The world died twenty years ago
today. Bombs fell, and from the rubble, a distinctly us and them
civilization arose. Some live in towers, looking every bit like French
aristocracy, others eke out a living scrounging and selling what they
Amy is one of the latter, doing a lottery job for one of the "lords".
These are dangerous jobs - this one involves restarting a reactor -
rewarded by a ticket in the vaccine lottery. This is personal for Amy,
as she recognises the early symptoms of the deadly Green Lung.
Not surprisingly, there is an underground movement. Freedom fighters or
vandals probably depends on your point of view. Amy comes across both
sides, and it isn’t clear where she will land.
This is pure Wadjet Eye, and
anyone familiar with any of their previous products will know what to
expect. Pixelly graphics can't hide a good game, and it is good. Not
great, but certainly good. It plays like all the others, pure point and
Voice acting is a high point.
Graphic presentation a higher one. If anyone tells you that you can’t
create an attractive and detailed world with blocky pixels, slap them.
Then send them here.
Characters are well rounded, and
near as I can tell, many of the Steam achievements are a result of being
bothered to interact with them. Depth is a result of doing so, although
I didn’t feel that I had missed out by focussing on the main storyline
and not stopping to chat a whole lot. Some chatting is obligatory, and
there are parts of the game where it goes on for a while without you,
but it never felt “wordy”.
Events revolve around Amy, who
starts off doing what she must, but then gets propelled along by the
rising tide around her. She has help, particularly in the second half,
including from some unlikely places. She must fight, literally and
figuratively, and it will have consequences, some of them fatal. While
you can’t have a revolution without breaking eggs, I thought Amy
retained her decency through to the end.
Puzzling is largely find and use
the things you need, with a few gentle out and out puzzles being
present. Appropriate searching of each location meant I didn’t have to
traipse endlessly around looking for the item I had missed, which is not
to say that I didn’t have to backtrack and look again. As always, some
solves are a tad opaque/convoluted but by and large the conundrums
offered conundrummy moments rather than a road block.
The plot was a good one, and
there were some surprising moments I didn’t see coming, although I did
think some of the side quests were a little contrived. The moral
ambiguity of the three possible endings was particularly good. Query
which was the “right” one; happy might not be what this world needs. I
did think that the motivations of one character in the endings leapt
upon me out of the blue, but perhaps that is par for the course when
dealing with despots and revolutionaries.
Shardlight is third person point
and click, played with subtitles or not, and you save at will. Inventory
is top of screen, in which you can examine and combine items. Hotspots
in the game world indicate something can be done which might be limited
to a right click “look” or include a left click “interact”. Finishing
will unlock some bonus content, consisting of dialogue bloopers and
concept art. The credits are fulsome, and include the good folk of
Albany, Western Australia. As an Aussie, I must find out more.
It’s a goodly length, and a
worthy addition to the Wadjet Eye catalogue.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 16GB DDR3
Video card: AMD Radeon
HD 7800 2048MB
GameBoomers Review Guidelines
design copyright© 2016