DescriptionConsidering that side-scrolling is a hallmark of platform games, you'd figure that they'd prompt players to exercise more lateral thinking. It's all right; for all the genre's repetitive and predictable gameplay, Lab 14 makes up for it, prompting players to think outside the box in order to maneuvre the little bunny-man avatar to each level's exit.
Something has quite obviously gone wrong in the laboratory, obscure messages scrawled and splattered on the wall in what is presumably the author's blood. And yet demented as the scenario seems, the player must attempt to glean deeper meaning from the proclamations, as there is an obvious and a not-so-obvious solution to each screen's worth of pushable crates, impaling spikes, and exit doors... and more often than not, the player will find that the obvious solution just doesn't work.
The nature of the puzzles shatters the suspension of disbelief; rather than attempting to immerse the player in the consistent conventions of the (itself implausibly constrained in two inconceivable dimensions) platformer genre, the puzzle solutions break the fourth wall and hammer home that the game is being played by an external player sitting at a computer with peripherals attached, using a multitasking operating system with a graphical user interface. Really the platforming is more of an afterthought, though on the surface it appears to be the whole of the game; ultimately this game challenges the player not to play it, but to play with it -- to interact with the game program in ways that players are not accustomed to interacting with games.
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- Download Lab 14! (Free, legal download of the game!)
- Lab 14 walkthrough (Instructions on the solution of all levels.)