Monday, March 30, 2009
5 Days a Stranger
After many thoughts on this subject, I've decided that the first review about an AGS game will be 5 Days a Stranger by Yahtzee. It doesn't mean that's my favourite. ;)
First of all - the official site. On the AGS-site the game can be found here along with a detailed voiting and comments of people who have finished it (or are still playing it). You can download it here or here.
Since you can read on the sites I've mentioned above a short resume of the story, I will safe this poetry and get straight to the hard stuff. :P
Story: Now despite the couple of critics I'll mention bellow, the story "fixes" all negative sides of the game. It's creepy and full of suspense all the way from start to end. I really love it. It's like an award winning mixture of thriller, horror and sci-fi. On some places it's even scary. Yes, something that I've seen lately in a game. Maybe because of the fact that it isn't full of butchering, rape and other types of violence (well the first one IS actually part of the game ;)). It's because the game is tense. An aggravate tension. It starts very simple and one might think: "Oh, that looks so lame...". But shortly after the start the real story begins. I won't tell you more so that I keep the soup hot and tasty. ;)
Visuals: Well, here comes a little bit of my criticism. Animation's great. And plenty. Tribly (the main character) moves kind of stiff though (something that one can notice by the other characters too). Like dancing on coals. Rooms could have been with more detail. There are some of them that are nearly empty. Feels kind of weird when you know that this is a big old mantion (and the owner isn't poor ;)). The style is nice despite the criticism above and GUI that needs polishing (hard to see the icons since they are with the same color as the GUI-line where they are placed on).A couple of screenshots:
Sound: Great. A bunch of creepy sounds + cool background music that doesn't start getting on your nerves 2-3 minutes gaming.
Atmosphere: Take an old mansion full with strange sounds, add a thrilling horror story and great cast of characters and you'll get 5 Days a Stranger.
Dialogues: Nothing special. No quotes to be remembered. No jokes (well, a couple but some people might think they're not :P). But it fits great with the story and adds to the atmosphere.
Puzzles: What is an adventure game without puzzles? Well, it simply isn't an adventure game. Here you have some very well thought puzzles. But on my opinion they are too easy. Yes, the game is supposed to be short, but I think there could have been more (I know I'm greedy :)). Nothing that doesn't make sense. So it fits perfectly.
Overall enjoyment: Superb. I think that this game is one of the top AGS-games.
Play 5 Days a Stranger during the night with lights out and only the screen showing some light activity. You will get some very nice shivers down your spine when...No, I'm not telling you. You can see for yourselves. ;)