Rats, Bats, Rust & Tunnels BASED ON DEMO
This is a well-produced standalone SE. There are no bells and whistles of course, but its low key start is paired with crisp graphics and solid gameplay. Although not a world beater, this is a game with a unique story and enough of interest to keep you going.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics are excellent, with clear and sharp images, pseudo-realistic. Though dark in places, the HOPs always have enough light. There is a lot of rust and grunge. This is not a ‘pretty’ game. The opening movie is very 3D adventure game stuff, which I personally dislike, but it is done well.
One thing I really liked is that instead of black bars on the side of the screen when in WS mode, there is appropriate wallpaper. Even better, this changes from location to location and is actually a nice addition to the atmosphere.
The sounds are excellent. Particularly Emily’s scream. The music is unobtrusive. There are no voiceovers past the couple of lines in the opening scene (at least, not yet, we’ve not run into any other person so far).
Out camping one night, you and your fiancée are attacked by a strange robed man. When you come to, you find Emily has been dragged off into a secret bunker. Following her is not easy, the bunker is only accessible through a rust-ridden, damp and dingy set of tunnels, where the only living things you have seen are rats and bats. But you must make the most of the resources around you to survive and rescue her.
This is your average HOPA game. There are perhaps more puzzles than you’d expect (23). They vary from easy to tricky, and at least some of them are original. They suit the game very well.
The HOPs (10) are visited twice. They are standard interactive word lists, but were a little bit more challenging, even on the lower of two difficulty levels. The items requiring interaction are indicated in the list, but there is no gears or hand cursor when you hover over them, and no sparkles to point them out.
There is no map, and the journal is good mostly for summarising the game thus far. The hint is directional and quick to refill. There is a lot of black bar commentary in this game, and much handholding. Apart from some tricky puzzles, the game is not hard, so many will find this extra layer of assistance annoying. Even I was mildly irritated by it.
The game is a bit slow. I feel that I should have achieved more in the 35 mins the demo took. All things considered, nothing much had happened. Otherwise, I think this is a good game, particularly for a standalone SE. I love that the story setting is so totally different from any other. Although it is not really something I could get into, many will like it much more than me. I Recommend This Game!