Gemini Rue Reader Review
Gemini Rue, an indie game in the purest sense of the word, having been developed almost solely by one man- Joshua Nuemberger, is an old school point and click style adventure game. And when I say old school, I really mean it. The game revels in nostalgia, with graphics reminiscent both technically and stylistically of early Lucasarts and Virgin Interactive games, such as Beneath a Steel Sky, complete with a verb box interface to interact with the environment.
The game takes place in a sci-fi setting, and tells the initially unconnected stories of two men, Azriel Odin and Delta Six. Azrielsí tale involves him looking for his brother on the planet Barracus, a run-down world of perpetual rain, drug addicts, and criminals. It feels almost like a film noir.
Delta Six meanwhile is an inmate attempting escape from a sinister facility, which seems to be trying to recondition him for some unknown purpose. And the contrast between this location and Barracus is stark, where Barracus is night skies and dingy back streets, this facility is sterile and sparse. Of course the two stories inevitably become intertwined, and the game will often allow you to switch between the two stories at will. Without going into any more details and risking spoilers I will say that the story is superb and mature, and is frankly one of the biggest reasons to play the game.
While at its heart this is a strictly old school game, there are a few concessions to modernity, for one thing you have access to a communicator which keeps track of useful information so you donít have to, the game is also fully voice acted, and the performances are quite strong, which is refreshing for an indie game and helps bring the world to life.
The puzzles are never too abstract or illogical, and as such never feel unfair. The flip side to this is that not many of them hold any real challenge, and in the brief five hours or so it took me to run through the game I only felt genuinely stumped once or twice. This isnít necessarily a bad thing, personally I too often find myself resorting to a walkthrough in these sorts of games, so it was nice that for once I didnít have to, and I enjoyed just letting the atmosphere and story wash over me, but if you like your games to be challenging youíre not going to find that here.
Length aside I have few real issues with the game. I did find the limited number of locations wore thin by the end, as you are regularly required to backtrack to places youíve already been, for example by sheer coincidence several different people you need to track down during the course of the game all apparently live in the same apartment block. So it would have been nice if the game world had been slightly bigger. And obviously the graphics will be a barrier to some people, but if you grew up on these sorts of games youíll likely enjoy the nostalgia of it all.
If youíre unsure there is a demo available, but if you like a strong story to underpin your games and donít mind that itís maybe a little easy you canít really go wrong with this, especially not for under £12.