The puzzle platformer is a type of genres that has seen lots of entries, most certainly on account of video games like Limbo and Braid kickstarting lots of love within the indie scene. Whereas not all of them have been good, it is nonetheless a style that will get fairly a little bit of stable entries. Somerville is trying so as to add to that record, with some beautiful graphics and a narrative a few household reuniting throughout an alien invasion. Is that sufficient? Learn our evaluation to seek out out.
The sport opens up with a household getting residence after a protracted journey and enjoyable in entrance of the TV. It appears to be like like a peaceable second till there is a loud droning noise and aliens come out of the sky. When one crash lands proper into the home, the husband touches the corpse and seemingly dies. He wakes up an unspecified time later to seek out his home is ruined and the aliens seemingly gained. Nevertheless, his household is on the market someplace, so he begins to search for him.
Whereas Somerville is a sport with no dialogue, you may get the overall story fairly simply. I shortly discovered myself sucked into the story of this misplaced husband, looking for his household whereas surviving an alien invasion. It hits lots of the emotional notes I anticipated from this type of story, together with a number of of those I did not. It is not good. There are many instances when the shortage of dialogue made me go “this might make extra sense in case you simply had a fundamental human dialog,” however in case you’re right into a type of extra artsy tackle this story, you must discover lots to love right here.
You may play as this unnamed husband as he searches for his household. The fundamentals are fairly easy: you’ll be able to run round and work together with objects, pulling or pushing them in order that they’re able that helps you clear up puzzles. You may transfer fallen items of wooden, crates you can climb on, throw some switches, and staple items like that. It is nothing too out of the peculiar that you simply’d see in every other sport. Nevertheless, the husband does have one distinctive trick.
You see, touching the alien firstly of the sport has given you some powers. You initially get the flexibility to show alien objects into liquid, as long as you channel your powers via a light-weight supply. Afterward, you additionally achieve the flexibility to show liquids into solids once more. A number of the puzzles contain discovering mild sources to channel your powers via, and ensuring the sunshine can really attain the alien objects you want melted or solidified.
This really results in some somewhat intelligent puzzles. In a single case you could open a door, however anytime you employ the crank a hook lowers, and, as quickly as you let go, the door slams shut. To resolve the puzzle I wanted to move to a close-by room and begin a generator to show some lights on, permitting me to flood that room and get a mine cart. I might then fill the cart with water, crank the wheel simply sufficient so the hook lowers into the cart, solidify the water within the cart, after which push the cart down a hill so it forces the gate not solely open, however to remain open. It takes a bit to determine it out, but it surely’s a stable “aha!” second while you do.
Not all puzzles have that second although. One of many final puzzles within the sport is, what I can finest inform, mainly simply Simon Says on a grand scale. But, regardless of how I attempted to take part within the puzzle, I simply could not handle to get it to work in a approach that made the sport blissful, and ultimately, after I was provided the selection between the unhealthy ending or persevering with the puzzle, I fortunately selected the unhealthy ending simply to get completed with that puzzle.
There are extra than simply puzzles in Somerville. There are just a few stealth segments the place it’s important to discover methods to sneak round monsters that can spear you in case you’re within the mild for too lengthy. One notably cool one has you sneaking via a division retailer, avoiding stepping on noisy surfaces and knocking over mannequins so you do not unintentionally get consideration. There are additionally just a few chase scenes within the sport, having you run away from aliens. They are not notably exhausting, however they’re dramatic and visually eye-catching, in order that they get a move total.
In actual fact, lots of Somerville is visually eye-catching. The very very first thing you see, earlier than anything, is among the spaceships silhouetted towards the solar. The preliminary alien invasion is a good scene, with jets and alien ships flying round taking pictures at one another. A late-game chase scene has you climbing a spiral staircase as much as the highest of a bell tower whereas avoiding photographs from aliens. All of those scenes look improbable and did lots to essentially promote me into the world of Somerville.
Whereas most of the scenes look good normally, there are just a few moments that basically took me out of the sport. One, specifically, was a easy stroll down a hospital hallway. All of the scene had me do is stroll from level A to level B whereas folks appeared in awe at this bizarre man who got here in. Straightforward. But all of their animations had been wonky at finest. Lots of them snapped into the improper animations, disappeared and reappeared, or performed animations that did not really match up with their actions. It is a bizarre scene, one that absolutely killed my immersion within the sport. Another random small issues, just like the household canine that seems and disappears at random however all the time appears to be the place you are going regardless of how little sense it made, additionally damage this immersion.
Somerville Overview | Verdict
Nevertheless, regardless of this, I nonetheless discovered Somerville to be effectively value my time. The puzzles had been intelligent, the story is stable, and the sport actually is nice to have a look at. A couple of iffy scenes and unhealthy puzzles did not actually convey it down, and if this can be a style you want then Somerville ought to be the following entry that you simply seize for it.
TechRaptor reviewed Somerville on PC utilizing a duplicate offered by the writer. The sport can also be out there on Xbox One and Xbox Sequence X|S.
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