There are a
few phrases, which come to mind when I think about this adventure.
"A breath of fresh air", "a lyrical melody" and even "a soft summer
dream" all seem to fit with the look and feel of this first offering
by independent game developers: Mikael & Eleen Nyqvist of MDNA
Games. "Remedy", a basic first person, slide show, point & click
adventure seemed to be just what the doctor ordered after doing
battle on my PS2 with Count Olaf and his cohorts; although its
sub-genre should be penned as a detective story, or a mysterious
whodunit, as it were. I found the game to be for the most part
enticingly relaxing. There are no timed sequences here; no mazes or
slider puzzles with which to contend. The protagonist never faints
away, and cannot die.
Just a very
simple story, really... but one that is for the most part entirely
captivating for its audience. I especially enjoyed the way the
Nyqvists chose to open the game. No cut scene at the beginning at
all... we are just plopped into the gaming environment, very similar
to an old television program I used to love to watch known as
"Quantum Leap”. We know absolutely nothing, which forces us to
explore our surroundings. To my mind, for this type of game ... it's
really quite a brilliant tactic when one thinks on it. For it is
through this exploration that we establish (as gamers) who we are,
where we are and why we are there. So, the ability to discover or
"sleuth" becomes paramount. Now, Mikael's underscore becomes
important here as well, as it "sets the color" for the rest of the
adventure... quiet, yet urging... repetitive and insistent...
similar to the way we think when we are trying to figure out a
problem or come to a conclusion about something. We go over and over
it until it becomes part of us. Very well done.
looking at and playing through this detective story, I felt that the
strongest points here were the storyline and the visuals. I found it
quite enjoyable that for the most part one had a choice in how the
story would develop, meaning that it was not a strictly linear game.
In the various locations where we find ourselves and as certain
tasks were completed, new options would open up by use of the city
map. It is then up to the gamer as to which place to go next. I
think that this is really quite important for a story such as this
as it sets up the "RHF" or Red Herring Factor to come into play here
which is key for the total enjoyment of trying to solve the mystery.
The "look" of the piece also lends itself well to the story. The
best way I can describe it is this:
you are walking down a busy street one day and as you are strolling
along, you pass by an art gallery. The art gallery is having an
exhibition of famous watercolor landscapes of Scandinavia. Being a
curious sort, (as we adventure gamers tend to be) in you go and
before you know it you are absolutely taken by a particular
watercolor depicting an inviting scene of Spring and an utterly
exquisite park at midday, vibrant, yet softly inviting... the
sunlight filtering through the lush greenery as it dances merrily
upon the heads of the sumptuous blooms beckoning you to enter into
its world. Calling you...bidding you come...now."
What if it
was possible to enter into the world of "the watercolor”? Would you
the visuals are in "Remedy". It is as though you have stepped
through a watercolor in an art gallery. A most impressive notion.
The Nyqvists have taken over 1,000 photographs and have textured
them to appear as though they are works of art. Watercolors. But not
the characters, just everything else. Quite novel and works so well
with the story for this slide show, point & click adventure. My
willing suspension of disbelief was so completely satisfied, that I
was immediately drawn into its spell...I believe that you will be
adventure opens you find yourself in an apartment. You play the role
of Carol Reed, a young Englishwoman from Nottingham who is
apartment- sitting for her friend, Lovisa in Norrköping, Sweden. You
receive a letter from the sister of another friend of yours, one
Conrad Vogel, telling you about his untimely death. Enclosed within
this letter is a note that he was writing to you about something he
was investigating just before he died. So here is how the "setup"
commences. Your friend is a Private Investigator, whom you've helped
recently back in merry old England. Conrad promptly "kicks off"
leaving you the whole bag of chips... and a lot of questions... How
did Conrad really die? Coronary or murder most foul? Who has been
following him?? Who kidnapped the lady he was working for? How do I
get that box open that's in Conrad's boot and why do graveyard
attendants always seem to be napping when you want to speak to them
just a few of the many questions, conundrums and riddles faced by
our intrepid Carol Reed. Apparently Carol has a strong penchant for
sleuthing. Which is very important in a detective game... and in
Remedy, she gets to do just that. A sort of Swedish version of Nancy
Drew, but there aren't any telephone clues. I'm not going to tell
you anything more about the plot or what happens or why the game is
called Remedy for that matter. My reasons are simple... it's a
detective game and I've probably told you much too much already. But
I will tell you that I did find this game to be a pleasant evening's
diversion, truly enjoyable and worth every cent.
installed and loaded up for me without any problems and I
experienced no crashes during the five hours it took for me to play
it. There are unlimited saves (that's a big plus with me) and once
the game is installed you can put the CD away, playing off of your
Hard Drive to your heart's content. The plot of Remedy was
entertaining and the twists and "red-herrings" I found (sorry, no
pun intended) held my interest quite nicely. Most of the characters'
voice overs worked well within the storyline. Sara Louise Eriksson
who plays the part of Carol Reed was exceptional. Her British accent
had an adorable Yorkshire quality to it. She was a joy to listen to.
Most of the puzzles are inventory based which also allowed for
combinations occasionally. There are a few "color code" puzzles and
a musical puzzle. The story was well written, yet as good as it was
I kept wishing for more plot exposition, especially toward the end.
I must say though that the Nyqvits must possess an extremely dry
sense of humor. I won't tell you where this happens, but there was
one instance where I nearly fell off my chair laughing when Carol
tries to operate a certain piece of machinery, finds that she is
unable to and promptly exclaims, "it's stttuuuck!” a la Kate Walker
of Syberia fame. Very funny, totally unexpected.
There are a few other "Easter Eggs" contained within the game, but
for now I will be prudent and not mention them here. (Guess you'll
just have to play the game and discover them for yourselves.)
For a first
time 'round the block, I do feel that the Nyqvists have created a
nice bit of interactive entertainment for the "Adventure Community".
I would like to offer my sincere congratulations on this, their
first adventure game project. It is my hope that you will take the
opportunity to pass through this "watercolor painting" and play
"Remedy", for this independent game is one that should not be
missed. I look forward to the Nyqvist's next production.
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