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Laboratory R.A.T.S. Reviews
Author: C Henshaw
Date: 2005

Reviewed by Robert Street

"Laboratory R.A.T.S." is a short one room game. There is only one puzzle, and it is not even really a puzzle. It is just a matter of figuring out the right sequence of commands. More alternatives should probably have been included to better hint the player towards these commands. However, it is not difficult to figure out if you examine the microscope carefully enough. 

The single room is a detailed environment, and it is fun to examine everything to find out more about all the characters and what they are trying to achieve. Most of the story is integrated into the descriptions. It is also necessary to explore closely, as mentioned above to figure out what is necessary in order to progress. There are fun background conversations between several NPCs, which add character to the game. The story is well done, but unfortunately the game ends, just when it is beginning to get really interesting. 

As a brief diversion, which is what this game is aimed for, "Laboratory R.A.T.S." works well. However, it is very short, and I would have preferred for the game to keep going from where it ended. 

SCORE - 5/10 

Reviewed by Duncan Bowman

I agree with DW’s review ...except that I didn’t think the constant NPC comments helped the game at all. There were too few, they became stale and annoying quickly, and clogged up my screen because they were all really long. Why did the NPCs even have to be there?

Reviewed by Richard Otter

Fun little game
Sometimes I just want a fun little game to play in my lunch hour - and this is one such game.

Reviewed by David Whyld

One room games, of which “Laboratory R.A.T.S.” is such a thing, tend to be more puzzled-orientated than other games. Without a large area to explore, all the gameplay has to take place in a single location and so every puzzle you are going to encounter is there ready and waiting for you. And I've never been fond of puzzle games…

”Laboratory R.A.T.S.” involves several scientists at work deep underground in a laboratory. The idea is to get a microscope a work. Easy? Heck no. 

Overall this is one mighty frustrating game. It might only be one room in size, but it's certainly a more confusing game than some I've played that have occupied fifty rooms. Doing just about anything is a pain: 

> use microscope 

The microscope is on, you just need to put your sample inside and take a look. 

> put sample inside microscope 

I can't put anything in the chamber while the cap is still on the air-lock. 

> remove cap 

I haven't released the cap of the air lock. 

> release cap 

I don't understand what you want me to do with the cap. 

Most of my time spent playing the game was wrestling with guess the verb issues like this. What I wanted to do was mind-numbingly simple – put my sample in the microscope and examine it – yet every command I tried seemed to either not be understood or just produced another unhelpful response. 

To make matters worse, examining the cap informs me that it can be rotated, but:

> rotate cap 

I don't understand what you want me to do with the cap. 

> rotate cap clockwise 

I don't understand what you want me to do with the cap. 

> rotate cap anti-clockwise 

I can't turn the cap while the vacuum is on. 

> turn vacuum off 

I can't turn that off. 

Is this the worst case of guess the verb I've ever come across? If not, it's certainly a close second. One command I tried – PUSH PUMP BUTTON – produced a message saying nothing happens the first time, but when I tried it again, it told me I had already pumped the chamber. Only after going through the commands in the Generator one by one was I able to make any kind of progress, and as that was about as much fun as watching paint dry, I resorted to banging out a command that, thankfully, the game understood: QUIT. 

A couple of NPCs who interject amusing comments from time to time raised the quality of this game just enough to stop me giving it the deathly 1 out of 10, but until some of the guess the verb issues are fixed, I could never recommend “Laboratory R.A.T.S.” to anyone. 

2 out of 10 

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