Game Review – Vijfentwintigspellen (Erik Leppen)
November 2, 2010
Vijfentwintigspellen (it’s a Dutch word, don’t worry) secretes a fresh air of purity which is rare in games we see nowadays. It feels more like a test than a game but certainly an interesting one at that.
This game is all about the number 25 (which, incidentally, is my favourite number…). See, it was created for the 25th Dutch Game Maker Community competition (you’ll want to press T at the beginning to switch the language to English). It presents 25 randomly chosen mouse-driven puzzles all revolving around the number 25 and even goes as far as to include the reciprocal of the number 25. All of the puzzles are approximation-based (and mostly geometrical) and will proudly test your brain’s awareness of space as well as your knowledge of simple mathematics; they vary in difficulty but most are fairly testing. It’s not exactly hard in the sense that you’ll never see the most difficult puzzles or that you’ll need good hand-eye co-ordination; it’s just very hard to be accurate with such a lack of measuring devices (the background is completely white). It’s not a very serious game, either. If you wanted you could sneakily press ‘Print Screen’ and paste the result into Paint to see what exact size rectangle you’d need to make the area of another rectangle 25 (seriously, that number’s in the title) times as large. After each puzzle, you’ll be presented with a percentage indicating your accuracy; usually 80%+ is good but obviously it varies in the difficulty of the puzzle. After all 25 levels have passed, it will grant you a final average percentage and close immediately after you click, because it’s that sort of game.
The minimalistic graphics and complete lack of music reinforce the simplicity and conceptual theme of the game at the same time as keeping distractions to a minimum. Vijfentwintigspellen (yeah, that word) doesn’t want you to fail; it’s just there for you to test yourself against. Erik Leppen’s love for the font ‘Georgia’ continues while he bags himself yet another puzzler to add to his growing collection. One problem I found immediately was the game’s resolution; being a laptop-user, the screen extended slightly beyond the resolution of my monitor, meaning my experience was hindered somewhat. A simple full-screen option surely would have solved this but it seems Erik disabled the F4 key and I’m not entirely sure why.
It’s nice to see a GM game doing something a bit different, especially one which is very well programmed. If you like your experiences to be filled to the brim with action, clearly you won’t find this any fun whatsoever. But, to anyone else, it’s worth five (sadly, not 25) minutes of your time.