The puzzle platformer is a type of genres that has seen loads of entries, probably as a result of video games like Limbo and Braid kickstarting loads of love within the indie scene. Whereas not all of them have been good, it is nonetheless a style that will get fairly a little bit of stable entries. Somerville is trying so as to add to that checklist, with some pretty graphics and a narrative a few household reuniting throughout an alien invasion. Is that sufficient? Learn our evaluation to seek out out.
The game opens up with a household getting house after a protracted journey and enjoyable in entrance of the TV. It seems like a peaceable second till there is a loud droning noise and aliens come out of the sky. When one crash lands proper into the home, the husband touches the corpse and seemingly dies. He wakes up an unspecified time later to seek out his home is ruined and the aliens seemingly received. Nevertheless, his household is on the market someplace, so he begins to search for him.
Whereas Somerville is a game with no dialogue, you will get the final story fairly simply. I shortly discovered myself sucked into the story of this misplaced husband, looking for his household whereas surviving an alien invasion. It hits loads of the emotional notes I anticipated from this sort of story, together with a number of of those I did not. It isn’t good. There are many instances when the shortage of dialogue made me go “this could make extra sense for those who simply had a fundamental human dialog,” however for those who’re right into a type of extra artsy tackle this story, you need to discover a lot to love right here.
You will play as this unnamed husband as he searches for his household. The fundamentals are fairly easy: you’ll be able to run round and work together with objects, pulling or pushing them in order that they’re ready that helps you remedy puzzles. You will transfer fallen items of wooden, crates that you would be able to climb on, throw some switches, and basic items like that. It is nothing too out of the atypical that you simply’d see in another game. Nevertheless, the husband does have one distinctive trick.
You see, touching the alien initially of the game has given you some powers. You initially get the power to show alien objects into liquid, as long as you channel your powers by way of a light-weight supply. Afterward, you additionally acquire the power to show liquids into solids once more. Lots of the puzzles contain discovering gentle sources to channel your powers by way of, and ensuring the sunshine can really attain the alien objects you want melted or solidified.
This really results in some somewhat intelligent puzzles. In a single case you must open a door, however anytime you utilize the crank a hook lowers, and, as quickly as you let go, the door slams shut. To unravel the puzzle I wanted to go to a close-by room and begin a generator to show some lights on, permitting me to flood that room and get a mine cart. I might then fill the cart with water, crank the wheel simply sufficient so the hook lowers into the cart, solidify the water within the cart, after which push the cart down a hill so it forces the gate not solely open, however to remain open. It takes a bit to determine it out, but it surely’s a stable “aha!” second once you do.
Not all puzzles have that second although. One of many final puzzles within the game is, what I can greatest inform, principally simply Simon Says on a grand scale. But, irrespective of how I attempted to take part within the puzzle, I simply could not handle to get it to work in a method that made the game completely satisfied, and ultimately, once I was provided the selection between the unhealthy ending or persevering with the puzzle, I fortunately selected the unhealthy ending simply to get achieved with that puzzle.
There are extra than simply puzzles in Somerville. There are just a few stealth segments the place you need to discover methods to sneak round monsters that may spear you for those who’re within the gentle for too lengthy. One notably cool one has you sneaking by way of a division retailer, avoiding stepping on noisy surfaces and knocking over mannequins so you do not by chance get consideration. There are additionally just a few chase scenes within the game, having you run away from aliens. They are not notably laborious, however they’re dramatic and visually eye-catching, in order that they get a move general.
The truth is, loads of Somerville is visually eye-catching. The very very first thing you see, earlier than anything, is among the spaceships silhouetted towards the solar. The preliminary alien invasion is a good scene, with jets and alien ships flying round taking pictures at one another. A late-game chase scene has you climbing a spiral staircase as much as the highest of a bell tower whereas avoiding photographs from aliens. All of those scenes look improbable and did a lot to essentially promote me into the world of Somerville.
Whereas most of the scenes look good typically, there are just a few moments that basically took me out of the game. One, particularly, was a easy stroll down a hospital hallway. All of the scene had me do is stroll from level A to level B whereas folks seemed in awe at this bizarre man who got here in. Straightforward. But all of their animations have been wonky at greatest. A lot of them snapped into the flawed animations, disappeared and reappeared, or performed animations that did not really match up with their actions. It is a bizarre scene, one that absolutely killed my immersion within the game. Another random small issues, just like the household canine that seems and disappears at random however at all times appears to be the place you are going irrespective of how little sense it made, additionally harm this immersion.
Somerville Evaluation | Verdict
Nevertheless, regardless of this, I nonetheless discovered Somerville to be effectively value my time. The puzzles have been intelligent, the story is stable, and the game actually is nice to have a look at. A couple of iffy scenes and unhealthy puzzles did not actually convey it down, and if it is a style you want then Somerville needs to be the following entry that you simply seize for it.
TechRaptor reviewed Somerville on PC utilizing a duplicate offered by the writer. The game can be accessible on Xbox One and Xbox Collection X|S.