Yeah, I’ve been holding off on writing the review of this, because I feel like there is SOMETHING I’m missing in the last room, but I’ve tried everything I can think of. Just tried “exit”, as a bookend command with the first command of the game - but that does nothing either. The story feels unresolved without it, and that’s going to color my review for sure.
It’s odd, because the last BJ Best game I played, And Then You etc etc etc etc, your actions did affect the ending, and there was total resolution at the end, in an extremely satisfying way. So I just assumed that Lake Adventure would be similar - but maybe it’s going for the contrast between the two games?
And Then You etc etc etc resolves and has the message that looking back and tackling your problems and memories and whatnot is good and healthy - Lake Adventure seems to come at it as if not unhealthy, a lot more mixed on how useful it can be.
Actually, I think I just figured out the difference in the two games - And Then You Etc Etc Etc has the protagonist of the game grow and change, or at least affect change in the world - Lake Adventure doesn’t have the protagonist (which I would define as the grown Ed who is talking to you) change at all - or if he does change, it is a change to become someone who despairs MORE about his past, instead of accepting it. I thought that by LEAVING the memories, instead of ZAPPING them, it would have Ed accept his past and more hopeful for the future, but it doesn’t happen.
So I think that’s the difference in these games for me - And Then You has the protagonist able to change their arc and move upward and forward, and Lake Adventure SEEMS to only let the protagonist look backward and move downward.
I once read a book about playwriting, where the author talked about a drama they had read that had accidentally left off the last line of the stage directions. The play ended with the main character bloodily beaten down and left in a heap on the stage. The author of the book on playwriting said that ending was horrible - but the last, missing line of the stage directions changed everything - the stage direction was that the main character staggered to their feet and walked off-stage, not totally broken and still moving forward. This line changed the ending entirely - you have to give the audience an the tiniest ounce of hope.
I just feel like Lake Adventure, in its current form, is missing that last line of stage direction - and my initial question about a secret command in the final room was my attempt to try to find it, to make the ending a little less bleak. You have to give the audience hope.