CrazyPyro69
United States
 
 
Long time gamer and Point & Click aficionado. Hit me up! Or better yet, join our group over at the Coalition of Point & Clickers !!! :steamhappy:
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Review Showcase
4.4 Hours played
BottomLine at the Top:
One of the better attempts at brining the world of Lovecraft to P&C gaming. Excellent graphics but can feel light on gameplay and relies heavily on exposition at times.

Intro:
I think I'll start by asking a philosophical question to you my dear reader: can any idea be brought to all forms of media? We know that some can. Star Wars for instance has pretty much all of 'em: movies, tv, books, games, painting, sculpture, music, etc. I'm sure you can think of more than a few other franchises yourself. But my original question is can any ? The reason I ask is that the Cthulhu mythos seems to do best in the world of literature but most attempts at bringing a true representation to any other contemporary media has faced difficulty. At best, bits and pieces of its themes and ideas have certainly been used in various movies/tv shows/video games. I have played pretty much all of the big Cthulhu mythos P&C games (including this developers original title Chronicle of Innsmouth which was great), spanning some 30+ years. This is one of the better ones, however at the end of the day I think a true title that really hits the nail on the squid-faced monsters head still eludes us.

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Pros:
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-Impressive mastery of retro P&C style. Excellent artwork and backgrounds. Sprite design is mostly fantastic.
-Also has some nicely drawn comic book style cutscenes.
-Fully Voiced
-Good background music with original score. (Credit sequence has a rockin’ metal ending!)
-Interactivity highlight function
-Has some 90 odd save slots, greatly appreciated and nice to see for once in a 21st century P&C game!
-Tutorial for those new to the genre.

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Meh...:
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-Nice to see an option for a classic text style, however the scaling is too large and it takes up too much of the screen during long dialogues.
-Voice audio could use some volume balancing. Recording quality varies slightly at times.
-Voice acting itself is also mostly good but can be hit or miss at times as well.
-Double click scene exit sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.
-Near ending elevator puzzle brought back memories of Star Trek: Final Unity. If you've played that game and have fond memories of doing so but also remember the puzzle I am referring too here, then you know why this is in the Meh category.
-Dialogue is stiff at times. Couldn't tell if this was to emulate early 20th century speaking prose or was due to a once over by a rigid proofreader.
-After reaching the ending in about 4.5 hours I only got about 66% of the Steam achievements. I'm not a big achievement guy so I most likely won't be going back for full completion. For some this might be tedious issue.

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Cons:
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-So my main con can be summed up with a question: is this a game or an audiobook? This game feels like one exposition dump after another, starting with a rather long intro. To me, this is a no-no in making a good P&C game. Good P&C's should feel immersive and require constant interaction between the game and the player. Every time a game pauses for an overly long cutscene or dialogue sequence, forcing the player to just sit back and listen, breaks that immersion. You'll notice in my question I said game or audiobook. If you have these long expositional transitions but there is still some action going on screen (i.e. actual animation) then it turns into something more like watching a movie or an interactive fiction game. But if you literally are just reading text that is being displayed on screen with a black background, now your just an audiobook. Like most modern P&C's from independent studios this is a Kickstarter game which means limited budget. I still don't give it a pass on this faux pas, but I at least understand why they went that route (assuming it was due to budgetary constraints). At the end of the day they did release a finished game which is more than a lot of Kickstarters can say.
-I've said it before and I'll say it again, I understand that I as a P&C afficionado owe a debt of gratitude to the Adventure Game System (AGS) game engine. It basically is responsible for the modern P&C renaissance. But WHY OH GOD WHY after 20+ years do we still have this AGS setup screen at the beginning of some games that use it?!?! I don't know and don't care about the various scaling options, which MIDI source, or how large a sprite cache to pick. Do I want to activate the setting to use a 60hz CRT monitor? NO! How about language selection, do I want "English" or perhaps "English2" (this is an actual setting choice btw). I barely know one English (just look at my writing) and I've been speaking it my whole damn life. Just. Start. The. Game. It is 2021, there is no retro pixel P&C game in existence that will bog down even the lamest new computers out there. This is an unnecessary thing to have and every time I see it, it irks me.
-I'm now exhausted from that last heading so I will make this one brief but I could easily go into a pointless diatribe about it as well. Save features should always be available at any point during any game, full stop. What if I gotta go see what the dogs barking at? Or I want something to eat? Or my boss is looking over my shoulder? Or I gotta take a S***? Now I have to exit and then re-play something I already did. Granted in this game that would only be at most a few minutes of replay in most cases, but life is short. Just have save always available plz thanks.



Final Thoughts:

Rereading the above I feel that I am being tough on this game. I want to reiterate that it will def hit the spot for the P&C aficionado and Lovecraft enthusiast. If you want to support a developer that was passionate about their project and you have the financial means to do so, buy it at full price. This game as of writing is rarely on sale but I did manage to catch it for a 10% discount. I'm not mad at the price I paid for this, but I'd have been happier if some of the issues I listed were delt with.







