The puzzle platformer is a type of genres that has seen a number of entries, almost definitely on account of video games like Limbo and Braid kickstarting a number 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 strong 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 assessment to search out out.
The sport opens up with a household getting residence after an extended journey and stress-free in entrance of the TV. It seems to be 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 search out his home is ruined and the aliens seemingly gained. Nonetheless, his household is on the market someplace, so he begins to search for him.
Whereas Somerville is a recreation with no dialogue, you may 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 a number of the emotional notes I anticipated from this type of story, together with a number of of those I did not. It isn’t excellent. There are many instances when the dearth of dialogue made me go “this could make extra sense if you happen to simply had a primary human dialog,” however if you happen to’re right into a kind of extra artsy tackle this story, you must discover loads 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 which you could climb on, throw some switches, and staple items like that. It is nothing too out of the peculiar that you just’d see in some other recreation. Nonetheless, the husband does have one distinctive trick.
You see, touching the alien firstly of the sport has given you some powers. You initially get the power to show alien objects into liquid, as long as you channel your powers via a lightweight supply. In a while, you additionally achieve the power to show liquids into solids once more. A variety of the puzzles contain discovering gentle sources to channel your powers via, and ensuring the sunshine can really attain the alien objects you want melted or solidified.
This really results in some moderately intelligent puzzles. In a single case that 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 move 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 may 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, nevertheless it’s a strong “aha!” second while you do.
Not all puzzles have that second although. One of many final puzzles within the recreation 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 sport joyful, 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 executed with that puzzle.
There are extra than simply puzzles in Somerville. There are just a few stealth segments the place it’s a must to discover methods to sneak round monsters that can spear you if you happen to’re within the gentle for too lengthy. One significantly cool one has you sneaking via 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 recreation, having you run away from aliens. They don’t seem to be significantly onerous, however they’re dramatic and visually eye-catching, in order that they get a cross general.
Actually, a number of Somerville is visually eye-catching. The very very first thing you see, earlier than anything, is likely one of the spaceships silhouetted in opposition to the solar. The preliminary alien invasion is a superb 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 unbelievable and did loads to essentially promote me into the world of Somerville.
Whereas most of the scenes look good normally, there are just a few moments that basically took me out of the sport. One, specifically, was a easy stroll down a hospital hallway. All of the scene had me do is stroll from level A to level B whereas individuals appeared in awe at this bizarre man who got here in. Simple. But all of their animations had been wonky at greatest. A lot of them snapped into the incorrect 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 recreation. Another random small issues, just like the household canine that seems and disappears at random however all the time appears to be the place you are going irrespective of how little sense it made, additionally harm this immersion.
Somerville Assessment | Verdict
Nonetheless, regardless of this, I nonetheless discovered Somerville to be properly price my time. The puzzles had been intelligent, the story is strong, and the sport actually is nice to have a look at. Just a few iffy scenes and unhealthy puzzles did not actually convey it down, and if this can be a style you want then Somerville ought to be the subsequent entry that you just seize for it.
TechRaptor reviewed Somerville on PC utilizing a replica offered by the writer. The sport can also be out there on Xbox One and Xbox Collection X|S.