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Surprisingly absorbing in spite of its short length and lack of gameplay

  • Gretgor
  • 03/21/2020 05:59 AM
  • 114 views
The thing that first attracted me to this game was its fascinating visual style, comprised of intense colors contrasting with a mostly black background. This style makes for some surprisingly atmospheric sceneries, and it got me interested on the game right away.

When I read that the game had no fighting nor any "complex puzzle-solving," my first thought was "oh, another one of those lame gameplay-less Yume Nikki wannabes." Thankfully, I was wrong. This game does remind me of YN in some aspects, but it is significantly different from it in others.

See, the thing about this game is that it does not put me in the mood to break down its individual aspects (presentation, story, gameplay) like I normally do in my reviews here in RMN. Instead, I feel like talking about it in a more open form, for it's not the individual traits that make it good, but the way the traits come together.

Like I said before, this game's graphical style hinges on vibrant colors against black backgrounds. Every single map in the game is unique, with its own features, objects and decoration all over it. I can only imagine the amount of work that must have gone into making these maps, they're fantastic.

The dark, neon-esque rooms, coupled with the eerie atmospheric music, make for a perfect bizarre experience, made even more cool by the sheer variety in themes and features contained in the rooms. There are rooms based on Egyptian tombs, Vaporwave, Lovecraftian horror, old school arcades, and many other crazy themes. Every room is fascinating to look at, and the lack of thematic repetition made me eager to discover the crazy things that awaited me in every next one.

This game is structured in "levels", as in floors of the facility we are exploring. The main goal in every level is to find the path that will take you down to the next one. Every time we drop down to a lower level, it is made clear that we will be unable to return, and the lower we go, the more grotesque and trippy things get. The real motivation behind the main character's dangerous endeavor is kept a mystery until the very end, and the feelings of foreboding and curiosity grow as we wander around the richly decorated rooms of this bizarre facility, looking for the next point of no return.

With that being said, this game has two main problems. The first one is that, well, it is basically a sightseeing tour. There are some adventure-esque puzzles to solve, but they're all pretty trivial, and they offer little in the way of engaging gameplay. The engagement in this game is derived almost entirely from looking at the stuff in the rooms, knowing that most of it will not affect your progress through the game at all. You're compelled to explore in this game by your curiosity alone, but strangely... it is enough.

Yes, it is enough. Just traversing these eerie rooms to see what is in them is enough to make for a pretty absorbing experience in spite of the lack of actual gameplay. This game made me feel something similar to what I felt when I first played Yume Nikki, except it is way more comprehensive, less repetitive, and less labyrinthine. The lack of repetition comes at a price, however: length.

This game was much too short. I could keep going for at least five more rooms without getting sick of it, I swear. However, I bet it would be hard to come up with new sets of crazy stuff to fill that many levels worth of rooms without eventually running out of ideas, so I'll give it a pass.

So, to sum it up, this game is short, and has no gameplay. In spite of that, it is exactly the experience it has to be, no more, no less. It would be silly to expect the devs to cram more content here for the sake of length, or add some token combat for the sake of gameplay, when the game already feels complete without those things. I recommend this to everyone with a few minutes to spare, for it will only take a few minutes, and it will be worth it.

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Thank you very much for reviewing my little game! Believe it or not, the game was originally going to be a little shorter. I'm glad I extended it by a few rooms, then.
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