Strangeland: PC Review. Graphic Episode At A Nightmare Fair
We analyze Strangeland, the new graphic adventure from the creators of the brilliant Primordia. We will visit a dantesque nightmare fair full of mystery.
It is a common mistake to think that the best thing the adventure game genre has to offer is that the most notable exhibitors of a genre that is as iconic and loving as thousands of players were released in the 90s. like a year for example 1993 (Tent Day, Sam & Max, Gabriel Knight, Space Quest 5, Larry 6, Simon The Sorcerer, Hand of Fate, Myst or Shadow of the Comet among other things they came out that year) is something that cannot be said about a graphic episode and for any other genre of video games we can think of. But it is also true that, despite the fact that the genre is considered dead and buried by the late 90s, in recent years we have had some very good graphic adventures, which came out in the golden age, without a nostalgia factor. some of the classics in the pantheon of the genre. The Whispered World, Deponia saga, Blackwell pentalogy, Kathy Rain, The Journey Down, The Cat Lady, The Last Door, Thimbleweed Park, Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure or Fran Bow, to give a few examples later or less, they are excellent graphic adventures that kept the flame of the genre shining with the same force of yesterday.
As with all of them and many others, i 2012 would become one of my favorite modern adventure games, Primordia. This excellent video game added a dystopian bleak future where all life forms were completely destroyed from the face of the Earth, and where the machines of the planet inherited. Together with the memorable front couple who founded the robot Horatio Nullbuilt and his inseparable and good-natured Crispin, we immersed ourselves in a world inhabited by robots and automata, which gave us a wonderful plot that shows a great location. He added some great dialogue and the possibility of solving some clever puzzles in different ways, due to his brilliant stage, which greatly recreated this bleak future. All of this ended up as an authentic crown for her a modern classic of the genre, and as we have already commented, it is one of our favorite adventure games ever.
Speech with loss, pain and sadness.
This is all the more worthwhile if we consider that Wormwood Studios, the child ‘s parents is a small independent study consisting of 3 people, and the barrier to having different nationalities, carry out their projects almost electronically, without the opportunity to physically work in the same place. Mark Yohalen He is an American lawyer who writes team games. The Australian artist Victor pflug he shapes his visions, and the Greek programmer James Spanos responsible for creating the game code. After Primordia ‘s huge success, the situation he created is not surprising March 2018 announce the next graphic episode from Wormwood Studios, which would be released Strangeland. A very personal project with a unique concept. Unlike Primordia, its origins are more massive and on a much smaller scale, so despite being a great title, its size is much smaller than the size of its predecessor.
And is that Strangeland was born as a project for Game Jam of adventure game creation in May 2017. The idea was use of materials isolated from other projects the teams (the role-playing tactical game Fallen Gods they are developing, the adventure game has been theoretically canceled Cloudlands and your project Trenchmouth), and take advantage of the situation to keep the team active and “sharpen their skills” as they themselves mentioned on their blog. The idea was a development of a few weeks, 3 maximum. Eventually the thing expanded in time, and it would be a year later, in March 2018, when they would announce on their blog that Strangeland was almost finished. It took another 3 years for the incident to finally see the light of day. In the meantime, the title is polished, and as with Primordia, this will be distributed by Wadjet Eye Games, which led to a wonderful localization of all the voices in English among other things. After all those stirring things, we got a Great adventure game, oh exciting and wonderful stage, which deals with very personal subjects and offers good puzzles, but which shows those terrible foundations and which smaller wing duration than the previous study title. We’re facing a game that is entirely recommended for experts in the genre and getting closer to it for the first time, but it’s a few steps behind the study’s previous work, the excellent Primordia.
A stranger arouses confusion in grim and grotesque horror of future clues. In the distance, gaze like beautiful girl of blond hair dives mortally into a well unclaimed bottom of your soul. Despite the efforts of our main characters, the girl repeatedly loses in the deadly cycle of suffering and pain. To save the girl, our avatar, whom the characters he meets “the stranger”, must face ominous and perfidious black abomination lying about an encyclopedia and terrible roller coaster. Mysterious peaks will give us small clues, and an eclectic team of bizarre characters will help us solve the mystery of our own identity, the mystery of the girl and what is happening in this horrible horror fair. The plot’s origins are open to numerous interpretations, but the personal starting point of the story, we understand the special and unique thing about the creation of this video game.
