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Draco was delayed due to jumping and wanting to sleep. Honestly it’s better though because originally this post was gong to include a rant about sleep schedules and all that and no one really wants to hear that, right? AND NOW people were being loud so Draco lost his train of thought. AND AND NOW AVG DID THAT “FIX COMMON PROBLEMS” THING THAT NO ONE REALLY WANTS AND IT MADE DRACO LOSE HIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT ON A PARAGRAPH WHICH WAS SOLELY GOING TO BE ABOUT LOSING HIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT! WHEN WILL THE LOSING OF THOUGHT TRAINS END?

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Before we begin the review lets take a moment to appreciate that smooth transition.

So about The End… Go go press release ranger!

The End is a free, online web-game commissioned by Channel 4 Education, and scheduled for release in August 2011.

It is a game of self-discovery for 14-19 year olds which integrates strategy, puzzles and philosophical questions into a world which explores a range of commonly (or less commonly) held views about death, belief and science.

The game takes the player on a metaphysical journey, recording their interactions in the world to reveal their attitudes towards mortality. These views are presented alongside their friends and some of the most important thinkers of our time, such as Gandhi, Descartes and Einstein.

Set across three worlds – Mind, Body and Spirit – the player must use a unique shadow ‘n’ light mechanic to solve physics-based puzzles, answer questions and battle the world’s Guardians. The ultimate prizes are the Death Objects, ranging from a memorial diamond to a human heart, which deepen a player’s contextual knowledge of death and help them progress through the game.

The End is produced by award-winning games studio Preloaded with content from the mega brained Tom Chatfield (author of Fun INC). It has been illustrated with the ninja pencil skills of Luke Pearson and has an original score composed by Peter Mauder of Phonotheque. Additional consultancy has also been provided by Nigel Warburton (creator of the successful Philosophy Bites podcasts).

The End is this cute little browser game by @C4education / @Preloaded that asks those hard-hitting question about life and death and all such things. Also they have the best press release Draco has seen yet. That doesn’t really tell you about the game but it’s clear that the people behind The End are extremely helpful.  Literally the opposite of what a group trying to make The End in real life would be like. Also probably less cackling and self destruct switches. Thank you for padding Draco’s word count.

It was recommended to Draco as a device to test character morality. Basically you have your character go through the quiz and blah blah blah self discovery. It really doesn’t work well for that task. It’ll probably take around 4 hours more or less to finish and that’s impractical if you have a giant cast. There may be a way to change it all after you finish but that’s no fun. You want to do things right you make each character a seperate profile.  Anyway…

Story

To start off with you make a cute little avatar of yourself and then you’re expected to walk in a line. This section took Draco about 10 minutes because what if there is suddenly a secret back the other way? The screen will gradually shake more and more until the world seems to end and then you get yelled at by Super Buff Meat Boy, Puff the Magic Dragon Man, and Pink Mouth Cthulhu. Then you go on a journey to convince these three to give you all their stuff.

Gameplay 

So when Draco was told to play this Draco expected moral questions and moral questions but most of the game is jumping puzzles.

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They do have a cute little walk on shadows mechanic which lets you make shadows into solid platforms which you or objects can be supported by but most of the game takes place in areas too bright to actually use it. Most of the time you’re pulling levers, climbing ladders, and jumping from platform to platform to avoid spikes. Sometimes you have to aid boulders in their journey to hold down pressure plates. On your jump journey you’ll encounter a keys with some lovely quotes and at the end of each stage a set of doors.theend4

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These doors come with moral questions( Yay!) which could take you anywhere up to 4 minutes or so to answer. Beyond these doors lies one of the three apparent guardians, Super Buff Meat Boy, Puff the Magic Dragon Man, and Pink Mouth Cthulhu, who will then play some sort of board game with you. The stakes are thankfully low because if they actually wanted Draco to go do the entire level over again just for a single bad hand of tiles then this review would just be Draco ranting and screaming instead of a review style review.

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So you pick little bonus powers, a hand is generated, and aside from the numbers it’s basically Othello. You try to flip your opponents pieces by having a higher number .Ideally you think ahead and understand what tiles can flip your tiles and then wear the opponent down until they have no moves left but at later stages they may be able to obscure their tiles as seen above. If you’re fast enough you can see what the tile has before they play it but that’s sorta cheaty. It’s fairly straight forward overall.

Other Stuff

One of Draco’s favorite part of The End was the little bios for each object.

Admittedly it’s a little weird. There doesn’t really seem like there is a point to them story-wise. Like if there was a way to drop one and then you did drop one but no one noticed the story probably wouldn’t be affected.

The best part of The End though is the Death Dial.

Watching the little dot move as more questions were answered and seeing the most like section change from Karl Marx, to Winston Churchill,  to Rosa Parks, and finally to Indira Gandhi was quite entertaining. The Crusader/ Awakener/ Truth-teller / Mystic stuff was also enjoyable but comparing yourself to famous people is always the most fun.

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This armor is so cool looking though.

The comparison is the draw and what will make you think back on the experience ultimately. Draco had fun even though platformers are Draco’s least favorite playable genre.Jumping from platform to platform can apparently be enhanced with philoshpy apparently.

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