|Welcome to the Black Mesa Research Facility... oh wait, wrong game...|
- Review by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Tymon Zgainski (Among Pixels)
- Publisher: Mudvark
- Release Date: 28 May 2015
- Time played: 1.1 hours
Like several other games including Potatoman Seeks the Troof, TIMEframe and Monster Loves You!, I managed to get Rituals from the Humble Freedom Bundle. It was a good cause for sure, but it was also damn good value, at least in my humble opinion (pun unintentional). Another thing all these games have in common is that they're all really short (at least according to HowLongtoBeat.com) and Rituals didn't disappoint in that regard.
So what exactly is Rituals about? Well it's a first-person, low polygon count (think early 90s 3D games), adventure/puzzle game, similar in style to games like Myst, where you're limited to moving around the world on invisible rails. At different locations, you'll be able to pick up items and then use them on various parts of the landscape to solve simple puzzles. There's not really much more to it than that, just know you're not going to be playing Rituals for its challenging puzzles or its epic length; you're mainly playing it to experience the message the game is trying to convey.
What I like:
Intriguing messageI really can't divulge much of the story, especially considering how short the game is, but suffice to say there's an intriguing message that this game is trying to convey. It's probably nothing new but the game does raise questions about humanity's relationship with Nature.
Puzzle solvingI love puzzle solving and this game has quite a few to solve; they tend to be simple puzzles but that suits me fine.
Retro graphicsNo, this game doesn't use 8-bit pixelart, but it's still got its own retro style: a 90s low polygon count 3D game style.
Atmospheric audioThe game has really atmospheric audio – it makes it feel like you're actually there.
Steam AchievementsJust like any self-respecting game on Steam, the game comes with Steam Achievements. Sadly, no trading cards though.
Well polishedI didn't encounter any serious bugs while playing this game and that's definitely hard to find in games nowadays, especially AAA titles.
What I dislike:
ShortIt takes just over an hour to complete the game, so it's obviously not very long.
Lacks musicRituals actually reminds me of games like Half-Life as you explore a seemingly abandoned facility with only the whirring of generators to keep you company 90% of the time. Not necessarily a bad thing but it would've been nice if there was more music used for dramatic effect.
Score – 7/10 (Not bad)Rituals is a simple, Myst-like, puzzle adventure with retro, 90s-style, low polygon count visuals, atmospheric audio and an intriguing message to deliver concerning humanity's relationship with Mother Nature. Good fun for the hour or so you play it and that's the only thing I could fault with it: it's a tad short.
Is the game worth $4.99 USD?: Yes. The game is really short but I enjoyed the experience. Worth the price and a bargain if you can get it on sale.
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[ LINK: Official Rituals Website ]