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Low-Spoiler Guide to Nibiru: Hints and Tips

Welcome to my Nibiru hints page. (-: If you're new to my series of low-spoiler computer game walkthroughs, the idea is to point gamers towards things they might not have thought of in each game rather than divulging puzzle solutions or giving step-by-step instructions. There's not much point in playing an adventure game if you know the puzzle solutions in advance, and there's no point at all in investigating murders if you already know whodunnit.

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So these pages are as close to spoiler-free as possible while still providing some valuable Nibiru hints and game recommendations. If you are looking for the solution to a particular puzzle, I recommend UHS--due to their unique website setup you can only see one hint at a time, so you can get the answer to one pesky puzzle without ruining all the others for yourself. Here's the UHS page for Nibiru, if that interests you. My site here focuses on exactly the things traditional walkthroughs don't: the non-critical bits of Nibiru, detours you can take, little things you can do to smooth the gameplay out for yourself, extra details you might miss if you did only what was strictly necessary to complete the game. If you want even fewer spoilers--you're considering whether to buy the game, for example, and want to know whether there's anything you're going to detest in it--please try my Nibiru Review page to find all the pertinant information in one convenient spoiler-free package.

Now, on with the game!

Nibiru Hints and Tips
Nibiru Walkthrough
Nibiru Game Spoilers and Easter Eggs
Nibiru Cheats and Links
Backseat Game Designer: Nibiru Critique

Nibiru Hints and Tips

Nibiru is a modern PC adventure game by the prolific Adventure Game Company. Like their other graphic adventures, Nibiru offers an elegant 3D point-and-click interface with which to move a pre-assigned character through a sequence of puzzles and a largely linear plot. This one is a supernatural thriller from the same game design team who wrote the horror adventure The Black Mirror. Nibiru is less frightening and less violent than Black Mirror, but still rises to the level of suspense in places, and corny though it may sound, I recommend playing at night with the lights out. It's creepier that way, and the graphics look excellent in the dark.

There are no bugs in Nibiru (at least, none that I found), and no serious gameplay issues. However, there are a number of things you may want to be aware of before beginning to play in order to get maximum enjoyment out of the game. Without spoiling anything:

Time Management: Like most graphic adventure games, time does not pass normally in Nibiru. If you're supposed to wait until an NPC is done painting a picture or eating his lunch, you can't just stand there and wait--nothing will ever change. In many cases, though, you don't actually have to do anything relevant--examining a random nearby object is often sufficient for the game to believe time has passed. So is leaving the screen and returning. But if you roam around the screen for 20 minutes fruitlessly pixel-searching, the picture will never get painted and the lunch will never get eaten. You have to be a proactive clicker to get anywhere in this game.

Clicking and Reclicking: Nibiru game interface is graceful and intuitive in most ways, but there is one frustrating exception: sometimes an object remains active (clickable) after you have already used it. When this happens, you need to either click it again or else right-click it to search it more carefully. There's no logical reasoning behind which mouse button you need to use to get this additional clue. (The manual claims that a left-click means 'use' and a right-click means 'examine,' but that is only true in inventory--in the environment itself, the effects of left and right clicking is essentially random.) You're bound to forget this at least once or twice, so if you reach an impasse in the game, go back and make sure there isn't something you've already used that's still active.

Main Character: You control one character in Nibiru, the blase grad student Martin. You will never have any input into Martin's personality, attitudes, plans, or reactions to anything. That's too bad, because honestly, it's hard to sustain a feeling of suspense when the main character is so underwhelmed by everything going on around him. But if you want to enjoy this game, you'll need to think of Martin as a character in a movie you're watching rather than 'your' character. There are not even any conversational choices to be made and you will never be able to affect Martin's behavior at all.

Movement: Although it can be rather slow, movement in Nibiru is easy to navigate; you can check the exits out of any room by hitting the tab key, and double-clicking on an exit cuts to the new game location immediately, without having to wait for Martin to stroll leisurely across the screen. However, one thing it's important to be aware of is that whenever Martin enters a new screen, there's an unskippable animation of him walking a few steps and then stopping. Sometimes this results in him standing right in front of an object or other hotspot. If you seem to be stuck, make sure you move him over a little and see if there's anything behind him.

Conversations: Even if you've figured out what you need to do next in the game, Martin, who obviously did not play Infocom games very much in his youth, is often at a loss, and there's no good way to communicate with him. The only way to move Nibiru's plot along is to click on things yourself and see if he catches on, or have him talk to another person about the situation. Once he's discussed matters aloud, you'll often have more options available.

Problem Spots: There are a few timed challenges in Nibiru that can result in death, but if you fail one of them, the game will automatically restart you at the beginning of the challenge. Due to this incredibly convenient feature, you don't really need to worry about savegames much--there's no way to lose the game, other than getting tired of it and quitting, and there are no in-game choices for you to go back and try doing another way.

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