Sawbuck Gamer

Problem Attic

Up For Anything

Problem Attic is about finding focus amid pixelated clutter.

By Steve Heisler • June 17, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Problem Attic appears at first to be a random assortment of crap. Its style is extremely retro, dating back to the Atari days when characters were only recognizable as human because not even the lowest form of technology can eliminate the stick figure. Your little stick person jumps higher on some levels than others. Some of the colorful walls let you pass right through and others live up to their reputation as actual walls—both varieties look exactly the same. With so many flashing squares and harsh visual edges, it can be difficult to tell where you even are, and I wondered if the designers of the game mistakenly submitted a rough draft.

But much like digging through a cluttered attic of your own, Problem Attic makes sense the more you embrace the chaos. It doesn’t take long to realize that even though the main level—a seemingly bottomless chasm—has many closed-off doors, there is one that is open and accessible. Inside is a larger annex of sorts, full of the aforementioned pixel junk. Some of them take the form of plus-sized obstacles that knock you off the hastily constructed platforms you have to traverse to escape. There are many moments that mirror entering the Tardis in Doctor Who: These rooms appear small, but they become far larger once you’re inside, stretching vertically and horizontally until only a keen eye can sense an exit through the clutter. But then you’re back in that impossible chasm, and one of the doors opens anew. Just like digging through junk in an attic, it’s all about finding the sharp points of focus amid the mess.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

4 Responses to “Up For Anything”

  1. Dunwatt says:

    Yeah, but what’s going on in that screenshot? I see a redhead in tighty-whities hopping down into a dead end while in the room below two dudes–one with backwards-cap and one with forwards-cap–play a game of Battleship on a rickety table.

    Of course, I could just try playing the game and finding out, but then that would be using the Internet for research and broadening my personal experiences.  Ha!

  2. RidleyFGJ says:

    I’m stuck in a room that’s telling me to go fuck myself.

    • RidleyFGJ says:

      OK, I beat the game.

      I have no idea as to what the fuck just happened.

    • boardgameguy says:

      I got stuck in the room that gave you the name of the game and the creator when you went through the teleport