Burn me Twice brings us a medieval mystery in which we play as Abigail von Rattenhartz, a captured witch burned at the stake and sent back in time by a mysterious demon to rectify her mistakes. Our investigations take us through the Gothic town of Düstenburg where we hunt for clues. By speaking to the sceptical locals and piecing together each fragment of evidence, we can bring the culprits to justice.
There is a lot to enjoy with this game. From the start we are immersed in a world of intrigue, making it the perfect game for fans of a good magical mystery.
Burn me Twice is available on PC (Steam), and is free to play.
Story – Back in Time
Burn me Twice begins with a plague doctor (we later discover this is the esteemed Doctor Fausto) meeting with a mysterious figure to discuss a ritual. Following this, we are taken to a trial where known witch, Abigail von Rattenhartz, accuses Doctor Fausto of being the cause of the plague outbreak. With no evidence, the trial concludes with Abigail being burned at the stake for her failings. But this isn’t the end for her.
She wakes in a strange land, faced with the dragon demon, Malaab, a malicious entity that can control time. He offers us the opportunity to go back and find the evidence we need to condemn Doctor Fausto, and ultimately avoid our grisly fate. All he wants in exchange is to act as a witness to our failures and determine whether we are worthy of his help. After this interaction, we are sent back in time in an attempt to stop Abigail from being burned at the stake. In our cell, we are told to work with the Inquisition to find the source of the plague outbreak, and our investigations begin. We must be careful: if Abigail doesn’t succeed, she’ll face the flames again.
Throughout the story, we meet many characters. Some are hiding secrets that will help us with our investigations. It is more than just our own lives at stake, but the fate of an entire town. Our mission leads us all around the town of Düstenburg, speaking with the living and the dead as we try to piece together what happened and who is behind the ghastly crimes. It is our job to find the clues and present them in the right order in court to establish a timeline of the crimes and the motives of the accused.
While the story can be a little predictable in parts, it still remains engaging with its plot twists and keeps the player guessing throughout. We experience this frightened medieval town through the eyes of an outsider, exploring the town’s charms and unlocking the secrets hiding in wait. There is a short after-credit scene, so don’t quit the game as soon as the credits start rolling.
Gameplay – A Sprinkle of Magic
One of the most notable initial gameplay aspects of Burn me Twice is that there is no use of the mouse. All of the controls are used via a keyboard or a controller. The game is supposed to be played with a controller (this is highlighted when the game loads in), and after testing both, I would definitely recommend playing with a controller, as there are some parts that are difficult to complete with a keyboard. For me, this was a little annoying because as a PC player, the keyboard and mouse should be the primary method of play and not every PC player will have access to a controller. Despite this, it doesn’t detract too much from the overall gameplay experience.
As a witch, Abigail has a rather interesting power: not only can she now travel through time thanks to the help of Malaab, she can also visit the realm of the dead. When we are near a ghost in the land of the living, the moon charm on her hat will chime and glow. By talking to the spirits, we can learn more about the town and the crimes being committed. The transition from one world to the other is seamless. We simply have to hold down the ‘F’ key to switch between each realm. Most of the ghostly figures we meet speak generically and don’t offer much in the way of evidence, but some can offer testimonies and help us find the culprits.
There are three chapters in all to play through. The first two chapters contain a trial at the end of them, and we need to gather four pieces of evidence to provide at each trial. Some pieces of evidence are hidden well, so you have to look carefully around each place you visit. After our first successful trial, we can roam freely around Düstenburg without needing to consult the guard accompanying us. There isn’t a map that we can use to find out where we need to go, but everything is contained in a small environment, and it is easy to find everything we need.
While we investigate, we are faced with a few puzzles to solve. Some of these require a little patience. The second chapter contains a sneaking mission in which we have to navigate three separate rooms without being caught. There are some clever mechanics used here, especially in the third room where we are sneaking around the gardens and must use the shadows of the workers to avoid the guards.
Burn me Twice is a really short game and can be played from start to finish in just a few hours. For me personally, it was a little too short. I loved the mystery involved, the magical aspects, and the ease of play which is perfect for casual players. The developers have the beginnings of a great game, and I can see a lot of potential for it should they choose to expand it in the future. The only notable disappointment, as stated earlier, was the issue with the controller versus the keyboard.
Graphics and Audio – Simple, but Enchanting
The characters in Burn me Twice have a geometric quality to them that helps them stick out from the environment. The cartoonish effect brings a playful side to the game, despite the dark themes that are prevalent throughout. When we enter the realm of the dead the change in graphics gives a ghostly atmosphere, and the luminescence adds to the magical feel of the story. Malaab’s world is murky and minimalistic, pulling our attention towards the demonic dragon himself and keeping our eyes on him.
There are no voiced characters in Burn me Twice and all the lines are subtitled, but we do have a soundtrack. The music that follows our mystical adventure is tailored to each step of our journey. While investigating, it is calm and tranquil, and during the final scenes, the music builds up the intensity, giving the game a mysterious, magical atmosphere as we journey through the town.
I enjoyed how each of these aspects set the atmosphere for each scene and contributed to the enigma of the game. The graphics couple well with the audio to establish a certain feel and aids in the progression of the story, whether we are casually investigating the town or fighting off hoards of skeletons.