For more point & click goodness, check out our P&C fan Steam group, The Coalition of Point & Clickers!:



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Review Showcase
5.4 Hours played
BottomLine at the Top:
I said this in my review of the demo, and I'll say it again here: this game is like taking drugs. Good drugs. and if you’re playing this game on drugs it'll be like, um, extra drugs...?... Don't do drugs ppl (unless you already have them in which case don't let them go to waste.) On to the review!

Intro:
So full disclosure right away, I was given the opportunity to be one of the first beta testers for the complete game (thanks Sonoshee!). I will try to provide as balanced a review as possible here but just know that I was already biased before the beta testing anyway as I loved the demo and weird games are my fav.

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Pros:
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-Starts right up. No setup nonsense.
-Very Stable. Even the beta was already pretty solid. Alt-tabbing causes no issues. Steam overlay works fine. Steam achievements integrated with no problem.
-Incredibly unique game, full stop. Strikes a good balance between being creepy and intriguing.
-Story can be described as a surreal cosmic horror reincarnation acid trip.
-1-bit graphics are super well done (you really notice it in the simple things like how the light reflects of the floor of the club in ch.1). Impressive original artistic style. A modern take on old-school 80's-90's adventure format. Cosmic horror in 1-bit graphics is a fantastically terrifying combination when it wants to be.
-Music is awesome. Great soundtrack.
-Sound effects have been well selected. Adds a lot to the surreal vibe and gives depth to what would otherwise be a simple interface. How the fast forward feature distorts the music and sound effects for each individual scene must have been difficult but paid off in adding to the theme of the game.
-Overall sound design invokes a strong sense of frission (look it up lol).
-Gameplay and story has a cinematic feel to it.
-The story dialog and narration are also unique. The themes and wording feel other worldly which just feeds into the overall sense of immersion of being in an adventure that takes place across time, space, and other lifetimes.
-Game is full of surprises. You'll see what I mean.
-Game also does a good job of making you question if you’re playing a character in the game, or if YOU are the main character....

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Meh...:
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-Although I would still consider this to be in the Point and Click adventure genre, the overall interactivity can be sparse. Puzzles are mostly straightforward. This is negated however by the entrancing psychedelic gaming experience as a whole.
-Casino minigames can be tedious.
-Ending chapter's puzzles required going back to previous chapters to find crucial info.

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Cons:
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-The main issue I think people are going to have with this title is the nature of its gameplay, namely its repetitive elements and lack of save slots. This game is divided into chapters and many have multiple endings. As much as the game is about playing thru to the next chapter, most of your time is spent trying to unlock all the different endings. As there are no save slots, this entails replaying from the beginning of each chapter. Now, there is both a click thru dialog feature as well as the aforementioned fast forward button. You can also in some cases just ignore certain elements and NPC's to get to where you need to go. But even for me this at times was a tedious process. This design choice ties into both the theme and story of the game and is integral for overall gameplay. To add a save feature would have been welcome but might have taken away from the style of the game itself. For me, overall, this issue would go into the Meh... category but I know for some this will ultimately turn them off from the game, so I put it here.
-This game features one of my arch-nemesis puzzles in P&C gaming, namely...the dreaded MUSIC PUZZLE (DUN-DUNNN-DUNNNNNNNNNN! :::horrified look:::, :::Scream:::)

Final Thoughts:
I usually don't touch too much on what the games I review are actually about, and in this case would give me an aneurysm trying to explain. What I will say is that this game was a really fun experience. It’s kind of like if Eraserhead and The Cell were both combined and directed by Stanley Kubrick. And he was on acid. And the popcorn butter in the theater had psilocybin in it.
For a lil’ less goofy take on the story I think this sentence from the game sums it up, it's "a universe in which anything can happen, and everything will happen). Every piece of surrealistic media, no matter how bizarre, starts with some defining theme or idea that can be put into words that makes sense. In movies or tv this is essential, as they must be able to convince financers to invest in their trippy project. For this game I think that theme is that it is the present that defines your future, not your past. The rest of the game unfolds from that idea in the strangest and most entertaining way possible.
To conclude this is an awesome game, though in some ways its more of an experience than a game. I mean, it's still a game...but it’s just so freakin out there. But in a good way, ya know? Like bizarre but somehow coherent. Kinda like this review. And this review was awesome. So this game is awesome!... so pick it up already would ya!?!?




For more point & click goodness, check out our P&C fan Steam group, The Coalition of Point & Clickers!:



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S.T.A.R.S Leon S. K. Jan 2 @ 5:56am 
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brake Jan 1 @ 6:30am 
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Saiun Dec 31, 2021 @ 2:28pm 
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brake Dec 25, 2021 @ 6:04am 
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Saiun Dec 25, 2021 @ 12:49am 
Happy Holidays :p2cube: