Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gemini Rue

Gemini Rue
Developer: Joshua Nuernberger
Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
Adventure - PC
1 player
Gemini Rue

Point-and-click adventure games are a relic of old PC gaming.  I don't see too many of them still being made, but indie publisher Wadjet Eye Games still believes in them. I picked up Gemini Rue as part of the Indie Royale Launch Bundle a month back. After viewing the trailer, I was intrigued.

The game's initial scene is cold, clinical, and disturbing.  A group of scientists have a man called Delta Six bound.  Delta Six apparently has tried to escape, and so the scientists wipe the man's memory.  Soon after the credits, the scenery changes to something more akin to a gritty detective film.  Azriel Odin is an ex-assassin, but he's out to investigate the disappearance of his brother Daniel.  And thus the story begins.

As a point-and-click adventure game, there's no real tricks.  There are some isolated combat segments which require WASD controls, but the overwhelming majority of the game requires only left and right clicking.  A groundbreaking gameplay-driven game, this is not.  But if you're after adventure, this has got it.

The game is interesting in that it has two personalities.  The game will switch scenes between Azriel the investigator and Delta Six the captive.  Playing as Azriel, the scenery is very moody, with the pitter-patter of the rain adding to the melancholy.  Everyone you meet seems to be suspicious or desperate, intensifying the desire to figure out what's going on.  Playing as Delta Six leaves you feeling uncomfortable and awkward.  He's roughed up by his peers.  The surroundings are clinical.  The atmosphere ends up being just plain creepy.

The control interface and the puzzles themselves could be less clunky, but that's really not the point.  What Gemini Rue does so well, is to pull you into its world.  Everything is designed to make you feel what the characters are feeling.  By the time the plot kicks into gear, and philosophical questions are raised, those things end up as a bonus.  The meat and potatoes of the game is the discovery process that the characters, and you the player, engage in.  To that end, Gemini Rue is absolutely thrilling all the way through.