Indie Games Uprsing III Review: City Tuesday – Signs, signs everywhere a sign
City Tuesday by Return to Adventure Mountain is time-bending puzzle game that focuses on prolonging and staving off an impending terrorist attack. The overall dynamics of the game are brilliant and well-designed; however, the game is over shortly after it begins.
In City Tuesday, you are a man who is tracking down bombs hidden throughout the city before the bombs go off. If he fails, the bomb goes off, and he starts back from the beginning. The whole ordeal is similar to the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. However, bombs are not the only thing in the city landscape, as countless people and families are going about their lives unaware of this man who has traversed the same five minutes countless times.
City Tuesday is short; it can be beaten in ten minutes. This is not a terrible thing, because after all DLC Quest was short too. The most difficult aspects in completing City Tuesday are a few jumps you need to take to defuse the last bomb. Other than that, the game is fairly straight forward and certain puzzles depend on the clock to be completed. This is certainly the most disappointing aspect of City Tuesday. The game does a great job of presenting a problem, and providing some bombs that need to be defused before they detonate and destroy parts of the city. The non-player characters each have their own lives and stories. Some of those characters need to be manipulated and used for the greater good, and the game is great. But overall, City Tuesday does not fully take advantage of the world it creates.
The little puzzles throughout City Tuesday are quite interesting and nowhere on the same level of complexity as Gateways. Quite frankly, the puzzles are something to be desired. The game’s puzzles are not too terribly complex, yet the seemingly easy puzzles build a general sense of complexity. So, when a mildly difficult puzzle comes along, you will be stumped for a few seconds. However, the game does accomplish what it intends and requires you to pay attention to the characters throughout the city and to learn about those characters to save the city itself. The general understanding you need to learn about the characters is albeit limited, but the requirement is there. Since everyone else is stuck their own unique track, you need to know when the boy is going to mess with the mummy sarcophagus and distract the guard, when the man in subway is going to buy his soda to finish his can pyramid and when the lady in the restaurant is going to take her daily break. These inter-workings are best displayed during the last and largest stretch of the puzzle, and are remarkably well done and crafted.
City Tuesday makes recognizing important objects and characters fairly easy – bombs have giant red circles around them, terrorists are dressed differently from everybody else, people with important information have red interaction bubbles and the amount of objects that can be interacted with are at a minimum. This makes sifting through the information in the game fairly easy, although the superfluous information is also quite interesting if you wanted to stop and gander.
Since the game is so short, the one annoying aspect of City Tuesday is the fact once the bombs are neutralized, the bombs are neutralized for every subsequent repeat of that day, this is one of the reasons the game is short. The game would be interesting if it allowed you to have the option of going through each day having to clear the threat each time, instead of a one-and-done mentality. The complexity of Groundhog Day was due to the fact Bill Murray had to completely re-live the day over and over in its entirety, and on his perfect day, he needed to do everything bit by bit. This obviously is not for everyone, but another mode that implements this would be a welcome addition. As an added note, all the bombs outside the museum can be defused without restarting, so you could give it a try after your first run through.
City Tuesday has somewhat of a twist ending that works on two levels. One is a stylistic level that correlates with the overall style of the game that deals with the stick characters used on information signs. The other twist plays on that level of information. The game sets you up to follow certain rules when certain things happen, but to ultimately save the city, you need to break the rule. Whether this is something the developer Chris Zukowski intended, or a reviewer’s attempt to read too deeply into something, this notion is without a doubt an interesting moral to include in a game about changing the outcome of a disaster.
City Tuesday is an excellently crafted indie title that happens to be lacking in length. While the repeating nature could hypothetically continue forever, the actual amount played will be less than a few hours. City breaks the trend of many other time travel titles and offers a genuinely unique experience. When the only knock on a game is it is too short, you know it cannot be bad.
Final Rating: 8/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: XBLIG
Time to completion: 1 hour/ 10 minute speed run
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Current Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Recommend Purchase Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Why you should buy it: If you want to want an easier puzzle game after dealing with Gateways, or if you enjoy looking at the people on informational signs.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: If you enjoy long games exclusively, or if you do not like games with bombs.