Twilight Oracle






Genre: Adventure    

Developer & Publisher: Cosmic Void              

Released: January 30, 2024               

Requirements: OS: Windows 7, fully patched or above

Processor: 2 GHtz or above

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Graphics: Video card with at least 512 MB shared

Storage: 250 MB available space












By flotsam

Twilight Oracle

Cosmic Void

This is a vibrant bit of 2D retro-inspired point-and-clicking, and while it doesn’t always hit its marks, it leans into its roots and delivers an overall 2 to 3 hours of enjoyment.

Meet Disciple Leo, on his way to a forsaken world at the edge of the Cosmos to capture a renegade disciple who has acted against whatever sort of school this is. It isn't something that Leo is relishing, but according to the big giant head that has summoned him it is that or banishment on account of his pitiful grades and general uselessness. The mission offers a chance at redemption.

At least he isn't on his own, having been teamed up with three equally as lazy and useless disciples. Each has a special ability (read minds, summon wind, create fire) although Leo’s capacity to breathe underwater is easily the most prominently utilised.

I found Leo to be more than he at first appeared. Less hopeless joke, more malleable substance, waiting for something to bring the best out of him. I warmed to him as we went along. Which was good, as he is very much the centre of things, his companions having much lesser roles to play. There are a few other characters you will meet, human and otherwise, and they all contribute a little something to the mix.

The maker describes the game as comedic, and I can see why. There is considerable effort put into that aspect, and while I didn’t find the game terribly funny (rambunctiously silly would be my take), humour is always a matter of taste and I doubt I am the game’s target demographic. That said, there was certainly a chuckle or three as I went, and at least one out loud guffaw..

Whilst on the subject, there is self confessed occasional "juvenile banter" that you should be aware of. It is indeed occasional, but a frat-boy vibe is there throughout. It is just one part of the goings-on though, along with ‘dad-jokes’ you can read on notices around the place and some wacky strangeness.

The retro feel is immediately apparent in the side scrolling pixel art environments. In keeping with that feel, it's point and click all the way, and you collect and use all sorts of odd items in all sorts of odd ways. The inventory ribbon sits bottom of screen and hovering your triangular 'pointer' over an item will give you a brief description of what the item is. Click on items to then use them in the game world, and click on things in the game world to perhaps interact or talk with them or just make a suitable observation.

The story and the settings are rather out-there, not least of all the candy island and its Jello gaol/jail, and so it should come as no surprise that solving the inventory-based conundrums can be just as out-there. I did think though that the game did a fairly good job of providing feedback, especially if you make a habit of looking at things, but I did employ the tried and true ‘try everything on something’ more than once. I also missed a pixelly object or two, but that was more on me not being thorough, and things of interest are usually obvious and the associated hotspots fairly generous.

You will also go back and forth across the various locations, sometimes just looking for things you missed and sometimes by design.  There are some tasks to be completed for a number of characters, and finding and fetching things is involved.  There are usually three or four screens in each location. Not everywhere is open to you when you begin; however, the original small number of available places allows you to settle into the game.  By the end, you will have opened up more than enough to keep your exploration busy.

Whether he is engaged in a conversation or just making observations, a large animated portrait of Leo will pop up, and the same will occur when someone else is talking. Voices are a mixed bag, perhaps deliberately so, but Leo is fine. A suitably retro musical score accompanies things. You can save at will and load any save when you commence or just choose continue.

Amongst other things (I already mentioned the Jello) the goings-on are full of relics and Oracles, mermaids, astronauts and genies, talking fish, mucus and earwax and a Pescatarian gremlin. The plot takes a twist or three, and while it ends rather suddenly, the big hair, pina-coladas and a beach lessen the disappointment. Set your sights at the right level, and you should have a good time.

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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