+Extremely immersive settings and storytelling
+Extremely well done atmospheres
-Short when it comes to entire duration of the game
-Voice acting is sub-par.
When Zeotrop Interactive stumbled upon their own treasure trove of gold. In their game Conarium, fans can rest assured that they took inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft. As part of his genius, H.P. Lovecraft is an author who has managed to surpassed his time through his storytelling methods, settings, and approach to dark Gothic horror settings.
With this newest game drawing inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft himself, there’s no doubt that Conarium has adapted from the famed book At the Mountain of Madness, but stumbles upon doing some perfectly. Like many games that try to become adaptions of H.P. Lovecraft’s works, the game does express itself quite contently. Just as expected, our protagonist himself in Conarium, is a member of an Antarctic expedition who has woken up to find his groups base of operations deserted and all his memory of the events wiped clean.
In the game you’ll find yourself searching for clues about what happened to your colleagues, yourself, and the mysterious large caverns, ancient ruins, and last-but-not-least piecing it all together in a setting that will unsettle fans. The Upuaut base is something unique, one that seems to draw deeply from within the games core settings, and the underlying mechanics players will need to adapt to. In order to find the adventure feasible, much of the games story is told through letters, diary entries, audio recordings, and even flashbacks that come in the form of surrealistic visions.
While these methods seem overused and constantly gone-to-narrative; they work rather well for this dark and cryptic story. While you would expect the voice acting to be solid, it’s honestly not quite that great, but the games story and plot serve a delightful enjoy a solid game. While mechanics could be discussed, there’s honestly not much to discuss, which could leave players scratching their heads. It’s not a game that’s deep outside of players walking while exploring, running from a few threats out there, and even solving puzzles as needed by the game.
Most of the puzzles are the interesting bits of the game, the ones that will have gamers raising their brows while trying to get through the game. The puzzles will help build around the place in which you are exploring. While puzzles can prove to be difficult from time to time, they are ones that could easily rival that of the likes of Myst from time to time. While the puzzles are sharp, challenging, and enjoyable; there is an element to the game that is a bit rougher; the action bits.
While they are rare and rather short, there are a few moments within the game where player swill find themselves sprinting away from what is chasing them. They will find themselves moving as quickly as possible so as not to die instantly. While the chase scenes are rare, they are troubling for fans that want to get a good feel for the game, but it helps add to the H.P. Lovecraft elements of the game. While these fast-paced moments do happen, they aren’t the quintessential part of the game. What is, is the horrific creatures, the horror filled elements within the game.
Conarium – PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Zeotrope Interactive
Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $19.99 USD
While the horror elements I expected to see were present, they weren’t the horrific elements that I had long expected, and hope to see in the long run. Sadly the experience only lasted around four hours before the game was over and short lived. However, this doesn’t take way the fact the game isn’t one to end quickly or without purpose. It’s a game that comes full circle and leaves players wanting more once done.
Our review is based upon a retail version provided to us by the games publisher. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.