Adam's Venture: Episode 2: Solomon's Secret
fits very well into the adventure genre, but it has a very different feel than most that belong to this gameplay style. While a lot of that has to do with the odd control decisions, a good bit of it also comes from the puzzles themselves.
The episodes starts off with Adam and Evelyn being held prisoners on an airstrip. The first task is to get out of the prison and find a way to escape. This first, seemingly simple act ends up feeling so drastically different than most adventure titles that it seriously threw me off for a long while, and unfortunately, it sets a less than good trend that ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth for most of the game.
Where most games of this genre will have an inventory system that lets you collect various objects from around the locations and use them where you feel they might be applicable, Adam's Venture simplifies the system by using key events to know if you should progress. Basically, if you need a rope, instead of you having to look around for a rope, putting it in your inventory and then trying the rope on the object you need, you merely need to recognize that you need a rope, interact with it when you find it and return to that original location and the needed rope is automatically put in play.
While I can understand the idea behind simplifying the system, it just makes the game feel a lot more linear than most adventure titles. Sure, a lot of games in this genre are linear and you can't really make progress until you solve some big problem ahead of you. But typically, the one big problem is comprised of several smaller ones that can be resolved in any order. In Solomon's Secret, you pretty much always only have one single objective in front of you and, for the most part, the solution is super easy to figure out.
The second issue I have with the game involves where Adam 's Venture decides to place its puzzles and the fact that they typically don't fit with the story being presented. For instance, in one location, you need a crate so you can get onto a higher area so that you can move some blocks around and open a doorway. On that same screen, there is a door with a complicated lock system, and once you open it up, you have your crate. While the puzzle itself was interesting, the fact that it was there seemed ridiculous. Why is whoever put this door in place really going through all that trouble to guard a crate?
Similarly, you will encounter a door that is somehow being held closed thanks to the hydrodynamic power of the water running through a series of troughs. These same troughs are keeping the town's water from getting to the villagers. Release the waters and you not only open the door, but you also return the water to the town. Once again, this is just a ridiculous concept that feels like it was thrown in there purely to have a puzzle and it just doesn't fit with the setup of the story, especially since the company who wants the door locked could have found much better ways of doing so.
Situations like these are riddled throughout Solomon's Secret and pretty much any adventure-gamer worth his or her salt would find these puzzles both annoying and distracting from the story that is being played out.