The Temple of Shorgil

We're an archaeologist, and we're investigating an ancient temple. There's backstory that would clarify the ending, but only if you ask for it. Otherwise, it's basically a puzzle quest without any story to get in the way.

Every puzzle here is managed by putting figurines on pedestals and taking them off, and perhaps waiting now and then: that's how the mechanisms in the temple are triggered, and the puzzles get increasingly difficult as we progress and collect more figurines. The commands have been pared down to just the ones required to advance. The plaques you find in various rooms provide clues as to what needs to be done, though sometimes it's a matter of intuition. Nothing is unfair, though: with some experimentation, everything can be sorted out. As a puzzle quest, it's a pretty good specimen.

The room descriptions are very terse, telling you only what you need to know. In a way, that's kind of a relief: excessive verbosity can sometimes get in the way of puzzle-solving, and this game knows exactly what it's trying to deliver. I don't say that it would be wrong to fill up the descriptions with florid details of neolithic stonework, but that would be a different sort of game.

I do note that the ending doesn't make any acknowledgement of the depth to which we have explored and studied the temple. One layer of the adventure involved sketching the artifacts and artwork discovered, and there was information to be found regarding the building of the temple -- all important archaeological scholarship that, I thought, ought to play some part towards the final "score". Interestingly, the game assumes that you do find all of this, rather than that you don't.

(As it turns out, there is an Even Better Ending that involves following up on a couple of loose threads. It's very satisfying.)

As a breakfast, it's toast soldiers and soft-boiled eggs, with chicory tea. Simple, not a lot of fuss, requiring a bit of restraint to get the eggs just right. You may, of course, dip your toast soldiers in the egg if you like; but some people prefer to eat them separately. There's also a side of pea-meal back bacon for extra satisfaction for those who are wondering what that sizzling from the kitchen is all about.