# Connections Notes

29 May 1996

Copyright © 1996 Balmoral Software (http://www.balmoralsoftware.com). Portions copyright © 1995 Discovery Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, redistribution or conversion is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Balmoral Software. Contents subject to change! For the latest information, see http://www.balmoralsoftware.com.

The hint system of this game is its own virtual walkthrough, so these pages provide only a few additional notes and solutions to two unsolved puzzles. All other challenges in this game are fully and completely explained in the hints section, with shortcuts provided for negotiating even a simple maze. Although not explicitly stated, there are 5 levels in the game.

## Sliding-Piece Puzzle Solution

Converting the initial starting position

into the final position

consists of reversing the order of the blocks in the entire square.

Using the positional notation

a solution in 30 moves is:

4 16 13 1 4 16 13 1 4 16 13 1 4 16 13 1 4 16 13 1 4 8 6 10 11 7 6 10 12 16

## Moving-Tables Puzzle Solution

Starting from the initial table arrangement

the desired solution

can be obtained in the shortest number of moves using the sequence

L L R L L R L R
of left (L) and right (R) lever-pulls.

• Connections is yet another Director-based adventure game. As is typical of games using this interface, no save-game overwrite warning is provided. A few of the FMV sequences had rather mismatched backgrounds. Implementation of this particular game was not very original.

• If you skipped reading the help text for the game, you might miss an important feature of the interface in which video clips can be played for each chain item found. Once all the chain items have been found on a level, the video clips can be played in sequence. Playing a full sequence of clips usually makes a lot more sense since often one clip refers to an earlier one even though chain items typically are not found in the same order as the video clips. If you play the video clips as you find items, the material will often seem quite disconnected. However, even in sequence one gets the feeling that the "connections" between inventions are rather over-simplified for the sake of tying everything together in a relatively short amount of time.

• The game climax is a ripoff of the Ghostbusters movie.

• The music seemed a bit better than average.

• The game designers' efforts to group chains of inventions together into single game scenarios seem forced in many instances. It would have been more interesting (and educational) if the game scenarios involved the actual historical contexts in which the inventions were created.

• The puzzles certainly could have been better integrated into the main sequence of ideas that is described on each level. At least one puzzle (inside the Sphinx) was identical to another game (Jewels of the Oracle).

• Starting the game always requires CD-ROM #1 to be loaded, even if a game to be resumed uses CD-ROM #2.

• The "not yet..." audio clip associated with an inventory item was useful in determining when an item wasn't needed.

• The gender distinction when starting a new game seemed arbitrary and unnecessary.

• The game credits were excessively numerous.

Copyright © 1996 Balmoral Software (http://www.balmoralsoftware.com). Portions copyright © 1995 Discovery Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, redistribution or conversion is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Balmoral Software. Contents subject to change! For the latest information, see http://www.balmoralsoftware.com.