I don’t really like this very much, but it’s taken me about an hour to convince myself that that is not my fault. My first instinct when something is fairly well-written is to blame myself instead of the design, but in the case of this game, it really probably is the design. This is kind of too bad, because it’s pretty competent in a lot of other respects, but it’s just hugely frustrating on so many levels.
Read on if you like.
The beginning of this game is a long sequence of static fiction where you can’t do anything much. You’re a prisoner that is being sentenced. The only actions you can really take are looking around or waiting for something to happen, and going where you are told to go while your character has some flashbacks. I tired to do some other actions, but there’s no way at all to subvert any of this.
After a lot of that, you are sentenced, and then there is the real hook of the game: you are cursed by being turned in to some kind of animal. You get to choose which animal from the choices of rat, fox, or snake. However, which animal you choose doesn’t seem to have much effect on your initial experience, except that different animals have different senses. When a castle guard sees your animal form, he kills you. I found some places you can hide from the guards, but other than that I was able to make zero progress without checking the walkthrough.
From there on, it’s evident that the game is pretty long, but even trying to follow the walkthrough I die randomly a lot. That is really no fun at all and if I weren’t trying to fairly review the game I would’ve given up sooner.
The game reminds me a lot of my experience with Xenosaga, really, where you watch about two hours of cut-scenes, then are thrown in to an instant-death scenario with no prior method to practice.
I’m giving up now.