I can’t believe I’m about to say these words, but the best part about this game is the puzzles. Most video game puzzles stick out like the piston room in Galaxy Quest, but these really fit into their surroundings. They get you to stretch your brain a little bit without being too obtrusive about it, and the game is really good about guiding you with subtle hints. That made me feel smart since I didn’t have to cheat and look up the answers like I usually do with puzzles. Thanks, game!

That’s got to be important

They call it “survival horror,” but don’t expect a lot of pulse-pounding thrills or blood & guts. Instead, you get a lot of dust & rust, and a low-key, mysterious sort of vibe. It’s like “At the Mountains of Madness” meets SCP.

The worst part about this game is the combat. You know how I beat literally every single dog in the game? I picked up a barrel and threw it in the dog’s face six times. There it is. The secret’s out; now you’re a master warrior like I am.

My trusty barrel

In hindsight there didn’t need to be any combat in this game at all, but they were probably sitting around at a meeting and somebody in charge said, “look, we can’t make a survival horror game with no combat or people will laugh at us.”

They should have gone ahead and done it. No big deal, though: just grab the nearest barrel and then get back to the puzzles.

Also, it looks pretty ugly in The Current Year, but maybe looks don’t matter so much in a game about crawling through a dark mine. The whole interactive physics thing is ok, but not as impresive as they probably wanted it to be. Sometimes it’s kind of neat, but other times it’s just annoying and doesn’t work very well. The story ends with a bit of a thud, too.

Maybe he’s ok…

Eh, kind of a mixed bag I guess, but the boost to my puzzle-solving self-esteem was worth a couple of bucks.

Developer: Frictional Games

Publisher: Frictional Games

Purchased on: Steam

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