Aenigma Academy

Player Rating3.66/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 19 ratings since 07/04/2020
played 117 times (finished 21)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length3/8

"A nice jog down the driveway"

Maturity Level3/8

"must be at least this tall to play"
Contains content that may not be suitable for persons under age 10. If this were a movie, it would probably be between G and PG.

My entry for Mizal's Welcome to the Jungle contest.

You are a student at Aenigma Academy, where the next generation of warriors, spies, politicians, and hackers are trained. Solve riddles and puzzles as you try to graduate without dying. This story is some combination of riddle game and school based, with a dash of sci-fi.

Player Comments

I'm not exactly sure how to feel about this game. On one hand it definitely has it's shortcomings. There are many of them, and I will go over them at length later. However there is something about it I just can't place. I'm going to try my best to articulate my thoughts on this story.

For starters a lot of the writing, mostly the dialogue, feels… forced. I'm not sure the correct way to describe it but it doesn't feel natural at all. There are also things like how a malnourished thief living on the streets can accomplish the jungle obstacle course. It's not just that the protag can, most of the people at least make it through. That's bullshit, because by the sound of it it is something most people couldn't do even if they trained for it.

Now about the three courses. The one I liked the least was the cipher training. I'm not sure what the author expected you to do here. Like I guess you could copy paste every code into decoders. What I personally did, and what I suspect many others did, is just click ever choice until it worked. The one thing I liked about this though is that seeing lorem ipsum made me laugh. It might be the thing I remember most about this game in the long run.

The fighting one was pretty standard. Just descriptions about what happened. I enjoyed it. Not much else.

Now my favorite one was the logic one. I really liked the puzzles. They were pretty standard, and were easy for me, but I still liked them. I will admit I just clicked through on the last one since that one would have involved me using a piece of paper. It was well designed though.

The branching was pretty good. You have the intro, the three trainings, and the end. It is very much a branch and bottleneck. It is pretty good for what it is.

In conclusion this story gets a 4/8. The main thing holding the story back is the quality of the writing. I liked the plot, I liked the branching, I just didn't like the writing itself and the polishing errors that happened like spelling and grammar. I think your writing will improve in time and you will write something pretty good. When that day comes I look forward to reading it.
-- MicroPen on 7/14/2020 12:55:48 AM with a score of 0
Aenigma Academy is reasonably ambitious, for a first stab at a CYOA. Unfortunately, there are a few serious issues with the game that prevent me from rating it higher than a 4/8.

The world of this storygame isn't presented naturally. The reader gets a page of exposition, and is then thrust right into superspy training before having a chance to really connect with the protagonist or the setting. The storygame feels like it has no stakes because the terrible circumstances I'm supposed to be escaping aren't known to me. If you told me all about how like, the rad-goblins fuck me in the ass every night and my brother got dismembered by a security robot, the plot would feel more meaningful.

There are no developed characters in this story. I barely know who these people are, or why I should care about them.

The plot feels somewhat illogical. Surely there is more to being a high-paid hacker or mercenary than answering some riddles, fighting a few people, and knowing ten cyphers that I will likely never use in the far future (they can all be easily broken by computers as of the year 2020). As far as I'm aware, the protagonist never even learns how to shoot a gun. Also, why are they kidnapping street kids? If this is such a horrible dystopia, couldn't you get them to volunteer?

Also, there are some formatting and grammar issues. You can indent or not indent a new paragraph on CYS; pick one, stop switching between. You need to tighten up your use of homophones, and make sure you're using the appropriate contractions. Also, you sometimes suffer from the dialogue curse that affects everyone on this website. I've linked a resource at the bottom.

In the future, please consider developing your characters and fleshing out your settings more.


https://www.authorlearningcenter.com/writing/fiction/w/character-development/6491/8-essential-rules-for-punctuating-dialogue---article
-- hetero_malk on 7/5/2020 1:52:30 AM with a score of 0
im a hacker and i gotta say i tried being a fighter and boy howdy is it tough! i died in the pit of spikes and im glad cause if i had to climb that mountain of chairs i definitely would have died there. i'll prefer to sit behind my computer and hack the CIA and expose the shadow government. this was like a modern day hogwarts adventure but modern.

-- a hacker on 7/16/2020 10:40:13 PM with a score of 0
As far as puzzle games go, this is one of my favourites so far. I especially liked how you introduced the story, and that you gave an actual reason why the puzzles need to be completed- and the last few riddles were great, since they put you in a real-life situation!

