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Smoke And Lasers: Fixation

The Company of Myself combined clever puzzles, occasionally frustrating platforming and a sombre mood to pleasing effect. The prequel, Fixation, ditches the time clones of the original but keeps the melancholy, with similarly atmospheric music, and conversations bleak in their mundanity. Progress is made by indulging in the odd cigarette or fifty. In fact, judging by the amount of smoke pumped out of her face, the lady at the centre of the story might as well use her lungs as an ashtray. Smoke blocks lasers and activates switches, that sort of helpful thing, and is the only protection in a world of stress and anxiety. Play now over at Armor Games.

Despite its initial simplicity, Fixation's world is an attractive creation, a maze of the ordinary made strange through distraction and dismay.

Given that I am actually trying to kick the habit myself at present, I'm thankful that there weren't any hurdles as treacherous as some sections of The Company of Myself, which I almost didn't finish when I reached a level and worked out exactly what needed to be done but struggled to do it for ages and ages. In the end, I asked someone competent to do it for me. I didn't have to do that once in Fixation and I'm glad because, like the previous game, the ending is rather special.

Thanks to John Polson for the tip.

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