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The RHEM games have always been about the puzzles -- about being trapped in a giant 3D mazeworld and slowly working through the clues and finding your way out. So my grade is also primarily based on the quality of the puzzles, which rate an A.
Rhem 3 is a perfect sequel to Rhem and Rhem 2. The quality and gameplay from game to game is seamless. If you liked the previous games, then you will like this one.
Do you like puzzles? Do you like mapping? Do you find most puzzles either too easy or gratuitously difficult? Do you find yourself wishing that someone would develop puzzles which were more sophisticated, complex, and yet logical? Do you enjoy spending time, maybe days, working through a puzzle?
If you were answering “yes” to most of those questions, then Rhem 3 is for you.
Cnut was the King of Ancient Britain. Knut is the Prince of Modern Puzzles.
Just to do a proper "level set," Rhem 3 is by no means an easy game; it's not even a "moderately difficult" game. As with its predecessors, it is going to challenge the most puzzle-hardened gamers. I found that playing with another person was a huge help, as multiple viewpoints often provide perspectives on a puzzle that don't exist when playing alone. (Hint: if you're going to do that, try to combine at least one highly analytic person, and one highly intuitive person. You'll need both types to make your way through Rhem 3.) And, frankly, it is very likely that many players will not be able to complete the game without some kind of walkthrough or hint file. It's just that tough. But for veteran adventure puzzlers -- and that includes all fans of the Rhem series -- Rhem 3 should more than meet all expectations, and provide an enjoyable, challenging, fun, and rewarding experience.
The great strength of Rhem 3 is the same as its predecessors, the vast amount of exceedingly clever, brain-destroying puzzles. These puzzles are all interlinked, meaning you may start to collect some items or information on one puzzle, but need to solve another puzzle before you can get everything you need. However, there are enough solvable puzzles at the early stages of the game that it is very nonlinear until you get really close to the end.
More a puzzle game than well-rounded adventure, RHEM 3 should nicely fill the void for those looking for a Myst-style game that will challenge and engage them for many hours.
From the aesthetic to the gameplay, RHEM 3 is as old-school of an adventure game as you're likely to find these days, which works for and against the game. Hardcore adventure fans will get the most out of it, while others will be turned away by the puzzles and lack of visual bells and whistles.
All in all, I had an enjoyable experience. I have always enjoyed adventure games and have no trouble revisiting my early days of gaming with titles like MYST and the original RHEM. So does RHEM 3 live up its predecessors? Yes it does. RHEM 3 is a great addition to any diehard gamer. If you’re not so sure about this title or you’re not willing to spend your cash on less than standard graphics, I’m sure there is a demo floating around the Internet somewhere. I highly recommend this title to fans of old school adventure titles and I would gladly pay the 30 clams to buy it.
If you're looking for an engaging storyline and cutting-edge technical innovations that take advantage of DirectX 10, you won't find here. It looks like a game that came out in 1993, so as long as you (and your computer) can handle that, then by all means take a stab at it. However, since it is 2008 and technology has come a long way, there are some standards that should be met - at least make it look like it came out of 2003. This is an old-school adventure game that will challenge that gray matter between your ears if nothing else. The non-linear gameplay and complex web of puzzles will keep you busy for days and if you're the type who likes to torment/challenge yourself, this is the game for you.
Rhem 3 will likely appeal to that niche audience comprising gamers who want to solve puzzles and do little else. If that describes you, you’re in for a delicious peanut butter cup of a game. Alas, it’s just not a game that’s going to appeal to a huge audience the way Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups do.
In short, Rhem 3: The Secret Library has one audience, and that is truly hardcore Myst-style adventure/puzzle fanatics. This isn't a bad thing, as niche games can be quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, the game's lack of presentational quality weakens it to the point that it has no ability to pull in a larger audience. It may even go so far as to alienate existing fans of this niche subgenre. This is unfortunate because if you can get past this factor, the puzzles can be sincerely interesting. While Knut Mueller has great potential in puzzle design, they should look into getting more and/or better artists to match that potential.
Rhem 3 bénéficie des mêmes points forts que les précédents jeux de la série, notamment des énigmes de grande qualité conférant au titre une excellente durée de vie. Au passage, il écope aussi des mêmes défauts, qui risquent fort de rebuter le grand public et de priver Rhem 3 d'un succès autre que confidentiel. Mais la poignée de joueurs élitistes auxquels il s'adresse ne seront pas déçus du voyage.
Overall, Rhem 3: The Secret Library offers plenty of puzzles and screens but falls short in commonsense and artistic sensibility. The graphics and sound are poorly implemented. The puzzles are frequently unintuitive. The placement of many clues is merciless, as players who miss them the first time will have to do lengthy backtracking later in the game. Players who are not purely interested in the puzzles will also mind that the story and characters seem tacked on as incomplete afterthoughts. Sadly, these rough edges currently place the Rhem series far behind other competing adventures.