’s certainly a more confusing game than some I’ve played that have occupied fifty rooms. Doing just about anything is a pain:

> use microscope
The microscope is on, you just need to put your sample inside and take a look.

> put sample inside microscope
I can’t put anything in the chamber while the cap is still on the air-lock.

> remove cap
I haven’t released the cap of the air lock.

> release cap
I don’t understand what you want me to do with the cap.

Most of my time spent playing the game was wrestling with guess the verb issues like this. What I wanted to do was mind-numbingly simple – put my sample in the microscope and examine it – yet every command I tried seemed to either not be understood or just produced another unhelpful response.

To make matters worse, examining the cap informs me that it can be rotated, but:

> rotate cap
I don’t understand what you want me to do with the cap.

> rotate cap clockwise
I don’t understand what you want me to do with the cap.

> rotate cap anti-clockwise
I can’t turn the cap while the vacuum is on.

> turn vacuum off
I can’t turn that off.

Is this the worst case of guess the verb I’ve ever come across? If not, it’s certainly a close second. One command I tried – PUSH PUMP BUTTON – produced a message saying nothing happens the first time, but when I tried it again, it told me I had already pumped the chamber. Only after going through the commands in the Generator one by one was I able to make any kind of progress, and as that was about as much fun as watching paint dry, I resorted to banging out a command that, thankfully, the game understood: QUIT.

A couple of NPCs who interject amusing comments from time to time raised the quality of this game just enough to stop me giving it the deathly 1 out of 10, but until some of the guess the verb issues are fixed, I could never recommend “Laboratory R.A.T.S.” to anyone.

2 out of 10

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