The Samaritan Paradox

Genre:   Adventure

Developer:   Faravid Interactive

Publisher:   Screen 7

Released:  April, 2014

PC Requirements:  

  • OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8

  • Memory: 1 GB RAM

  • DirectX: Version 9.0

  • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space



by flotsam


The Samaritan Paradox

Faravid Interactive

This is an ambitious game, perhaps a little too so, but it’s a solid and more cerebral experience than a lot of others out there.

Ord Salamon is a cryptologist, urged by his buddy to read something other than a book about codes. Said book is The Last Secret, the last book by a renowned Swedish author who recently committed suicide. Except on page one is a code, one that leads to a hunt for the next book, and a possible inheritance. And other things as well.

When you first play, enter set up, or else the game will play in a very small window. It uses blocky old style 2D graphics, so play around until you get a resolution you like. While you are in there, tweak a few other settings to suit you. Then settle down and get on with things.

What starts reasonably straightforwardly becomes a little fanciful, but it tends to hang together rather than spin out of control. The conversation mechanism is, however, somewhat convoluted; perhaps I am going soft but I never quite warmed to the ever expanding list of topics, with next to nothing to indicate an earlier topic can take you in a new direction.

The puzzles though I did warm to. Generally they were of the figure it out brainteaser type as opposed to the randomly trying and combining items type. Some are timed and some will kill you, and while there can be a bit of rework involved, I was well pleased with this aspect.

The characters are a little one dimensional  (there are no George and Nico’s here) but I wasn’t overly fussed. The voice actors and the music bring the game to life, and despite the graphic style, it’s quite a vibrant and varied game world. It proves once again (think the Blackwell games or Gemini Rue)  that you can make something engaging and interesting without having to rely on state of the art animations and renderings.

Another aspect I did like was the way the book “plays” out. Reading the novel takes you into a fantasy game within a game, one where you get to slay dragons and the like. It also parallels things that have happened in the “real” world, and there are intersections that are relevant in both locations. It not only adds a point of difference, it adds layers, like that parfait the donkey goes on about.

Game play in the Samaritan Paradox is simplicity in itself. It’s all mouse driven, left click to explore and interact, right click to examine rather than use. Move the mouse to the bottom of the screen to have the inventory slide into view, which is where you also access the menu screen. Save and load and fiddling with settings is done here, as well as exiting (it’s the red cross next to the music slider by the way), or you can exit using control-q.

Near as I can tell, this is Faravid’s first game. (Time out – Faravid is apparently a character in The Long Ships, one of the most read Swedish novels, as well as a king in a place called Kvänland, part of an Icelandic saga. Apparently too,  the name could mean the act of travelling far and much in Swedish. I always like to know these things). Hopefully there will be more, as they do press a lot of the right buttons.

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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