On the other hand, at times -well, at all times- it was pretty gory, and I didn't enjoy it as much because of that. And although the thinker and the fighter sections were interesting, I found the ciphers way too hard. Because you had to use the Internet to figure them out, it didn't feel as rewarding when you got it right, and, after a while, it became fairly tedious.

However, your link to the theme of 'Welcome to the Jungle' was original, and I did get hooked on those riddles!
-- ApprenticePortentous on 7/7/2020 7:48:38 AM with a score of 0
I am definitely a sucker for puzzle games, so solving all those riddles made me happy. Got to say though, I wasn’t so keen on the cyphers. In this sort of puzzle game, I think that having one cypher is good, because, if nothing else, it determines whether the player is smart enough to recognise that you’re using a cypher… But when you have like 10 cyphers in a row, it’s literally just a case of figuring out which cypher you’re using, and there’s not really much fun in that.
Spelling was fine, grammar could’ve used some work. Plot and characters weren’t great, but then I suppose they don’t really have to be in a puzzle based game. One thing I don’t understand is why you kept the unclickable options visible at the end. I mean, near the last page, there was just a list of 5 options all saying “The fight starts”. It really would’ve made more sense to make the unclickable options invisible, since having five options all saying the same thing just looks messy.
All in all, it was decent. Could’ve done a better job at explaining the different puzzles and why they worked the way they did. (Also the combat training just felt kind of pointless.) Still, I enjoyed it. Definitely worth a playthrough.
-- Avery_Moore on 7/6/2020 12:09:29 PM with a score of 0
Text is white on the first page, then turns black the next. This is quite jarring for my eyes, especially with the dark background I have set for the reader.

Also, I'm not seeing the connection between seeing a bunch of numbers on a page and ranting about coffee being a sign of intelligence. I chose it so see if it was a "lol random" type choice, and it sort of felt like it.

I'm surprised refusing to go along leads to immediate expulsion when the options such as ranting about coffee or even attacking the doctor lead to them accepting you. None of it is really convincing for me.

I'm also seeing it is pretty hit and miss what the text colors are. I'm honestly not sure if this is you or the site being wonky. So I'll leave that alone for now.

“Welcome to the jungle.” Bonus point for working the theme into a characters dialogue.

I find the green flash of light being able to incapacitate what I assume are the peeps on the lower rung of society a cool idea (do they get an implant on birth that does this?)

I'm not sure if its completely on purpose, but it feels like it is, but the story seems to play up this school as being some super advanced high tech thing. It sort of seems like they're some B grade government or research group who got shoved off in a shitty corner somewhere. This isn't a criticism though, I like the idea of it being relatively high tech and cool to the protagonist who lives in the garbage cans of society, but is displaced far enough from the upper echelon that it sort of caters to both worlds.

Okay yeah, getting to the part where everyone is just sort of sitting around the conference room doing the shrug emoji really makes it seem this is so. I like this interpretation.

Maybe its me but the leaders of the school almost seem to oscillate between being too friendly and too ominous at various times. The cypher training is interesting, even tho it suffers the same switching between ominous and friendly.

“No. This isn’t right. We can’t just hunt them down like animals. We are better than that! Stand with me and refuse to kill innocents.” you proclaim. The other students look at you, shocked.
Bull rolls his eyes, “Okay, kill her too.”
Some of the students hesitate, but others do not, and, surrounded, you are soon ripped to pisces by the mob.

Bulls reaction was funny.
What does it mean to get ripped to pisces tho...or what stomping on someones "next" would do to them. I do however, enjoy running half-heartedly.

Fighters 3 > seemilny untrained. Also Bulls single > signal

Why would Bull tell his students not to kill each other training when weapons when he just had a bunch of them kill the obstacle course peeps and then beat each other to death for a few hours? Seems like he should be reveling in the opportunity for BLOOD.

"Bull nodes, and quickly moves on. " What kind of node does he turn into?

"You walk through the door marked thinkers training into a comfy living room" Engrish?

How is Celina simultaneously paying the bodies no heed while gesturing for the lackeys to come remove them?

"our's is", "An nameless man"

You put the choices on the page with the iv trial then put the links in
I'm assuming that was just supposed to be notes and you forgot to delete before copy and pasting that page in

It was really easy to get the good ending
I think the premise of this idea was great, and your use of the variables was cool, but I feel like this could be better. Maybe some plot and story before completing all the tasks like a machine.
-- corgi213 on 7/5/2020 1:33:43 AM with a score of 0
Show All Comments