Imagine you wake up in a room littered with artifacts that are meant to reveal an intricate story with the option to flesh out the details. Then imagine that room is covered from top to bottom with pamphlets, newspapers, advertisements, consumer electronics, and other items for you to scour in search of answers. Now Imagine you have pieces to the puzzle and you find yourself trying to complete it, without a sense of direction or reference to go by. Essentially you have the pieces of three different puzzles and only one can be completed as the game allows. This can be a genius approach or exercises in rage and insanity, it all depends how its executed.
You find yourself in a beautiful landscape that has a retro-pastel feel to it. Although it feel spacious and open you quickly find yourself focused on just a fraction of the world. The story is about self discovery and it begins by waking you up from a dream and leaves you to exploring the room with no explanation on what you are supposed to accomplish. As you slowly come to grips with the world around you, pieces start falling into place, diaries are found and memories and there to connect to. The game urges you to find out what has happened to the world around you, while giving you no direction. That is until you find a box that contains a processing core that will activate an android that was laying there lifeless when you woke up.
This android will give you clear objective and a clue to what had happened to the world. I don't want to give spoilers and ruin the story, but depending on your play style it can take a couple hours to flesh out the foundation of the story. The developers took risk and obviously showed a lot of respect to the gamers that would pick this game up. I can see this being frustrating for a lot of casual and hardcore gamers alike, but there is a payoff as you play longer. I am just not sure even now after hours of gameplay if its enough to recommend the game to others?
The game is beautiful and I found the graphic style was fitting. I also enjoyed how intricate the story was it literally draws you in the more you progress. Their are several surprising moments that will bring a smile to your face and the feeling of self discovery was rewarding and urges you to keep playing and pushing forward. The developers at Flying Cafe implemented many fresh ideas that other developers have not attempted, I can safely say this is the most original games I have played this year thus far.
There is a serious lack of direction when you start, I can see this turning off many gamers who want jump right in and find a great narrative. You find yourself in a beautiful world that is largely empty of any real substance. What you do find is not relevant to your progression and is basically eye candy. Your starting location is where most of the gameplay occurs, so if you love to explore, you’ll most likely be left unsatisfied. Pacing was extremely slow and there is very little urgency to get anything done, this was my biggest complaint, there was no real antagonist and I never felt hurried or in danger.
The story would of benefited greatly by providing motivation to discover yourself. There was no sense of danger or antagonist to keep you hurrying along or pushing you to find answers faster. Adding some sort psychological clock, a timer, a count down till you’d be overtaken by contamination would of added a sense of dread and anxiety that would of made the gaming experience better. Having a beautiful world that lack in in true substance seems to be a huge missed opportunity and some initial direction would of helped ease the early frustration.
A big thank you to "Flying Cafe" for providing a copy of the game to review.