Genre:   Adventure

Developer & Publisher:   Digital Media Workshop

Released:  November 2015

PC Requirements (minimum):  

  • OS: Win XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz or better processor (multi-core supported)
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Open GL 2.0 or better compatible video chipset. Please note that at this time, some lower-end integrated graphics chipsets are not compatible with Prominence.
  • Storage: 4 GB available space

Additional screenshots



by flotsam


Digital Media Workshop

As a first impression, Prominence makes a grand one. I loved the opening cutscene, reminiscent of many other deep space adventures (whatever the medium). While what followed never quite lived up to that first buzz, and some opportunities seemed missed, it was nonetheless an “old skool” adventure worth the entry price.

The Letarri live a nomadic life, not by choice but to stay one step ahead of persecution. They set their sights on escaping once and for all, sending a ship of scientists and engineers to a far off planet, to pave the way for the arrival of everyone else. Needless to say, the mission goes awry, and you wake up, alone and needing to sort out what has happened.

What one does when one wakes up is what any adventurer worth their salt does – just get to poking around. There is not much to poke at first, but gradually you start to open doors, expand the playing environment, power up parts of the ship, get access to on-line systems, and eventually find ANNIE (Advanced Neural Network Information Entity), the AI at the centre of the ship’s computer.

ANNIE was a bit of a letdown. She isn’t HAL, which isn’t a bad thing, but she was not much of anything else either. Describing her as a running commentary rather than an active participant would be a bit harsh though, and she is good at getting you access to other parts of the ship, helping re-route power, and enabling things like infra-red vision. However her moment to step up to the plate in any forceful way was missed, and while it would be telling too much to go into more detail (and perhaps she acted exactly how AIs would act), she was a tad too bland.

Which is a description that could be applied to the visuals (stark is another one) but not the puzzles. These I thought were the strength of Prominence, plentiful and generally well integrated into the goings-on. Lots of things to pick up and use, lots of things to get powered up, lots of computer consoles to prod and poke. The data archives were particularly enjoyable, including the access “ride”. Some looked a little like a mini-game but weren’t, a number involved accessing various new “abilities” and the staircase in the dark particularly appealed. The solutions walked the balance between too hard and too easy and overall I would defy you not to be pleased.

While the main plot line is as described (with a twist and then a choice), bits and pieces of detail and back story can be found in the computer files and messages throughout the ship. The lives and personalities of the missing crew are revealed, and the maker's website also has a range of prologues that provide much further detail about the universe in which the game is set. I did think some more of that could have found its way into the game itself, but accept that exposition might have been tricky.

Animations in the game world are in keeping with the sparseness of the visuals, but the ambient sound palette is much more elaborate. As a result, the soundtrack is much less so, or else I didn’t really notice it, save for the data archives which was suitable trippy.

Prominence plays in the first person, using node to node locomotion, and you can turn off the transitions between nodes if you want to. There is 360 degree panning around a fixed centre cursor, with the default cursor changing to indicate things you can interact with, and directions you can move. Right press to bring up the inventory, where you can examine and combine objects, tab to bring up the current objective. You can save at will, which is always a plus, and make sure you do when the choice comes around. The game branches at that point, and going back will add about another hour or so of gameplay. I reckon there were about 12 in any event.

Intriguingly, the Steam accomplishments seem to be parts of something bigger. I have yet to work that out, and getting the rest might well help.

Overall, Prominence was a very solid adventure indeed.

Grade: B

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB


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