Sunday, February 14, 2016
Some time ago I wrote my review of Monument Valley, in my opinion the best game of 2014. They released an expansion not so long ago and I honestly missed it... but now I had the chance to play it and it's as good as the original game. Maybe a little more?
In essence if you liked the original game you'll like Forgotten Shores. It's pretty much the same vision, visual style and most of the player actions. It features 8 new levels (generally 3-4 screens per each) plus a bonus level (Ida's dream)
However, most levels have a brand new gameplay option, and the experience is centered around it: In one you twist columns to blend your path towards your goal, in other you control water flows, and such. I believe the level design effort has been increased on this pack, and it's certainly refreshing
On the minus side, I would say the story side has been substantially reduced. Not that it mattered much in the first title, but doesn't look like Ida's quest has progressed much in the expansion
If you didn't play Monument Valley in the first place, you're wasting your time in life. Seriously. If you did, then go for Forgotten Shores. You won't regret it!
Since I'm working on a "interactive drama" game right now I'm taking a look at other similar titles. There was a time when Quantic Dream was pretty much the only studio working on this genre, but today there are multiple competitors and they often have interesting new approaches, like Life is Strange
In short, the proposal is basically the classic interactive story: You go around the scenario interacting with some pre-defined objects, often gathering clues and solving puzzles. Short cutscenes are used to explain how you interact with the world, dialogues and characters, and at times you need to make some choices that affect the outcome of the story and your relationships. The unique selling point of the game, though, is the ability to rewind the timeline previous to choices you made so you can select other options or solve puzzles otherwise it'll be impossible to sort out. It is an interesting new feature and certainly adds a lot of gameplay options and flavor to the game
Other than that, the game also relies on visuals to be appealing (the art direction is remarkable) and a good script. It is also an episodic game, which is always nice since you don't pay that much at the beginning and you can stop buying episodes as soon as you decide to. I honestly only played the first chapter but I hope it's enough to value the product as a whole
In every sense, it's highly recommendable if you like the genre!