Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Several Journeys of Reemus

This may be the most difficult review I've written so far, simply because The Several Journeys of Reemus isn't a great game, nor is it an obviously flawed game. It's just kind of, well, a game.

The Several Journeys of Reemus is a graphical adventure, much in the tradition of the old LucasArts adventure games I think of as the prototype of the genre. There are various objects in the environment you can interact with by clicking on them, and that's about it as far as the interface goes; the puzzle is to first figure out what objects can be interacted with, and then to figure out how to use them to accomplish whatever it is you're supposed to do. (It should be noted that, unlike the old LucasArts games, you can die, and probably will experience many deaths of varying gruesomeness before finally guiding Reemus to his objective.)

The serious weakness of the game is that the environment is simply too small for good puzzles. There aren't that many objects you can interact with, and so solving the puzzles is more a job of finding these objects in the first place (which often involves, at least for me, a lot of annoying waving my mouse around until it alights on an object that you can do something with) and less a job of actual logic. That said, some of the puzzles are pretty clever, which only makes me wish that the environment was better so that you'd get more of those "aha!" moments that are really the core of an enjoyable experience and fewer of those "why can't I find anything to click on?" moments.

One interesting feature is that there are two separate endings (one of which is, in my opinion, noticeably easier to get than the other). Unfortunately, to get both you'll have to play through the whole game twice; but once you've figured out the puzzles, this is a very quick affair, so it's not really a big handicap. The game claims that either solution is equally good, but it clearly wants you to figure out the harder one.

The graphics are kind of charming (though the animation is a little crude, but it's a Flash game, so I'm not really expecting anything particularly great, after all). The music is way too short and will almost certainly drive you crazy (unless you manage to solve the puzzles a lot quicker than I can).

Anyway, like I said at the outset, I wasn't really left with any strong feelings about the game. There are certainly less enjoyable ways to get 30 points on Kongregate, but after completing it, I certainly had no desire to play it again.

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