Cryptic Desert : Best Game I've Reviewed Yet!

Review by jackjoshseb on Wednesday, February 22nd 2012
Click to play Cryptic Desert

Cryptic Desert is a game created by youngcaliman

A region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse vegetation, or none at all..

Ohaithar. Jack here again with another Review. It'll be my 12th to be precise. Today celebrates my 1 month Reviewer birthday (well, 4 days ago, but whatever). Today I'll be reviewing a game, easily the best I've reviewed. That game has been featured and adds to the users unbeaten streak of featured games, yes, you guessed it, a game by Youngcaliman, Cryptic Desert. Let'smove on to the introduction of the Review, shall we?


Well, I know Youngcaliman quite well and we chat occassionally. I've reviewed a few of his games before, Matter Over Mind, and Black Widow. My first review, the one I got accepted as Reviewer with was on Matter Over Mind. A little coincidence that my 1st Review was a Youngcaliman game, and Today my 11th review (notice two 1s) is also a Youngcaliman game.. maybe not, maybe I'm talking gibberish. Anyway, I reviewed Black Widow before and it got close to perfect marks and is an EGL Game, in the forums Young announced that Cryptic Desert is better then Black Widow. To be frank, I agree with that. Maybe you want to know why I think this and you're edging to get onto the Review? Sounds about right, so put on some shades, a hat to shield you from the sun and a bottle of water, we're going through our journey, through a Cryptic Desert! Enjoy.

The thumbnail really interested me, looks like a perfect settled envirnment to start off with, some good looking scenery and some burst tiles. I'm excited already. Now, Youngcaliman always produces some fantastic storylines, this has to be one of my favourite though, the four gems must be found, although the task won't be easy, things to do with tribes and things like that, the storyline is one of my favourites.

Strikingly Similiar To The Gameplay Of Black Widow..

I found the gameplay strikingly similiar to that of Black Widow, going back and forth through the start and going through areas that were opened up that you couldn't go through before. Some good placement of the turrets added

spice to the gameplay and kept me on my toes (ouch, hot sand ;) ), while I quite enjoyed acting as an adventurer. The gameplay was quite enjoyable, and while lag free it produced a fantastic, fast paced, puzzle solving game.

You'd Expect Some Interesting Scenery In A Desert Based Game, Right?

And that, folks, is exactly what I got. The scenery was fantastic in some new ways, I'll talk about a few of them. Obviously, a desert styled game would have a great background, right? Right, the background that Young added in included yellow (sand, sun?), and red and orange, giving the feeling of a hot, hot sky. I thought it made me interested in the game a lot more and it was something to gaze at while playing the game. Secondly, I thought that the tile selection was good, it was good and stood out from the background. What I hate is when tiles blend in with the background and it was avoided here, the tile selection gave me the somewhat feeling of a 3D *pop*. Lastly, an interesting use of Gold Panels in certain areas as a wall, however used as something else which I'll explain in detail later on.

A Slightly Differeny Section Of Placement Today..

Today, as Cryptic Desert is based on puzzles, there wasn't really any true enemies, although the turret played an occassional part. As of that, I have a few different areas of placemrnt to talk about. First, the overall block placement. The placement of the blocks were fantastic, in such areas you'd be pushing a crate and it'd stop dead against a wall, leaving one narrow gap for you to leap through and continue on your journey. I'd say the placement of crates, in general, were rock solid. I found that they were placed in such positions that you realy had to think about making your move, how you would do it, and obvipusly on what sequence of doing so. The placement of health was a rare sight, not often needed with the small portion of enemies, but grabbing that medkit too early would lead to low health later on, they were placed in tempting positions... too tempting for me :P

The Section That Never Lets Down In ANY Of Young's Games..

You guessed it, the puzzles. If you didn't guess it, then go play some of youngcaliman's mind boggling puzzle games, or maybe you were too lazy to guess. Anyway, Cryptic Desert is evidently a puzzle game, and there were some I'd never seen before. I won't go into TOO much detail, seeing as I often drift into walkthrough mode, and we wouldn't want that, would we? Anyways, the puzzles were brilliant and never let down, as usual, they required a lot of thinking and I presume for many users, too much thinking to work out, and then came the walkthrough video (Haliyouya?). Two of the puzzles I encountered on my journey I'd somewhat seen before in Black Widow, however Young added in all new twists to make them 10x more difficult and puzzling. They included a barrel and whip type situation and another one with continuously on and off flicking perm blocks and crate movement. There were a few small traps, not any major ones, but I once got stuck by a bunch of sliders temporarily and also a lava and gear trap, which eventually evolved into a small use of grenade puzzle (Oops, spoiler? D:).

Something I've Never EVER Seen Before Incorperated Into The Game

Now for a bit of creativity. We all know the basics, Youngcaliman comes up with his own epic puzzles and this one was no different, it had some mind boggling puzzles which confused me and hundreds of other viewers. However one of the most interesting and creative thing I've seen. It was the use of Gold Panels, in the game the Gold Panels acted as switches, that's right, I'd say invisible switches were placed on them, It's like, a simple concept, yet I never thought of it. The difficulty was high, you can't really experience how difficult Cryptic Desert is until you actually play it for yourself.

Final Scores

Gameplay - _____/_____:

The gameplay offered a semi enjoyable experience, lag free and fast paced puzzle solving. Limited action, but that's okay.

Scenery - _____/_____:

The second of many 5/5s, the scenery was magnificent, from

the tile selection to the use of gold panels to a life like background, Cryptic Desert had it all.

Placement - _____/_____:

Almost a 5/5, actually I'll give it a 5. the placement was rock solid, great placing of crates and blocks, I thought that a medkit or two was placed rather The, however I guess you really shouldn't take it until later regardless of it's placing.

Puzzles & Traps - _____/_____:

5/5 for this one, some of the greatest and confusing puzzles that I have ever seen, with some interesting traps too.

Difficulty & Creativity - _____/_____:

Another 5/5 to finish it off, the use of Gold Panels and invisible switches were what really caught my eye in the perspective of creativity.

Total: _____/_____

Guess what? The first all 5/5 category ratings in any of my Reviews (I think?).

Feature Worthy

Hell yea! Cryptic Desert topped the charts in every single rating category, 5/5 all round game, I *think* the first time I've given it. Cryptic Desert has puzzles never seen before, a creative use of Gold Panels acting as switches, while some enjoyable Scenery and overall fantastic design of the game. What more do you want? The game deserves the Feature and I don't think there's anyone brave enough to doubt it. While I'm at it I might as well announce that I see this game EGL Worthy too, if Black Widow is an EGL Game, I'd say Cryptic Desert surpasses it's greatness.

If you haven't played the game, do so now, and good luck with that ;)