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Quern - Undying Thoughts is a wonderful puzzle adventure game with a beautifully constructed world and narrative. Many will immediately describe it as a Myst-like game, however, I found it much closer in mechanics to The Room series. The game's puzzles are much less obscure than Myst, however, it is closer to the Myst series in the adventure and story aspect compared to The Room series. If you enjoy puzzle and adventure games, Quern - Undying Thoughts should not disappoint.

The audio was one of my favorite parts of this game. The sound track is superbly done and was perfectly crafted for the areas you will experience during the game. I personally wouldn't spend more money to purchase the sound track separately, but that is not an indication the sound track isn't worth while. I simply feel it was well crafted to the experiences of the game and I don't think I would listen to it separately.

The Voicing for the game was also very well done. The voice actors did a great job in delivering the emotion in their lines which fit the story perfectly. The recording engineer also did a fantastic job capturing the performances which resulted in some of the best narrative quality I've heard in this genre. All in all the voicing is just as superb as the sound track and both serve to draw you into the game's world very effectively.

Quern - Undying Thoughts will initially feel very drab in it's visuals. As you make your way around the initial square you will undoubtedly get a sense that there is more wonder just beneath the surface of the dull stone facade. As you progress through the story you will find increasing beauty and complexity in the areas and puzzles that unfold at a pace that is in lock-step with the narrative.

The graphics are not amazing or photo-realistic, however, they are well done and look great. There are plenty of scenery objects that clip into each other as a simple means to fill areas with some detail without spending a lot of time on things that aren't a focus area. I thought this was well balanced and it shows with the additional details put into the objects that are interactive. The world seems to have been meticulously built around the narrative and the design team built some interesting and beautiful spaces that really help immerse you in the game and it's puzzles.

The complexity and difficulty of the puzzles have a fairly liner progression that adherers to the lore put forth by the story. The problems presented vary in type and function, some of which build upon each other. This reminded me of how The Witness built up several core mechanics and rules that then combined and stacked upon one another, however, Quern - Undying Thoughts does not do this at the same scale. With Quern - Undying Thoughts this feels much more like a progression of a mechanic along a story arc and much less like it is a combination of rules for the sole purpose to increase complexity of the puzzle as it was with The Witness.

The difficulty of the puzzles I felt was less than any of the Myst series due to the puzzles being less abstract, however, that is not to say there isn't a challenge. Nor does this mean solving them is any less satisfying. In fact I felt the progression and more linear arrangement of the puzzles immersed me further into the storyline. The larger "milestone" puzzles have several smaller roadblocks that keep you feeling like you are progressing with little victories as you solve the larger puzzle to progress the story and unlock new things. The pacing will obviously vary depending on you as an individual, however, I felt this was one of the strongest points of the game. There wasn't any point that I felt I wasn't able to progress because I might have missed something earlier. They did a good job making you feel like everything you need to solve a puzzle is available to you.

The story is well thought out and is similar in concept to that of The Room. The lore is interesting and the narrative feeds this to the player in a fitting mechanic that is rewarding as you progress through the puzzles. It wasn't shocking or all that unpredictable, however, it was very enjoyable. Once you get about 3/4 of the way though its not hard to predict the general concept of the end, however, the details of how that plays out are fun and interesting. There are even a couple nods to a couple of my favorite adventure books/movies which I won't name to prevent spoiling things for you.

  • Fairly linear progression to puzzle difficulty and complexity
  • Good challenge while trying not to leverage obscurity as a difficulty mechanic
  • Very well balanced mix of problem solving and story telling
  • Very good audio & visual use to set a compelling mood to envelope the player within the game's lore
  • Good sound track that may be worth picking up if you enjoy listening to VGM outside of games
  • Great voice acting, sound engineering, and sound design
  • Very polished, I didn't experience any glitches or bugs

  • Has a couple plot holes that defy logic, however, I didn't find this took away from the game significantly
  • Some people have reported issues running the game with minimum specs, however, this shouldn't be much of an issue as the recommended specs are fairly entry level for a gaming PC
  • The developers missed some opportunities for potentially interesting puzzles or branches in the storyline

I'd highly recommend Quern - Undying Thoughts to any one who is interested in puzzle or adventure games. Its well worth the price and should provide you with around 10 - 30 hours of a fun and enjoyable story. This game nails the high notes of adventure that made the Myst franchise so great. It could have been a little more challenging, however, the developers did a wonderful job balancing difficulty with the progression of the story. Great game, go ahead and click the Buy button already so you can be whisked away to the beautiful world of Quern - Undying Thoughts
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