“Clusterflux” is a puzzle-based game with some surreal elements in a sprawling environment.

Gameplay: The game begins with the character and his talking pet mongoose finding a mysterious woman on his couch. For most of the game, that premise is simply a device to encourage the player to explore the game’s setting, which is large and well-implemented. As the setup implies, there are surreal elements to it, but most of it is simply standard adventuring through an environment filled with random NPCs. Playing the game feels like wandering around a college dormitory filled with unusual characters. It’s enjoyable, although I think it would have been more frustrating if I hadn’t used a walkthrough liberally. 7/10.

Mechanics: Despite the surrealism of the game, its puzzles are mostly standard adventure-game-style ones, with the player collecting various items around the house and applying them to puzzles that hint at their use. The wasp puzzle, for example, requires multiple items from multiple locations, and it’s satisfying to bring all of them together and solve it. 7/10.

Presentation: Aside from a few typos (a sweater, for example, seems to be named as “your hooded sweater.”, including the extraneous period), the text is consistent throughout the game. The two NPCs that follow the player throughout the game don’t have a lot of depth to their implementations. They’re interesting characters, though, and they’re not the focus of the game. 6/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like games about exploration that have complicated puzzles.

Score: 7

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