Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Robert Wolff, Knut Muller

Publisher:   Runesoft GmbH            

Released:  January 30, 2018              

Requirements (minimum):



  • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 64 bit
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Storage:  512 MB available space



By flotsam



Robert Wolff and Knut Muller

After a long gestation period, and a change of name, Lisssn is ultimately a rather mixed bag.

I am predisposed to like these types of game, and was a very big fan of the RHEM series (Knut Muller is involved here). I found this however to be both a challenging and frustrating muddle, with too much repetition and backtracking. Its construction also did not inspire me to persist once I got to the "end", but more of that later.

The game involves the capture of La Musica, and your challenge to rescue her to restore music to the world. It's an entrée to a rather drab world devoid of much else except the puzzles. Which is fine in and of itself, but only if the puzzles shine.

Which some do, and there are also lots of them, so if one is not to your liking, another will be not far away. Like RHEM, a number involve manipulating your environment, and a spatial awareness will serve you well at times. It isn't nearly as coherent a world as I recall RHEM to be though, and its sprawling nature means there is a lot of wandering around, through winding twisting passages that will likely have you confused about where you want to be more than once.

Quite a few puzzles repeat, which I did find somewhat tiresome. Part of the attraction of many of the puzzles is winkling out its "how", or what is it you have to do in order to solve it. A lot are quite good, and provide that satisfactory jolt of a job well done. Some though suffer from repetition - for instance you might work out you need to fill wine glasses to a certain level in order to play a scale as well as how to go about doing that. Having done so, there is no real attraction in having to do it five more times. The puzzle was solved on the first occasion; the rest just feels like filler.

I don't put the train manipulation into this category. Moving it around from place to place so you could access it later was altogether different to doing the exact same thing again and again.

The world of Lisssn is fairly open from very early on, and while there are doors to unlock and bridges to lower, which will prevent access to certain places, there are many areas to explore that are immediately available to you. Thorough exploration is required throughout the game, as well as attention to detail. A clue for one puzzle can be some way away, as might be the cause and effect of a pulled lever or a pushed button. You will know if something useful has happened by the sound made (eg a satisfactory unlocking click), but it might not happen right there in front of you.

And make sure to close things!

Music and sound features quite heavily. Recognise tones, replay scales, arrange played musical notes; even just enjoy some musical vignettes. There is a lot of lisssn-ing to do and to factor into the puzzle solutions. It can be directional as well (e.g. which way to go in a maze), and the game helps to ensure you have that aspect covered at the start.

It is a lengthy game, especially by comparison to many current offerings, and a pen and paper will assist, if only for mapping the environment and keeping track of things that need to be solved later.

Throughout the game you find so called memory cards, which are used in a puzzle just before the end. You need to find 15 pairs, and it pays to look hard. Very hard. Don’t think they don't matter.

I mentioned the end at the start, and confess to watching it on YouTube. I reached a point close to the end where a panel would not open, and I had no idea why. If you haven't pressed or pulled something, the game doesn't really provide any feedback as to what or where that might be. You simply have to revisit everything and everywhere in order to find whatever it is that you didn't do.

Revisiting your past endeavours is part and parcel of many games. Indeed, it is the price you pay for less than fulsome exploration and attention. But here, the drabness, the sprawling confusion of the world, everything that had come before and the lack of any inkling of what to do or where to go, wore me out before I overcame. Shame on me, but I had had enough.

A contributing factor was the memory cards. I reached the point where they are used, but was several cards short of the number needed. Perhaps if that panel had opened, the bit of the game world accessible to me would have yielded the rest. Or perhaps somewhere in everything that had come before I had missed a pair. Given what I had to do in order to find some of them, the prospect of going back through the world on a treasure hunt did not fill me with glee. Shame on me again perhaps.

Lisssn plays in the first person, is entirely point and click, and you can save at will. The inventory ribbon is at the bottom of the screen, and you click to use items in the game world. Icons will indicate something needs to be done with an object or at a location, and a “pointing” curser will indicate the directions you can move, node to node style. There is no spoken word, you don't find people to "talk" to, and there are limited animations. The less said about the purple troll the better.

I didn't dislike Lisssn, but it didn't do it for me either.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB


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