The Game Tutor Compares Pony Island and Calendula (Comp Included)
7th Feb 16, 00:36
Both games have come out recently and both games are similar in the sense they are ‘Meta’ puzzle games featuring a self-aware game that is trying to stop you from being able to play it.
At less than £5 both games are very affordable and if you have any interest in this type of experience then I would say go and give both a play through. Both are relatively short with Calendula being beatable in about 1.5 hours with Pony Island coming in at about double that.
Firstly Pony Island… definitely the more well know of the 2 games Pony Island has had a lot more press recently. The general premise is playing what looks like an early Spectrum game called Pony Island and the game is trying to capture your soul. While the game itself is about jumping a cute white unicorn over some fences the bulk of the game is spent navigating the glitch infested menus trying to actually progress with the game trying to trip you up at every possible opportunity.
A lot of the puzzles involve moving around code to get a set of rotating instructions to finally reach the end of the code.
This starts off very cool but I must say towards the latter stages of the game it became a bit tiresome. This game is truly a mix of really stand out unusual moments alongside some tasks that start exciting and then quickly get a little on the repetitive side.
That being said during the back end of the game things take a little bit of a turn for the crazy and really pep up.
Now onto Calendula. On the face of it the game is a bit less flashy and definitely less complicated. In Calendula you are trying to play a game and load save files. Most of the save files are password protected and you must do a number of different tasks to work out each password whilst the self-aware game tries to screw with you.
Every time you manage to load a save file you walkthrough a small section of trippy horror game before being kicked back out to the main screen. The best way I can describe the visual style of this game is a computer game version of the video in the Ring. Put it this way I am going to be keeping an eye on any wet pale dark haired girls for the next few weeks.
The key difference is the puzzles in this game are a little bit less like puzzles and more working things out by manipulating the menu screens and playing with the settings. While I can see a lot of people will find this game a lot more simplistic than Pony Island I actually found the more natural less contrived puzzles of this game more enjoyable than the more obvious puzzles of Pony Island.
So which one to play? Both games are good and well worth a play through and both are different enough to warrant some attention on their own merits. Both are cheap and neither outstay their welcome. If you must pick Pony Island is a little bit more of a puzzle game and Calendula is more of a detective game.
Both however are good fun that I would definitely recommend picking up if you fancy something a little bit different.
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