Speaking of repetition puzzles, I'm surprised nobody mentioned the whole afterlife chapter in Kyrandia III - Malcolm's Revenge (or the whole game as a matter of fact), with the fish queen and the tic-tac-toe. I can understand the design principle behind that chapter, but I swear...
The whole game has these puzzles with multiple solution where one possible solution is typically to grind your way out of it. For instance, whenever you get captured by Herman and thrown to jail, you can either plot your escape or simply do the boring and repetitive task they ask you to do. There's also a whole bunch of puzzles where, if you misuse the item you're using you need to travel back and forth between locations to get the item back, not unlike that gem puzzle in the first game. But that is nothing compared to the fish queen and tic-tac-toe afterlife.
Upcoming spoiler, don't read if you intend to play that game (but honestly you should stick to the first two games)
So, in Kyrandia III you've got that part in the game where you end up in afterlife, which long story short, is full of fishes. There's the fish queen, who put a cursed collar around your neck (I think) for some reason (could be punishment, I forgot). Anyway, while you have that collar on, whenever she is bored, she will ring a bell, the cursed collar on your neck will teleport you back in her throne room and you must entertain her, with a game of tic-tac-toe. If you win, or if it's a draw (and she plays pretty badly) she'll ask for a revenge match, only if you manage to stage games she cannot possibly lose will she get bored of tic-tac-toe and she'll allow you to leave and get back to adventuring.
So. First time you're in the throne room, she'll ask to play a game (and it's painfully long, trust me). Did she win? Good! You are free to go explore the world. You leave the room? She rings the bell. Back to that tic-tac-toe game. She wins again, you can leave again. You leave the room, explore a bit, enter a second room... she rings the bell, more tic-tac-toe... It's like that four or five time, then you can freely explore that little bit of world you are stuck in. There's a guy that can ferry you across to hell if you want. That'll only cost you ten gold coins. Got no money? That's fine there's this guy living in the junkyard that'll trade three identical item for gold coins. And so you waste ten minutes or so walking around, picking items, creating sets of identical items for you to trade for gold, you grind enough gold coins to ferry across to hell, pay the guy, get there, talk to one guy... the queen rings the bell again! Tic-tac-toe, gold grind, pay man again, get back to where you were, save the game, just in case, try something different, she rings it again...
And it goes on and on and on, until you figure out how to get out of that loop (and find the various shortcuts through that part) but yeah, I can understand the design decision behind that chapter, it's meant to be a punishment for Malcolm (and it's damn punishing for the player) but it took me three hours before I finally found out how to escape from that chapter, and by the end I wanted the gouge my eyes out and I kept asking myself "Why?... Why?... Why?"
Last edited by Collector
on Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added spoiler tags