Steam Offers Unconditional Refunds On Sketchy Game

Steam Offers Unconditional Refunds On Sketchy Game

Journey of the Light was billed as "one of the hardest games on Steam". Turns out, its first level was unbeatable and the rest were nowhere to be found.

The purposefully obtuse puzzler has been available for purchase on Steam since May. Players — lured in by the promise of a challenge that would leave their brains looking like sweaty lumps of chewing gum — collaborated in an effort to solve a game with almost no clear hints or cues. It's actually a pretty cool instance of nearly incomprehensible game design resulting in something fun thanks to the dogged dedication of modern gaming communities. Or at least, it would have been.

Steam Offers Unconditional Refunds On Sketchy Game

All of that changed earlier this week after one enterprising player went spelunking in the game's code and discovered that a few things were missing — namely, all of the game's seven levels except the first. Oh, and that first level? Functionally unsolvable. As of now, only one player in the world has an achievement for beating it: the game's creator.

Journey of the Light's creator, who goes by the handle "Lord Kres", claimed that a recent update gone awry turned his game into a conspicuously nefarious labyrinth. However, multiple players have pressed him for proof that the other six levels — still advertised on the game's Steam page — exist, and he's provided nothing.

Not even a screenshot or video. He did, however, say on Steam that he's now in the process of "testing" the levels and putting them back into the game.

I've reached out to Lord Kres twice and given him multiple days to reply, but I've yet to hear back. Recently, he tweeted out that he was too sick to do anything, but he continues to engage with people on Twitter. Many players think it all looks awfully sketchy and they have taken to calling the whole thing a scam.

So, all's well that ends, er, poorly? Not exactly. In an uncommonly proactive move, Valve decided to sweep up the mess on their store's front porch, offering unconditional refunds to anybody who purchased the game — even if they'd played for more than two hours or owned it for more than two weeks (the typical terms of Steam's refund policy). Given that Valve usually takes their hands-off approach so seriously that Gabe Newell's meaty mitts are kept in carbonite stasis except in the event of a race car emergency on Reddit, this is a fairly exceptional use of their power.

All that's left now is to wait and see what happens next. It's entirely possible that Lord Kres made an honest (albeit highly improbable and specific) mistake, only to get sick in the immediate aftermath. If that's the case, perhaps he'll, er, un-misplace most of his game soon. Or maybe he's furiously cobbling together levels that never existed in the first place, a much more damning state of affairs. Here's hoping this isn't as bad as it looks.


Comments

    Massive dick move but also pretty clever. Annoying if you were trying to solve it though!

      What's so clever about being a lying, fraudulent con-man? The fact that he tricked so many people? Even in this post-Colonial-Marines age of promotional bullshit and lying devs, you don't expect that a game developer would flat-out lie to you about 6/7ths of the game you paid for EXISTING.

      This guy is a thief and, regardless of the refund policy, he should be charged with fraud.

        Fraud can be clever. Not admirable in any way, but there have been some very clever frauds over the years.

      However it moved from "clever" to "fraud" once he started selling the game.

      It's kinda a hark back to old arcade designs to keep you spending quarters. If it was turned up to 11 that is.

    It seems LordKres has also disabled his Twitter now

      Should be taken off the store.

    I'm glad Valve did the refunds thing even if they played more than 2 hours.

    First he thinks by saying get the trading cards, but to do so you need more than 2 hours and that's him basically going fuck you I have your money secured now. Even if there WAS hints in the trading cards, that's a shit idea.

    This situation is kind of a blessing in disguise. What I mean is, because Valve have said hey, you can get refunds even if you have over 2 hours for this game. It will discourage more people coming onto steam with an impossible & unfinished game in hope of a quick cash grab although that all Steam really seems to be thanks to Greenlight.

    Looked into his twitter, fb etc. stuff and posts.

    Almost 100% sure he aint scammer but just some teen and now he's more or less lost cause of all the s-h-i-tstorm on twitter etc. so he closed twitter etc.

    I dont think someone who plan scamming would post in twitter almost proudly how no one managed to solve even 1st level, and on almost same moment post links to "sad 3d animation" on youtube and to page with new "flag of earth" etc.

    Looks like nets mob mentality on attack and target is some kid. Hell, and if he does to something for himself you prolly so proud, mob crowd...

    Next up: Derek Smart's "Line of Defense MMO" that boasts "thousands" of people online, yet Steam stats usually show a max of 2 players max at any one time. Massively? Uhhh.... If I paid money, I would be contacting Steam or the FTC.

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