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iPhone  header logo

Ferris Mueller's Day Off


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Twist and shout

Product: Ferris Mueller's Day Off | Developer: Glitch Games | Publisher: Glitch Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Ferris Mueller's Day Off iPhone, thumbnail 1
Ferris Mueller has pulled a sicky. But instead of romping around Chicago and lip-synching to The Beatles, he has hidden nine golden carrots at the end of a cryptic scavenger hunt.

And instead of being Matthew Broderick, he's a green horse in a crudely drawn Wild West town.

You play as Mr Rooney, and it's your job to track down these nine gilded vegetables by solving a cavalcade of crazy puzzles. Most are reminiscent of the sort of puzzles seen in Glitch Games's last adventure, Forever Lost.

Bueller

You'll find weird dials, bizarre door locks, curious pianos, and random buttons. And elsewhere around town you'll find the necessary clues on bulletin boards, scraps of paper, and graffiti. It's a case of figuring out which hints relate to which locks, and then inserting the necessary combination.

Sometimes they have a link, but most of the times they don't. There's no reason given why the multi-coloured spokes of a wagon wheel are relevant to a locked door in the village hall, for example.

Fortunately, you can use a camera to take snaps of suspicious details and symbols so you can recall them later. Plus, the puzzles all take place in an open world so you can tackle the carrots in practically any order and you rarely feel like you're completely stuck and out of options.

So while there are plenty of bizarre leaps of logic, the game gives you a helping hand if you get stuck (there's also a full walkthrough in the game if you get lost) and they do feel satisfying when you get one right.

Bueller

The game has also got more traditional point-and-click puzzles, which involve involve talking to various strangers and tricking them out of their worldly possessions.

They're generally well-designed and communicated in a way that subtly nudges you towards the answer without handing over the solution.

It also has word play puzzles that hark back to the time you used a piano-playing primate as a monkey wrench in Monkey Island 2. They're a bit silly, but satisfying when you figure them out, and one gave me my only genuine laugh in the entire game.

Bueller

Which is actually a bit troubling if you think about it. This is supposed to be a comedy game, but the jokes frequently fall flat and the general premise is just plain weird.

As well as alluding to Ferris Bueller, Mueller makes reference to other John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club, but it's no parody of these flicks, and the references are so flimsy that it barely makes the case for being a loving tribute.

Instead, it's just a bizarre collection of references to some good movies that fails to say anything about them beyond "hey, these exist".

And the references to Sixteen Candles are clouded by random, unfunny allusions to everything from Breaking Bad to Star Wars, and all the best jokes are just ripped from old LucasArts adventures.

Bueller

All this makes Ferris hard to recommend. The brainteasers are generally well-designed, and are challenging without ever being too obtuse or illogical. Plus, the open world design means you never feel restricted to chasing after only two or three puzzles at a time.

But the art is absolutely hideous, and the comedy is a cringe-worthy mess of pointless references and dud gags. If you care about such things, Ferris Mueller is liable to disappoint.
 
Ferris Mueller's Day Off
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 16 January 2014
Ferris Mueller's Day off is a collection of thoughtful and finely tuned puzzles, surrounded by atrocious cartoon art and abysmal reference humour
 
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