Originally posted 28 Apr. 2019

Note: This review contains spoilers for some puzzle solutions.

I loved Goetia as a work of horror fiction. The Gothic atmosphere, supported by the art and subtle but evocative soundtrack, was great, and the game did a good job not only of doling out breadcrumbs of story through various documents, but ensuring that it didn’t matter much what order you read them in. It also found an angle on World War II that I hadn’t seen in fiction before, which is hard to do with the amount of WWII fiction out there. Continue reading “Goetia”

2064: Read Only Memories

Originally posted 5 Aug. 2019

Game website

I really wanted to like 2064. I’m a huge fan both of point-and-clicks and of modern cyberpunk that’s actually interested in doing social commentary rather than just aping the aesthetic. Unfortunately, this game was a let-down on both of those fronts, as well as many others.

2064 isn’t the kind of game that spends 90% of its time making you sit back and watch cutscenes or click through pages upon pages of text. It has plenty of gameplay: point-and-click puzzle solving, dialogue trees, “blocking pursuers in a maze” bits that I don’t have a pithy description for, and even a few shooter segments. It’s surprising, then, how non-interactive the game feels. In part, this is because none of these things are at all challenging. The puzzles have very few steps and the player is often hand-held through them by NPCs, and which dialogue option is the right one is always blindingly obvious. I got the Golden Ending on my first playthrough without aiming for it–without even really knowing what there was to aim for–simply by choosing the dialogue options that weren’t blatantly rude. Continue reading “2064: Read Only Memories”

The Last Express

Originally posted 14 Mar. 2011

Game page on Jordan Mechner’s website

The Last Express is an adventure game set on the last Orient Express train from Paris to Constantinople before the start of World War I. The player is Robert Cath, an American of mysterious background and equally mysterious goals, who boards the train to meet his old friend Tyler Whitney, only to find that Whitney has been murdered. So naturally it’s up to Cath to solve the murder, find out what happened to the mysterious artifact Whitney was carrying, and learn the truth behind the political dealings Whitney was embroiled in. Continue reading “The Last Express”