Decay: Parts 1 to 4
- Xbox Live Indie - Part 1: 80 Microsoft Points (£0.68), Parts 2 to 4: 240 points each (£2.04).
We've all been there: you wake up in a bathroom with no memory of who you are. There's a noose hanging from the ceiling, suicide notes are scattered around your apartment, and Drop The Boy by Bros. blaring out of the stereo.
OK, the last one's a bit far-fetched, but the others form the basis of the mystery of Shining Gate's brooding four-part horror adventure.
Played out from a limited first-person perspective, you can check out each room from a few key perspectives, and it's up to you to poke around in all the darkened corners in search of useful items and clues about your identity, and try not to freak out when the ugly doll turns up.
In keeping with adventure tradition, anything not nailed down ends up in your growing inventory, and with a modicum of item manipulation and the usual to-ing and fro-ing you'll eventually get a sense of what the hell's going on.
With the developer clearly growing in confidence and ambition with every episode, what starts off as a mildly intriguing prod-fest morphs into something altogether more challenging and impressive. By the fourth and final part, you're even able to explore each location in 360 degrees.
For the committed horrorphile looking to wallow in the spirit of the mid-nineties, Decay has the grit and grime required to drag you through its misery. It's sullen, morose and unforgiving - but sometimes, that feels like a good thing.
The Tiny Bang Story
- PC & Mac Steam - £6.99.
- Coming soon to iPad and Android.
- Free demo available.
At what point in adventure gaming's long evolution did someone decide that clicking on everything was the fun part? Who needs narrative intrigue and character development when you can spend untold hours wearing your left mouse button out in search of unending random tat?
Colibri Games' latest starts as it means to go on - at a snail's pace, as you patiently scour every last pixel on the hunt for a designated number of objects. Once you've satisfied the overlord of hidden object lore, you're periodically drip fed one-off puzzle challenges, such as piecing together a ripped picture, or putting a train back together, or - thrills - shooting balloons.
And to add to the painstaking nature of the fun, each of the game's parts concludes with a good old-fashioned jigsaw challenge.
For those of a methodical mindset, The Tiny Bang Story might hold a very specific appeal, with its self-contained challenges that you can gradually chip away at. But if you were hoping that the game's fetching hand-drawn art style was indicative of its broader quality, prepare for disappointment.
If the hours of object-hunting attrition doesn't numb you to the bone, then the generic puzzle interludes probably will.
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