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[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
1/4th puzzle game, 1/4th abandoned factory exploration simulator, and 9/4th GLITCHWAVE AESTHETIC, this is basically a game about wandering some deserted buildings, finding cool VR tapes and watching them. And then you rub them against a magnet to screw with them and watch them again. The music gets choppy and the visuals become all cool and glitchy. I loved this effect.

So I mean, I was satisfied. I'm happy to watch freaked-out neo-retro whatevers all dang day long.

But...

A: The controls are kinda wonky. It does this sort of diorama thing where the screen tilts to follow where you're moving the mouse. That's a little disorienting, but okay. And then you're expected to click-drag to rotate certain areas, except they would often rotate the OPPOSITE direction from the way I click-dragged and... I don't know. I didn't feel like I had good control over things.

B: You also click-drag to turn wheels. THIS IS TERRIBLE. Remember the thing where I couldn't tell which way a thing would go? I could always tell which way a wheel would go, as long as I was moving the mouse in a perfectly straight line left-to-right or right-to-left. But I kept trying to SPIN the wheels, like every other game of this type has conditioned me to, and AAAAUGH.

C: Game highlights interactable objects but the secret ending is gated behind interacting with things that aren't highlighted. (Always the same kind of thing. And they have a distinctive visual quirk. But still... it's a good thing I'm damn inquisitive.)

D: Finding collectables will yank you instantly out of whatever tape you're in. Sometimes I just wanted to relax and enjoy the experience, so I would go in, find a collectable, get yanked out, open the inventory, go BACK in, and sit. It was bothersome.

E: Plot was kind of a handwave. It was there. It was bleak. It ends with a kind of narrative coughsneeze. You're here for the visuals anyway.

F: A couple times where I was like "aaaa I cannot figure out this fricking puzzle wait oh this isn't a puzzle it's just aesthetic".

So there's no... like, major crippling issues, just a lot of irritations. It was a small game. I had a good time. But I notice these things.



Spoilerspace please.

I say "I will discuss the ending" ... Okay, but, like. Hm.

I love games that unexpectedly become different games. Like the surprise I felt when SNES Jurassic Park became a first person shooter instead of a top-down thing, or when Spyro 3 suddenly had a skateboarding section, or the Sly Cooper Minigame Festivals. (It's part of why I bought the Humble Bundle this was in, there's a very high profile one of those in there.)

So when this suddenly, unexpectedly had my character stand up and it became a first-person walk-around puzzle game at the very end instead of an abstracted diorama sort of thing, I got real excited.

You basically walk a couple feet, put a couple of things in slots and the credits roll. Oh.

So I mean... I shouldn't be let down. It was me getting my hopes up that let them crash to the ground. It's just that my hopes REALLY soared for a second like "Ah, NOW the TRUE game beg--" no. Oops.

Oh well. I mean it was still good! But... oh well.

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