Mark Yohalen wrote Strangeland in memory of his grandmother ‘s story and the companion to this. In 2016, after several years of torture against the dementia, Yohalen’s grandmother died. A few weeks later, it was her husband who died, devastated by the loss. He, a former NASA engineer, gave Yohalen his first computer and taught him to program it in the early 1980s, and tried every way rationalize his lover’s illness and reduce it to a puzzle type that I could resolve to try to cure her. The last years of his life were a relentless fight against diseases that both of them ate. The couple asked Yohalen, when they were gone, that he was in charge of retrieving their belongings from their apartment and distributing them among their relatives. Dipping through the couple’s memories, and seeing the devastating consequences of the disease on their daily lives, was a traumatic experience.
Freedom and different approaches for the sake of horror.
It’s about that Strangeland is a kind of ritual devised by Mark Yohalen to try to process sadness and pain this whole situation caused him and helped him get through it. Strangeland is a heartfelt plea about how think slowly about how the one you love is treated. Allegation of the danger of reducing the difficulties of everyday life to a kind of puzzle to be overcome, and a raw dissolution of how love can drag us to the bottom or lift us to heaven itself. In short, a very personal work with a very deep message. As we have already said, its origins as a project for Game Jam are noteworthy, and we do not have a very extensive title before us, since in some 5 hours we can finish it. The number of characters we go into is quite small, and the plot is very limited. Nonetheless, the appeal of her stage, the strength of her dialogue and the depth of her message draw on this wonderful graphic adventure to fully capture us and give us a journey to remember.
within a very classical development characteristic of the genre, taking into account its small scale, Strangeland offers us some freedom and the possibility to solve your puzzles from different approaches. Most of these puzzles are usual inventory, not looking for things on stage and using them in the right places. As in Primordia, we also find other types of puzzles such as reveal code and the odd puzzle with a very organic environment. It’s not too complicated an adventure, though there are a few puzzles that will make our brains rack up well. Where we need it, a track system in the form of a phone that we can go to if we feel disoriented, which will give us progressive tips, this is of course an addition completely optional. The IS puzzles are generally satisfying and well integrated into the episode, some of them being quite original and fresh.
We think it’s time to give the folks at Wadjet Eye Games a little slap on the wrist, as it’s time for them to give us a translation into Spanish of some of the excellent episodes they publish. We know that he is a moderate distributor, and although the polished and localized work they do in English is capital, we would appreciate it if they could translate the texts into Spanish while studying other equal or more modest ones. . True, because Wadjet launches have been a popular trend, we will soon have some public translations, especially considering that we have a very wide-ranging adventure ahead. But it is also so in this case Some of the puzzles are related to the language, and because it is not translated into Spanish, this can create some other problem.
We have no exaggeration if we argue that Strangeland offers the best and most spectacular visual finish achieved with the famous Adventure Game Studio engine. Already with Primordia they have achieved a beast finish that gave us one of the best and most successful locations we have seen in any graphic adventure. With their new title they have raised the bar. Using the double resolution, and using the same decadent watercolor tones of Primordia, Strangeland stage is majestic and depicts a grotesque nightmare in the form of a horrible horror fair that is a dominant thrill. The artistic direction assumes the transmission of all the regret and fairness intended by conveying the message of the title. The settings are full of details, and the episode leaves us with a gallery of macabre scenes that are still in the retina.
To create such a nightmare, Yohalen was inspired by the series of Goya’s work “Los Caprichos”. The writer Strangeland lived in Madrid 20 years ago and had a close connection with the work of the brilliant painter. Another inspiration comes from the work of the famous writer Ray Bradbury, specifically the theme of the fair comes from the work “Something Wicked comes this way.” Team artist Victor Pflug does a majestic job of successfully capturing such influences on screen, and brings his visual division to remember. It is unfortunate that the game and the screens to visit, because they leave us a wonderful picture gallery. Due to the detail of the finishes, excellent artistic direction and the crazy exercise of the imagination, we are confronted with one of the most engaging graphic adventures we have recently enjoyed.
Like all published works Wadjet Eye Games, an England’s localization work for all voices in the game is flawless and excellent craftsmanship, giving a great finish to the episode and highlighting the personalities of all the characters in the episode. The interpretations marry wonderfully and shape the great atmosphere of the game. The soundtrack gets a little more noticeable, going with the episode without having too much prominence at any point. We are facing an incident that excels in all its technical divisions and surpasses good artwork, and can only be restored to its small scale and the location it represents as well.