The premise is much subtler and complex than previous games (of which Grow Cube is perhaps the most famous). Time – as represented by the timepoints along the top, is not as linear as it appears. In fact there is even a hidden timepoint that is critical in solving the game.
As is typical with Eyemaze, you are dropped into the game without any clues other than the visual ones. There’s no backstory, and no means of interaction other than pointing and clicking. In some ways it’s like the Myst genre, only served in bite-sized pieces and with cartoons rather than photorealism. You just start playing, and puzzle out things the way you would in the real world – with some liberties, of course (cases in point: a milk plant? Trees with zippers?).
That said, Chronon is still very much in beta and the author mentions the difficulties they had in crafting such a complex game.
As usual, I am also interested in how kids (specifically, a certain now four-years old girl) would react. I can report that my daughter likes Eyemaze a lot, though she has yet to really make the larger leap in terms of relating cause and effect within the games to the real world. Hence she doesn’t have all the tools an adult would have in figuring out the context for some solutions. However she really likes the simplicity of the interface – drag and click and what not, and things happen. It’s uncomplicated. I think that these games have genuine educational value and as a result I plan to drop them a donation in support.
And if you find yourself cursing my name three weeks from now, just remember that it was Steven who got me hooked on Eyemaze in the first place, so PWL to him, not me 🙂