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Logic Problems? Logic Solutions: ir/iational

It tastes like oxygen?

A good understanding of the logic of logic seems like something that should be taught in schools. Along with tax returns, how to fight a bear, and English punctuation. As discovered by Eurogamer’s Ellie Gibson this week, ir/rational is a game that broaches the thought through topic of logic in a – strange way.

But it doesn’t really go far enough.

It’s a fantastic concept. A game in which you’re not looking for the solution to the puzzles – it gives you those. But rather you must prove that the answer is correct. To do this you embrace the precise world of logic, specifically propositional calculus. For instance,

IF John is sexy
AND sexiness causes smooches
THEN John receives smooches
John IS sexy
THEREFORE John receives sexy, sexy smooches

Your goal, in increasingly tricky puzzles, is to select the correct path through the logic using the drop-down menus. All with the motivation of escaping a room. It’s nicely presented, with witty silliness all around the puzzles, and a decent ending too. But my frustration is that it doesn’t go far enough. It really only teaches that one routine really, and goes no deeper. And as someone who doesn’t really understand any of it, I was quite hoping to learn. Oddly the most interesting moment – questioning some logic of the existence of a perfect God – comes right at the start, and it never goes any further than that. At no point do you really get into the complexities of true and false statements, and their impact on other statements. But, by the end, you will have accidentally learned the shorthand language used by Propisitionalcalculusologists, and perhaps it’s good not to have gone too far down the bleak alley of proving that A is A.

But, blimey, take a look. It’s the first truly logical adventure game I’ve ever played.

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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