Man, I don't know. I just finished it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hate to say "you just don't get it", but maybe its brand of puzzle isn't for you? I'll certainly admit that it's a little uneven in patches. I couldn't stand the puppet show portion, for example, as it was a better idea in concept than execution. The main criticism I'd level against it is that it's painfully short. Aside from that, though, I enjoyed the music, art style, puzzles and to a lesser extent the story (which I felt could have done with a more satisfying resolution).
I paid out real cash monies for it on PC and enjoyed my experience enough to hope that the idea get revisited for a larger scale game.
It has to do with the way it doles out the story details over the course of the five to six playthroughs required to get the full picture. It somewhat eases the "pain" of repeat playthroughs by unlocking a fast forward feature that allows you to speed on to the next decision, puzzle room or new bit of dialogue. It's designed so that you never run out of new puzzles before you reach the end, and each playthrough will reveal some interest piece of the picture and begin to answer why each of the nine participants are there in the Nonary Game, and why the game exists to begin with. Nearly everything comes full circle and even the two screens of the DS get a narrative explanation before things are over.
The puzzles weren't some some people's tastes, but for the most part I really enjoyed them.
I did buy it twice, but only because I actually wanted to finish it. I started it twice on PC and each time I encountered the save file bug which wiped my saves. I initially thought it was something to do with Steam Cloud, but it was evidently a well-documented bug in the PC version. I had a co-worker friend who had already finished the game and was champing at the bit to discuss it with me, so I went ahead and double dipped by picking up the iOS version which had the benefit of not losing my saves and the shooting sequences being nothing more difficult than touching the targets.
As for the game being largely linear with the illusion of choice... well, it's an adventure game and that's par for the course. TWD's writing is largely pretty good and certainly wraps you up emotionally, which is a change of pace, but at the end of the day it's still an adventure game. I think that's fine if you can make your peace with that. I had yet another co-worker who couldn't get through episode one when his attempts to be the world's biggest callous asshole in the game didn't seem to get him where he wanted. I pointed out that it wasn't an RPG, but could totally see somebody who expected real freedom of choice feeling a little bit let down.
For my part, I liked TWD for what it was. Unfortunately I finished it a couple of days after 999 which absolutely blew my mind, so it was difficult to not measure TWD against it. For what it's worth I'm there for season 2 on day one. No questions asked.
I managed to not have too much trouble with this one on hard after a false start or two. RNG may have been on my side, tho.
Paired up Mirabelle and Ricken and then yoinked them back to the group using rescue with Lissa, made a stand along the south edge of the map before marching straight up the map, letting Frederick take point so that he was attack and landing counterattacks on the enemy's moves. At this point I'd done the first Paralogue and DLC chapter, so I had Marth along.
I picked up the FE bundle and dug into it this afternoon. It's still early on, but I have no regrets. The 3DS is a super solid, well-supported little piece of hardware, and Fire Emblem: Awakening is saying all of the right things to me so far. I guess it's just a matter of which release is your breaking point. For me this one was it. For somebody else it might be Pokemon XY or Animal Crossing.
I'm sorry to see this delayed for the WiiU owners, but as a 9currently) non WiiU owner I'm pretty excited that it's coming to other consoles. Too bad they couldn't just release it on WiiU first as promised, though.
After a handful of years enduring the constant Steam sale I've come to the realization that I'm probably never going to be in need of something to play again. Sure, there'll always be something new on the horizon to look forward to, but there's so much out there that I have yet to play. I don't really feel much need to be playing everything day and date of release, and I even save a few bucks for not doing that. I just finished up ME3 this morning and as I type this my Darksiders install is finishing up.
There aren't many names on my list of anticipated titles yet this year, but that just means I get to be surprised, which is great.