25/04/2018

⛵️ Review: Solo "A game about love, crafted with love" ⛵️ #GameDev @TeamGotham_

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Game Title: Solo
Platform Reviewed: PC (Steam)
Developer: Team Gotham
Rating: Ice Cool
Release date – April 26th 2018
Solo is a video game featuring a sailor traversing an archipelago, solving puzzles and musing on love as he works his way across the scenic islands. I instantly warmed to its tone and charms as I puzzled my way through the game.
Solo starts with you choosing your character and their relationship status (which alters aspects of the story, the choices are quite varied and should cater for everyone). Starting off at your house, your cheerful, rotund character soon sets sail for a distant archipelago and the game starts in earnest.


Solo works as a third-person puzzler. The puzzles in the game are all variations on a similar theme, starting off as simple ‘stack-the-boxes’ to create steps to move forward but these soon branch out into more complicated (and yet solvable) fare when fans, suction cups and bridges are introduced as well as sections involving recreating shadows on a floor. The characters in the game are chunky and cute and are the perfect match for the delicate, plucked acoustic music that accompanies you on your travels. I was especially impressed with the smoothness of the graphics and the perfect puzzle control scheme that becomes second-nature after a while as you unlock different items to help you progress. Everything just feels so smooth!
The game works by giving you a section of an island to work through, you reach lighthouses that wake up totems, these totems then task you with a question about love that subtly alters the narrative and also unlocks further connecting section of the island for you to work through. Eventually you will reach another boat to take you to the next part of the game where this cycle is repeated. It is a very simple system but the brevity of game play completed sucked me in. There’s something comforting about Solo and whilst the questions are all quite straightforward, they do allow you to gently muse on the meaning of love and see how your choices affect your in-game relationship (Every time I had a question such as ‘have you ever hated the one you love’ I put the same question to my ‘real-life’ partner and had some entertaining responses, so the game can create interesting conversations, if played truthfully).
There are some side quests in the game, such as building bridges for two separated animals to meet up once again and small camp sites to reach that contain letters that further the story and although they are relatively simple, the tone of the game just put me in the mind to help everyone that I came across. The fluidity of the controls make puzzle-solving fun and when you build up the crates then dive off and parachute to the next section, successfully, it gave me a feeling of accomplishment.


Summary  
Solo may not be for everyone. It’s light-hearted tone and relatively simple puzzles may not tickle everyone’s fancy but it absolutely worked for me. I found that I could have a blast for ten minutes and move forward a  puzzle or two and it worked to delve into for a couple of hours, you never feel completely lost or unfairly stuck. Even typing this has got me in the mood to play more of it…so I will!
Right, I’m off to bring two loved-up cats back together with a box covered in suction cups, a fan and a magic wand.
P.S – I noticed that the only other game released by team Gotham is a mystery / horror game called ‘The Guest’ (which I fancy playing) but it tickled me the shift in tone between these games, variety is good for the soul!
 ❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)


Review By Britt