In recent years, I’ve grown rather fond of casual puzzle games that don’t require quick thinking and reflexes. One such game for which I decided to try the demo was The Almost Gone, during which you explore the house of a broken family, each room serving as a diorama that hides items and clues to progress.
I enjoyed this demo…on the most part. The concept of solving puzzles scattered throughout an entire house is interesting, and some of the puzzles really got me thinking without being overly difficult. I am also curious about the story, which revolves around an architect father, a writer mother, and their child, along with a tree house and some supposed outer darkness that couldn’t be passed through.
Unfortunately, the puzzles were held back by a few flaws. The graphics feature a muted color palette, and although they are simple, I still struggled to distinguish between items I could interact with and those I couldn’t. After not making any progress for a substantial amount of time, I had to look for help online just to locate some tiny pill bottle on a table that I had passed over multiple times. Another issue I had were the many extra “bubbles” that would pop up around the edges of the screen and zoom in on a particular detail in the room. Again, it was difficult to distinguish between those that hid important clues and those that merely elaborate on the story.
The most aggravating thing of all, however, was how troublesome the house was to navigate. I read a review that said that this could be due to the fact that you can view each room from different angles, which makes it easy to lose your bearings. This probably explained why I spent so much of my time wandering aimlessly as I tried to remember how to reach a particular room.
Despite the flaws, I’m still rather intrigued by this game and curious about where it’s going to take us, both story-wise and physically, as the game’s description mentions more locations than just the protagonist’ s house. On the downside, I also feel like the game could be a pain to play if I encountered so many struggles in just the demo alone.
Most people say The Almost Gone takes just under 3 hours to complete (5 hours if you’re looking to get 100%) and costs $9.99 on PC and consoles and $3.99 on mobile (but I’ve seen it on sale for $1.99). Honestly, I think the game would be easier to play on mobile devices because of the touch screen capabilities, and since this is also the cheaper option, that might be your best bet if you decide to try this game for yourself.
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