To preface: I encountered zero bugged areas, quest issues, broken achievements, crashes, screen blips, or hangups while playing this on Win 7 64-bit, so the devs most likely tackled all or most of the issues people have been complaining about up till now (Jan 2015). That said, don't let the bug complaints in other reviews deter you.
Violett. Admittedly, this is a tough one. I adored the music, the art style (the 2.5D in-game, not the 2D intro/ending), the colorful characters, the bug world, and the goals. I'm a fan of puzzle games and "collect-them-all" type of scavenger hunts, and I rarely have difficulty completing them on my own.
However I simply could not complete Violett without a walkthrough. Many of the puzzles are ridiculously
convoluted, and that's aside
from the main 4 required for the Brain Overload
achievement. The roof elevator puzzle alone nearly made me weep and ragequit.
Even "simpler" puzzles are not at all intuitive. They could take hours of trial and error, especially:
- If you miss a necessary item that you can only get in another scene (but you aren't told where);
- If you move to one side of the screen, the scene elements can block the very thing you need to click on (e.g. the Kitchen & Garçon de cuisine
achievement, or any number of orbs that are hidden from certain angles);
- Any instance of "nope, can't have this/get there till you do this/find that/give this character X number of these";
- If you don't figure out the specific puzzle mechanics or "logic", which are rarely or never explained.
I'm not saying games should hold your hand through puzzles. That wouldn't present any challenge. But when the clues and/or a solution to a puzzle are so COMPLETELY off-the-wall and nothing you'd even think to try without tripping over it accidentally -- that's just bad foresight in the puzzle design itself.
And then there are the doors. Oh god, the doors. Go in here, come out there. Go back in the same way, come out on a different level. Rinse, repeat. It's like a damn Benny Hill hallway chase scene, except you're the only one running around like a loon. Oh, and even worse, if you pull a lever/push a button in those scenes, every route changes and you have to figure it all out again. *facepalm*
I do wish the characters had a bit more interesting/interactive elements instead of just being part of the scene or spouting chimpmunk-speed gibberish (sounded like Russian at some points) along with a single picture bubble as a "clue", but that limitation didn't really take away from [mostly] understanding what they wanted from you.
You WILL need a guide if you're going for the Supercharged
achievement to collect all the orbs. Some of them are so hidden away it's like the devs don't want
you to find things unless you click every spot on the screen. At least there aren't any click penalties, cuz man, would I be in trouble.
So why do I recommend the game?
Aside from the frustrations of the puzzles, I would still say Violett is a unique and fun experience. I didn't really mind using a text or video walkthrough for some
most parts, because I could look past that and enjoy other aspects of the game, like the art, character design, "2.5D" level design, and silly Alice-like atmosphere. If you have no issues with "reading the directions" and then just enjoying it while you follow them, you may get the same level of enjoyment out of Violett that I did.
It's not a masterpiece by any definition, but even after a complete playthrough my mind drifts back to Violett's bug world now and again, and in that sense I would say the game is pleasantly unforgettable.
I wouldn't get it at full price (mainly because the insane puzzle designs waste far more playtime than they should), but when it's on sale (especially for .99 cents), you should consider giving it a shot.