Once again I get the pleasure of reviewing a new release from one of my favourite adventure game makers, Wadjeteye. Gamers familiar with Wadjeteye will know even before playing that the game will be a point and click adventure game filled with smart visuals, superb voice acting and a storyline so innovative you won’t finish playing until the game has ended. I always have such high expectations for Wadjeteye games and to be fair, my expectations are always met or exceeded with ease. But does Shardlight live up to the Wadjeteye standards?
Let’s start with a basic plot. To set the scene for you, the bombs have fallen and what is left isn’t pretty. Many citizens find themselves working for the Government in order to get a lottery ticket, but instead of the winning money you get the much needed vaccine to keep you alive, for a little while anyway. For the rich, their government support gets them the vaccines but for the poor, you are forced into doing hard labour intensive work to enter into this not so random lottery game. You play as Amy Wellard and as luck would have it, you are one of the poor ones. As with everyone you know you live in poor conditions, everyday fearful of catching the green lung disease. But one day when working you come across a dying man who begs you to deliver a letter and so starts an adventure to figure out what the government is hiding, if there is a cure to eradicate green lung and how to figure all this out without getting killed.
Having completed Shardlight I can say the story seems more brutal than previous Wadjeteye games. It’s not for the feint hearted and not everyone gets out alive. This does make for a more adult game and you need to pay attention as an important decision needs to be made at the end.
There are many familiar voices in Shardlight. If you have played previous Wadjeteye instalments you will recognise them too. It does make it whimsical to listen again to the voices of Wadjeteye and brings back a familiarity, like you have returned home! I can only really illiterate my previous reviews in that the voices are very well acted, the script is clever and well written and you can see read and hear the care that has gone into just the dialogue within the game.
The supportive characters within the game are well thought out and their characters add to the story and the world. In this game you only play as Amy, this is rare as in many Wadjeteye instalments you play as multiple characters throughout the game such as the Blackwell series, Resonance, etc. Playing just as Amy isn’t necessary a bad thing. Her characters is sassy and smart.
Visually this game is what you come to expect from Wadjeteye- detailed backgrounds within a pixelated style. As well as the normal achievements, there are some funnier quirkier ones, I won’t spoil the surprise and leave you to uncover them for yourself.
The puzzles are rational and the few item combinations logical. The game is fairly linear and generally clear where to go next, although saying that I did come undone a few times. Although I find a Wadjeteye game isn’t complete without at least one puzzle which I struggle with for ages before finding an obvious answer which was there all along…
If I have to pick holes I say this game felt shorter than other Wadjeteye games I played, it took me around the 4 hour mark to complete. Perhaps I was enjoying myself to much but I would have like more time in the world of Shardlight. But I must remember that a good quality short game is far better than a long drawn out game.
Overall a quality game and for point and click gamers a must play. Wadjeteye never fails to please.