Outcry - Review

Ages: Everyone 10+

After the first hour of play - I decided that I had enough of turning cranks, finding codes, collecting obscure pieces and reading, reading or rather listening since there is a voiceover for the documents. But then I decided that maybe I should try getting into the time capsule.

The game has five distinct episodes; first is the present day when you respond to your brother's urgent request to come as soon as possible, that his work on human perception is now complete. This involves familiarizing yourself with his apartment/laboratory - unfortunately your brother is missing. Among notes describing his experiments are admonitions to destroy everything and not to proceed - you of course, unable to resist, figure out how to activate the capsule which will transport a person to another world.

The second part opens up on the Shimmering World - this is accomplished by everything appearing wavy. This world is in the future and the apartment is blasted apart with most of it hanging in a surreal black void. I found this the most fun and enjoyed the disorientation of trying to reconstruct the apartment to locate objects to retrieve.

In the third segment - although all flow into each other except for the long load times - the main occupation is finding and constructing the time key because you no longer can use the capsule. This one plays between the current time and the previous time where change in the past can effect the future. Things become weirder as floors morph into walls and you are still doing Myst-like manipulations of machines.

Next stop - the desert with the ancient Dolmens that the professor was looking for - and a street car. More machinations - and you ride the trolley car to the Aeolian Harp. I needed a walkthrough at this point.

I found this to be the most tortuous part - tuning the metal flowers to match the sounds of the harp. Anyway, it is a short section which leads to the denouement.

Snowy scene - brothers reunite and it is one of the most enigmatic, non-endings I have experienced. If you believe that the trip is where the most fun is - and the game is pretty trippy - you will enjoy it. I liked the trip, the feeling of being disoriented, the confusion - I wanted a wrap-up. Developers need to feel responsible for the time that players have given them to make a reasonable conclusion - not to end it just because they are tired of the game. Perhaps they should have started with the end first.

The early scenes are done in sepia, like an old old movie. Light from windows flare and extinguish details; there is an over abundance of rust textures, in the Shimmering World surfaces are undulating. Music is soft semi-classic piano. The Russian developers tried to buoy-up the premise of out-of-body experience with Freudian and Jungian tomes laying for you to read. For me, just leave me in the first Shimmering World.

Fun Factor: Very weird, but worth it.

Reviewed by: Editor - 09/08

  • Outcry
  • © The Adventure Company/Dreamcatcher
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP
  • To Order: Win http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99