Shadow of Nebula created by Bisonia is a point and click adventure game. Being trapped on an abandoned planet you will mainly solve puzzles/riddles to escape the planet and uncover the truth about "The Corporation". You can purchase this title on steam right now for $5.
This game is your typical C grade type movie in where the plot isn’t really hard to follow or not too much is going towards it either that comes as a surprise to the viewer. You play as Mark Cotton who is a space courier on his last mission when suddenly he gets attacked by space pirates. He crashes onto an abandoned planet called Ventra Blue where he his forced to find an escape but realizes that he may not be alone. Mark works for a company called “The Corporation” original am I right? The story evolves to where we find out that “The Corporation” is not exactly giving Mark the retirement he wants and we are up to question if this company is up to evil deeds because the survivors on Ventra Blue have been trapped there when they were promised an escape from the planet. Mark needs to traverse and look around for anything or anyone to help him out but not everything goes according to plan.
Now, it should be noted that this game currently is in Early Access so its not going to be the best that it could be in its current state. This is your average point and click adventure with nothing new added to the formula. The main objective in the game is to solve the puzzles and riddles to be able to progress through the story. Yes, you will be dealing with these ridiculously annoying riddles in the game which, if you are like me will annoying the living hell out of you. You will also need to pick up items in your environment to be able to help you progress through the game. These are extremely hard to find by the way you literally need to squint you eyes to see where some of these are placed. Speaking of controls in the game, you are not even told how anything works for example, left click to examine item right click to use item, hold space bar to see everything in your environment that you can click on. I did not know you can press the space bar to see items that you can click on in your environment so instead I was clicking on everything like a mad man. You will also need to combine items as well to be able to progress through certain segments of the game. This is where the game gets stale, I did not feel satisfied when I was doing anything in the game whether it be progressing through the story or solving a puzzle.
When Mark wants to pick up something it is as if he is considering it for three seconds before doing it and then he does it. The animation looks weird and jerky when he picks up an item or uses it. It did not look natural whenever he did anything in the game honestly. On top of that, it takes Mark forever to walk places, which if you are an impatient person like me, it gets annoying after a while because you just want to get from one area to another so you can solve that puzzle only to get there and realize that you did not have the right item. A simple sprint option or brisk jog would have been nice at least.
Also, it should be noted that there is no recording dialogue in this game it is all text based. This takes away the immersion completely for me in this game, I feel like it would have been a better game if there were voice actors. Not to mention some of the text is misspelled and just generally I felt like the text could have been more sophisticated and thought out better? The conversations just felt a little generic and poor. Also for those riddles in the Shadow Forest, they were not clever and I hated every moment of being there. I also encountered a bug that made me restart my save where my guy was just floating and could not move around at all but this was at the very beginning of the game so I was not too upset about it neither was it frequent enough for me to consider it as a huge problem.
If there is only ONE thing that this game has going for it is the art direction for the game. For a point and click adventure game I have never seen this kind of art style for the genre and it truly is something I will give a thumbs up for. Each section of the game looks different from one another when entering new areas. The developers really did focus on attention to detail which is nice to see. The art direction for the game resembles that of a painting which is actually really unique to see especially for a video game. Unfortunately some segments in the game were too much on the eyes, when going into someones mind to talk to them via cyberspace it starts to look really weird. I felt like I was on drugs or something going into these segments of the game ESPECIALLY in the Shadow Forest. It was weird but an unsettling weird which is not a good or bad thing.
Everything was very smooth for the most part, nothing really was a problem unless we are talking about the facial animations. There are no facial expressions for us to see that emote any kind of expression for us to feel compassion or dread for any of the characters. When Mark is talking with other people the lip syncing to the words being spoken does not look like it is being synchronized correctly which is annoying to look at. I would let this slide if this was an older game but it is 2016 now so this is a bit ridiculous. The character models at least look different from one another which is nice there was some variety to that.
According to the developers this is an original soundtrack that they produced which is really cool when someone does that… until you have heard it a million times and it rarely changes especially when there are only four tracks in the game total. The tracks did fit the style of the game though which is appreciated and I really do like the music, it fit very well. It was just a shame that I had to hear it so much to the point where I started hating it. I was excited to traverse to new areas in the game sorely for a new song to pop up to listen to.
Unfortunately Shadow of Nebula is a boring point and click adventure that you will forget as soon as you complete it and that is only if you are willing to even want to finish it. From the annoying riddles/puzzles, boring story, repetitive music, and jerky animations, I just do not see any reason to play this game at all. It did not feel unique enough to set itself apart from other point and click adventures neither did it try to do anything new on the formula. The only thing this game did right was the original art style, that I really appreciated but that is honestly the only thing I liked about this game. Does this mean that the game cannot be improved? Of course not, its still in Early Access which means they can always improve it but in its current state right now its pretty horrid.
- Art style
- Original soundtrack (when you haven't heard it a million times)
- Boring story
- Jerky animations
- Unsatisfying puzzles/riddles
- No voice acting