THE BASICS:

A Walking Simulator set on a below-freezing island, with some minor adventure elements. You’re the only living creature you ever encounter (save for some stinging jellyfish that just stay put in order to keep you on the path) is yourself. Immersive atmosphere – grand music, solid voice acting, and even the snow/wind/etc effects contribute to the feel of the game.

THE FLOW AND THE STORY:

You (Stanley) and your dear love, Leonore, are flying in a small plane when they suddenly crash on a deserted, frigid island. They’re both on the run from their past, and now your wife is trapped in the plane’s wreckage up on the top of a nearby mountain; her diary was taken by the four winds and spread out all across the isle. You need to stay alive – often running from a steam vent to a flaming bit of wreckage, or vice versa, just to stave off the deadly cold for a few more seconds. Crank open steam vents to create a safe space, and seek out Leonore’s diary entries so that you can both get off of the island alive, and with no-one else the wiser.

 

CONTROLS:

Controller or WASD (controller recommended by the devs). Simple, straightforward, streamlined controls. No inventory to bother with; items you find are needed pretty much immediately and used automatically. The game tracks diary entries in the pause menu, and there’s nothing else to worry about. E to grab items, left-shift to “sprint” (the effects of which range from decent down to almost unnoticeable, depending on the local terrain, aside from blurring your vision a bit).

GRAPHICS:

Grand vistas and attention to detail – even if they are of ice, snow, and half-frozen bunkers for much of the game. Some parts feel same-y quickly, but that just drives your need to move quickly and get to a new, warm area in order to survive. That being said, the environs are convincing and well-executed. Even if there’s a whole lot of white-on-white.

 

SOUND:

Absolutely gorgeous. The game’s plot was inspired by Beethoven’s opera “Fidelio,” and the music in the game does not disappoint. The soundtrack is free with a purchase of the game and is more than worth listening to on its own. Your boots crunch scrumptiously in the snow, flames crackle with life, and rusty levers groan as you force them to do their jobs.

OVERALL:

Short but good. 2 hours if you rush, 1 and a half if you take your time or just can’t quite make it to the next safe spot. That being said, yeah, it’s worth ten bucks for an experience that makes you think (you’ll understand when you reach the end credits), and the inclusion of the OST for no extra charge makes the price more than fair. After all, how many $50-60 games have you played with only 4 or 5 hours of gameplay needed to beat them?

 

Pros:

  • Creepy in its own very subtle way

  • Immersive environment

  • No enemies per se in the game, save for the environment itself

  • Amazing soundtrack and audio effects

Cons:

  • Quite Short

  • Visuals for 70% of the game are of snow, ice, snow and ice, or half-frozen underground bunkers

 

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