31 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 22.7 hrs on record (21.2 hrs at review time)
Posted: May 21, 2023 @ 8:13pm
Updated: Jun 7, 2023 @ 12:41pm

Beautiful and very creative adventure game, except for those 5 or so puzzles where I wanted to uninstall it. Seems to be a solo/dev project, and yet feels like it has the effort of a small indie studio, actually a large game, potentially over 7 hours with a lot of animation. Also, on a slightly unrelated note, 2 days in I am writing the first review for this game, damn, the game is not even that niche, am I crazy cuz the trailer looked great to me.

I knew the story would have some introspective elements just from the dreamy illustrations, but I was not prepared to play such a philosophical game, the experience is very heavy on escapism, very unique world-building and poetic narrative, various cerebral undertones behind its inviting appearance, only hindered by an absurd amount of surreal puzzles that land somewhere on the moon logic spectrum. To be fair, I actually think the puzzles in this game are extremely creative, but my overall experience was kinda like getting stuck for 30+ minutes, making 10 minutes of progress, getting stuck for another 30 minutes, and making 10 minutes of progress (for the most part). Actually, one of the hardest adventure games that I played just from the logic interpretation, I thought it was kinda unfair in some parts of the game, more so than many similar games.

There were a lot of interesting aesthetic choices, it's not just a nicely animated game, but it feels like there is a good flow to the locations and continuation of the world, you can also revisit areas under different circumstances like the day/night cycle, change colors of some parts of the game, and even meet different characters based on the cycle. Many of the puzzles in the game use "dream logic" and you often have to think outside the box, hopefully not forgetting the rules of this game. The game didn't cut many corners on the animation, especially for the price, you would not expect so many moving parts in the scenery, I know some mid-size adventure teams that put less effort into the environment. Overall just very enjoyable coloring, it slightly reminded me of Adventure Time at first, but after taking an extended look they are not that similar. I also like the perspective changes, where most games just have another square room, it feels like the game has more depth to it,

It's hard to say exactly how long this game is, specifically because it is a very challenging puzzle game, even if all of the puzzles were fair it's actually not short, I would say at least 7 hours, potentially even longer. The game actually comes with a walkthrough, but the dev designed it more like a hint system, and it can even be somewhat misleading in a way. You can also get some limited hints from the speaker on the wall, although I personally didn't find it very helpful as it would skip puzzles, or repeat the older hints. It still feels like the dev put a lot of effort into the design of the puzzles, although from the player's perspective, some of them just didn't connect with me, I often found myself just brute forcing every possible choice.

The narrative might seem a bit silly with all of the rhymes in the dialogue, but I actually really enjoyed the writing, I like how the characters poke at you with their ideology, the game seems to have some mature themes. You are dropped into a world that does not fully make sense, so I think the game had a good mystery going for it, even though the puzzles are hard, it's intriguing to actually progress through the story.


(+) It feels like there is a lot of depth to the world-building, as well as some hidden cerebral undertones. The game seems unassuming at first, but I thought the writing was very compelling, the game has a good sense of escapism, just that infectious feeling like you are lost in a strange world.

(+) As a visual experience, I thought it was put together extremely well, I like all of the depth in the panels, not just square rooms, constant movement in the scenery, changing day/night, various dream effects, and also a continuation in the world in terms of navigation. Visually I thought it was just all around a very creative game, even better than many games that cost more.

(+) Relatively large game for the price, many similar games are only a few hours, this one is at least 7 hours with no help, potentially much longer based on the difficulty. Not too much in terms of optional content, there are some small trinkets you can collect.

(+) To briefly touch on the very unusual soundtrack, it reminded me a lot of Mu Cartographer, I even had to check the credits because it's so specific. Something I refer to as "broken tones", the game has an ambient soundtrack but it leads in and out of the different sound effects, so you have this uneasy feeling, very moody, not something many games would do. I thought the game had a really good atmosphere.

(+) I still think the puzzles were exceptionally creative and unique, that said, if there is one thing I didn't like, the puzzles were just a bit too hard to understand, even with the hints that the game provides.


Nitpicks: - there are at least 3 characters with whom you have to interact multiple times to trigger a puzzle-related item or sequence. From a player's perspective, if you interact with characters 2-3 times and nothing happens, they are not going to give you a quest item. When you do music puzzles, don't use similar sound effects
Update: The dialogue confusion was fixed

Relatively heavy on the moon logic - now, it is not always a bad thing, it just depends on how intuitive the puzzle is, you can make something surreal and make it rewarding to figure out. In this case, I thought at least 20% of the puzzles were a little out there, was a bit of a war on patience. I still think the puzzles in this game were very creative, but I thought the difficulty of the game overshadowed some of its narrative elements, for me anyway. Maybe you could use the room microphone more for hints, the hints that it gave were often out of order or not very useful, follow the progression more closely. The entire last sequence of the game was a nightmare for me, I feel like the game is not following the rules that it already established. On a side note, it's not clear that you can stand behind the tea. And for the puzzle that changes room color, maybe provide more guidance so you don't have to inspect every location. About that oil puzzle, I never actually did it... (I don't think?)

Technical issues - I had a ton of bugs playing the game. To be fair the dev is fixing them fast. It seems like the flexible saving system is playing with some of the animation patterns, if you save in the wrong spot you might get a black screen, poor position reset, or just animation bugs.

Overall Thoughts: 8/10

The dev mentioned that the game is inspired by a lot of the adventure classics, but honestly, my favorite part of this game is that it does not remind me of any of those games, only that it's in the same genre. It's doing its own thing with the world-building, different approach to puzzle design, and just the very unique vibes to the experience. The animation and the sound design were mostly excellent, with a lot of small details that are easy to overlook. Significantly harder than your average adventure game, but if that is not the problem, it was a very cool experience, the game turned out to be a lot more artistic than expected, and I expected it to be artistic in a first place. If loving this game is wrong, I don't want to be right.

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