Posted on June 1, 2013 AT 09:19am
You are locked in a sleep chamber. The computer has no data on you or why you’re in there, but it won’t let you out. What’s more, you have amnesia, and have no idea how to function properly.
This is the world of The Starship Damrey, a new game from Level-5 as part of the Guild02 3DS series.
As the game begins a message appears for the player: “This game contains no tutorials or explanations. Part of the experience is to discover things for yourself.” This means in order to find out how things work and what you should do with them you’ll need to go the route of the ole trial-and-error. For the most part of the game you control one of the ship’s AR robots as you make your way through the hollowed ship and solve many of its puzzling elements.
As the game progresses you will come across many locked doors and blocked pathways. Many times you will need to find keycards on the bodies of the deceased crew members, which will give you access to some of these rooms. Other times you’ll have to take down a rogue robot or two, which will require using your instincts to take them down. Look around the room, see something that might go with another object, put them together, and then use the combined elements to your robot’s advantage. You can also kill some harmless space leeches for a little bonus at the end.
While there is a sort of repeat process regarding the tasks at hand the draw to the game is its search aspect. Nothing is laid out in black & white in The Starship Damrey, so literally finding out what you have to do in the game is part of the fun. It’s as if you are playing the game from the perspective of an infant, discovering something new at every corner.
The game does have its weak points, though. For one thing it can be a short experience, depending on how good you are at finding your objectives. (My time was a mere three hours.) There’s also the issue with the ending, which can be a little bit predictable by the time you gain access to the Captain’s card. That being said the epilogue was a very nice touch.
Lastly, for a sci-fi suspense horror game there wasn’t that big of an emphasis on the suspense or horror. There are a couple parts that did make me jump (the ghost girl in the hat comes to mind), but for the most I didn’t feel like my virtual self was in any danger. However I can’t deny that The Starship Damrey had me drawn in to its revealing plot line, especially when it comes to finding out about your crew members. (You can even unlock some hidden prologues if you have any of the Guild01 games.)
- Creepy atmosphere
- Puzzles are very good brain teasers
- Great, revealing plotline
- Ending is somewhat predictable
- Very short game time
- Not really much of a suspense game
While The Starship Damrey isn’t much of the suspense game it claimed to be, it still was a very entertaining gameplay experience. Having to learn everything on your own is a concept we don’t see often in gaming, with future developers needing to take notice on how to make a game a tad more challenging for players. For an $8 game it’s not that bad of a price for what you’re getting: a unique gaming experience, where your only tool to get around is your brain.
FINAL GRADE: 7.0 (out of ten)
Review copy provided by Maverick PR
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