Immanuel follows 3 days in the life of a young man from a small, impoverished mining village. However, any decision that he makes will ultimately sway not only the remainder of the game but also the future of the village and all who live in its lives.
Gameplay in Immanuel is very minimalist. Aside from 3-4 decisions you can make in conversations in the game you walk around talking to the locals and have to collect as much ore from the mine in the town as you can in 45 seconds. There is really very little that you can do. The game is a lot more like a visual, decide your own fate novel than a game, so don’t expect to have battles to win or puzzles to complete.
The story is very good because it branches out very well. If you decide that lying is part of the universal law then all the characters will start lying. If you decide vengeance is part of universal law then likewise all characters will seek vengeance. It’s just a shame that the story is so short. The game itself being over in 20-30 minutes, if it was was it longer it would be more enjoyable in my opinion.
Graphics are minimalist, Black and white pixel art. Part of me criticizes it because it makes the game less enjoyable but another part of me praises it for exactly the same reason. By having such simplistic graphics it gives the game a distant feel, like it is a blank canvas that your character will paint the future of.
Audio is a repeat of graphics. It’s got an electronic, cutting sound in several of the tracks that was off-putting but again If the audio had been smooth, relaxing or more pleasant then It would detract from the feel that the game is trying to build up
My conclusion is mixed. Immanuel is a very good proof of concept game, but it is not as enjoyable to play as many others. It’s thought provoking, but at the same time depressing.
I don’t think I can give this game a score because firstly I’m not even sure myself which way I feel and secondly it is simply an experimental game, turned around quickly. Is it worth developing further though? That I can decisively say, yes!