If a trippy bit of surrealistic weirdness sounds like you, then get
on board. Or perhaps just get on board anyway.
You are Daniel White, a somewhat gumshoe PI asked to find a missing
girl on a fishing community island. All very Sam Spade, except the
platinum blonde engaging your services is a man dressed as a tree.
Arrive at said fishing village and there is more than boats and piers
and sea dogs – like the pink tentacle things encroaching from the
From the almost ethereal graphics to the jangling, sometimes jarring
dips and turns of narrative, backed by some excellent and suitably
atmospheric musical compositions, it is never mundane. I confess I
embraced its strangeness and enjoyed it rather a lot.
But you need to go with the flow. Like Stranger Things!
Daniel starts off looking for his keys and then starts looking for a
girl. The search involves paranormal abilities, conversations with the
locals, and a portal through time and space. Wormy mutations are in
there as well. You will find the girl, much sooner than you might
expect, and then you keep going. The tentacles become your focus, and
temples, volcanoes and a mysterious laboratory all get a look in.
The puzzles are a lot more mainstream than anything else. A mix of
inventory based and straight out puzzles (e.g. assembling gears). None
are terribly hard. Which ensures things keep moving along. Except when
the "what to do next" is baffling, which for me it can be when
inventories are involved.
There is a list of objectives, but I didn't find it terribly useful.
However the premonitions were a different kettle of interesting. You
"collect" the premonitions as you explore, and can review them
to perhaps help in your ongoing poking about. Having the same
premonition in different places suggests a link, perhaps obvious,
perhaps not. Clues to puzzles might also be "revealed",
provided your brain (sometimes) works in mysterious ways. Please email
me if you understood the bucket clue.
I thought the balance between open areas and linear progression was
well done, and I liked that when you entered a building or similar
structure the walls dissolved so you could see what you were doing. It
maintained a connection with the particular environment.
The ending comes a bit suddenly, and there are three different ones.
I won't tell you which I got, but various decisions you make will
determine the outcome. I can't tell you how to get the other two, but a
bit of googling suggests you do lots and lots of talking if you want the
positive ending (ok, I clearly didn't get that one!).
More googling indicates the art was inspired by Edward Hopper. I knew
Nighthawks and nothing else. I will probably explore some more.
It is probably clear from the above that you can't really describe
Earthworms with a single label. At various times it is horror, noir,
sci-fi, or something else. It's really all those things at various
times, and other things too.
The characters you interact with are all rather thin in terms of
their characterisation, and Daniel chatted rather than interrogated, but
that was probably the right approach.
I haven't mentioned the little descriptions that appear when you
first enter a particular location. It's a little overview of what's
coming, a bit like those teasers for TV series that when an episode ends
they say "next week on … ". They were helpful.
Earthworms probably won't be for everyone, but it was for me. Its
oddness tickled my fancy, and overcame any downsides. I will look out
for more Moments from these people.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz