Genre: Adventure    

Developer & Publisher: Act Normal Games              

Released: April 17, 2024               

Requirements: OS: Windows 10

Processor: Intel Core i7 3.5 GHtz or equivalent

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or equivalent

DirectX: Version 9

Storage: 10 GB available space












By flotsam



Act Normal Games

Arguably reminiscent of Fallout meets Mad Max with a touch of The Road thrown in, Rauniot delivers many more plusses than its possible minuses, and in my view warrants your point and click attention, especially if any of those earlier descriptions resonate.

Rauniot takes you back to a post-apocalyptic 1975, where serious crappy stuff pushed civilization over the edge. Hardly anyone survived, and those that did are existing however they can. One of whom is here in Northern Finland, travelling in a four wheeled spike laden vehicle to the tune of a thrash metal soundtrack. Aino by name, sheís on the trail of Toivo, and yet another deserted gas station is her/your starting point.

Itís Finnish in setting so itís very suitably Finnish in language, with your subtitle language of choice easily available. I much prefer games done this way, as it helps anchor the events into the particular location.

Itís also completely point and click. Click to move, double click to run, right click to access the inventory, the journal and map, and the save menu. Click an inventory item to use in the game world and click a location point within the map to fast travel back there.

The map develops as you visit places, and a little scribbly icon will indicate something has been added. You need to access the relevant part of the map in order to draw the new locations, and I suggest you do that each time somewhere new is added. I found that it could be rather confusing if I didnít do that.

A cherry on the top is you can save at will. There are at least six save slots, four more than I used so perhaps if you use all six a seventh will pop up. 

Rauniot is isometric in design, utilising that familiar projection that we all know but which I canít succinctly describe. Just check out the visuals and you will know what I mean. Outdoor scenes more than fill the screen (you need to move the mouse to the edges to see if the scene slides further), indoor scenes potentially far less so. The contained nature of certain indoor scenes (dark corridors, lifts, etc.) are well suited to this type of visual presentation, and I confess to liking this POV a lot.

The bleak washed out colour pallet and the detailed environment, underpinned by relevant sound coupled with the interesting way various cut scenes are presented (a narrow letter-box look into my eyes kind of thing), all helped build a devastated place that I wanted to spend time in. A number of far more cinematic cutscenes, some rather grim in nature, just add further fuel to that fire.

You can die, and probably more often than I did, but the game just lets you try again. You can apparently also shoot other characters, and kill people in other ways as well, which didnít present themselves as obvious possibilities when I played, but which the Steam achievements indicate can occur. I generally donít care about such achievements, but having checked them out they have made me more inclined to revisit the game to think about how certain ones might eventuate.

You canít highlight hotspots but most are generous, and exploring with your mouse will generate the highlighted space that says there is something to do here. Some though are incredibly tiny, and could well produce a palpitation or two. A dog food hunt stands out, especially when compared with the first few times I came across empty cans of said yumminess. These latter are very much a minority, so donít let them put you off, but be aware of the need for some occasional meticulous searching.

You do have to find items and you do have to gather information in order to solve the various conundrums. Some are rather elaborate, and you will need to e.g., experiment with computer interfaces and what they do to the power grid they control in order to get the train out of the station or open the relevant blast door. I did think the train was a little too fiddly, but that might have just been my own early inept attempts to move things on. I did like the degree to which interpreting information, and e.g., making connections between drawings and necessary activity was in play. A puzzle involving a bell stands out in that regard.

There is at least one puzzle I still donít understand the answer to, but I can say that about many games. Which again I prefer, if the rest have been a satisfying challenge. Which they were.

You will engage with other characters, and your need to satisfy their need will result in some back and forth. If stuck, it (might) be worth checking in to see whether a new topic of conversation has opened up. Exhausted topics will be indicated, so no need to ask further about them.

The broader narrative is perfectly fine, if it did all tumble together a bit too much in the end. Perhaps a different playthrough will produce a different narrative outcome. Nothing about it grated though, and as Aino went about her stuff it generally kept me invested in what was going on. I also liked that it unfolded in a way that it was in keeping with its overall gloomy nature.

It took me about seven hours, but I reckon the straight path through might be half that. Good luck for achieving that though, and donít perhaps try. There is a lot to enjoy in this Finnish journey

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-9700K 3.7GHz

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB


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