Platform reviewed on: PC
Also available on: OS X
In an age where First Person Shooters, Battle Royale and Sports games are all the rage, this indie title is a very welcome distraction. Point and click adventure games are not a genre I am very fond off due to the fact that their game play is very restricted, however, this one is something unique due to the fact that it adds some horror elements in the mix.
You step in the shoes of John Marazeck, a 40 year old father who wakes up after a coma abandoned in a space station, trying to find out what happened to him and his family. In a terrible physical and mental state, you search every nook and cranny of the space station to find out what is going on. A large portion of the story is explained via PDA panels and a lot of reading is involved, however the texts are so well written that I did not feel bored at all. There are a lot of plot twists and an ending that will leave you with a lot of questions. It is so mysterious, that the Internet is brimming with threads and conversations online about it where every player gives his own meaning to what might have happened.
Apart from some cut scenes, the whole game is shot in an isometric view without the ability to zoom in or out the camera, just like playing older RPG titles like Baldur’s Gate and Diablo. Most of your time is spent walking in narrow corridors and exploring rooms decorated with human intestines, parasites and fungus. The environments, while carefully designed are a bit mundane and repetitive. There is some pixel hunting when trying to find possible objects to interact with since they are a bit vague. Moreover, character models are average at best without much detail and special effects are few and far between.
However, while not that exciting, the overall feel is decent. There is something about this mediocrity that manages to create a claustrophobic atmosphere that will give you goosebumps at times. In addition there is a ton of graphic violence in the game, especially in a part where you perform an operation on yourself. This scene is truly grotesque, so keep children at bay.
The sound design adds a lot of points to the atmosphere of the game. Eerie sounds echoing from dark rooms, creatures lurking in corridors and screams of helpless victims might scare even hardcore horror fans. The soundtrack is surprisingly decent and voice acting is also very good, considering that this is a low budget Indie title.
Gameplay is as archaic as you would expect; you use the mouse to move your character here and there, examining and interacting with objects. Nothing more, nothing less. The puzzles you have to solve in order to move forward are challenging and will require a lot of thought and careful reading of PDAs left by dead crew members. There were some irrational riddles that were so out of my league, that after a ton of effort i decided to give in and see their solution on the Internet. Furthermore, in this game, your character can actually die if you are not careful. For example, drill a hole on an acid filled tank without first regulating its pressure via a valve will result in a nice toxic bath for John that will make you see the game over screen.
Value for Money:…..7
The game costs 10 Euros and has a game play time circa 6 hours with next to zero replay value. While not a fan of the genre, I really had a nice time with this Sci Fi Horror Point and Click adventure. If its graphics were of a bit better quality and there was some more variety in the game play department, we would be talking about a must have title.