When it comes to the majority of puzzle-platformers that revolve around the use of duo characters to work in tandem with each other, they largely focus on the puzzling components of the game, rather than the relationship between the two central characters. Games such as The Great Giana Sisters, Twin Robots and Shiftlings are a good example of this. However, with the debut title from Milanese developers, Lunar Great Wall Studios, the genre takes a step further as it, not only focuses on a series of interesting and meaningful puzzles, but also looks at the relationship between a young girl and a cat in the deeply fascinating Another Sight as it blindly leaps a release onto the Nintendo Switch.
Published through Fish Eagle, the game takes place in an altered reality of a steampunk London during the late nineteenth century, which sees a young teenager named Kit, or Catherine as her real name, left with impaired vision after falling through a collapsed floor within London’s underground. Within the depths of the late-Victorian city, she befriends a stray cat, Hodge, who helps her on a surreal journey to find her missing father; with whom she was collecting rocks with. With Kit’s restricted eyesight, she struggles to make out the environments around her and relies on Hodge to safely guide her on her way. However, along the way, various obstacles stand between the pair and their ultimate goal. Using the eyesight of the cat and the human dexterity of Kit, the two of them work together to form a bond that only a girl and her cat can have.
In order to convey a sense of the restricted vision of Kit, the developers have put a lot of research into the heightening of senses that many people with impaired eyesight rely on. Without the ability to make out her surroundings, Kit relies on sounds to shape the world around her, as well as trusting the instincts of her helpful cat. For instance, in one scene, an underground train rushes past a platform, lighting up the whole area for Kit to see in a brief moment. Other instances can involve the noises of steampunk machinery that litters the dark catacombs, as well as the guiding meow of Hodge to offer a glimpse of safer ground.
You can switch between characters at any time, taking advantage of Hodge’s enhanced eyesight of dark areas to seek out switches or points of interest that Kit can interact with. Between the two of them, you activate panels, pull levers, manipulate light sources and start machinery in order to progress through the levels; often with each character taking turns to help the other. The game also offers a change of mechanic, with some stealthy, hide-and-seek sections thrown in for good measure and present some of the most interesting and challenging levels within the gameplay. In terms of its puzzles, there’s never anything here that is too difficult or frustrating to work out. However, it’s the scene setting and narrative here that really shines through, urging you forward as you take in some breathtaking sights of stellar presentations.
Each of the levels are presented in a 2.5D format, with a depth of third-dimensional modelling to bring a variety of locales to stunning life. Your journey takes you through a series of underground stations, before transforming into the surreal of steampunk canals and sewers, star-filled gardens, electrical laboratories and underwater tunnels. There’s a very Alice in Wonderland feel to the settings here, yet despite its steampunk settings and Lewis Carroll influences, it never forces its inspirations on the player, creating a mystical journey that flows with a mysterious narrative through this enchanting tale of trust and companionship.
Each of the locales are given a reason for their being with a series of cut-scenes that sees you interacting with some famous historical figures from the real-life periods in which the game is set. For instance, Claude Monet paints a picturesque garden and Nikola Tesla electrocutes within his scientific laboratory. The further you progress in your journey, the more surreal each location becomes as you begin to lose sight of the real world and enter a dimension of the imagination. It’s a very clever premise surrounding the vision of the world around you; especially when your eyesight is impaired to a blurriness between reality and what you personally conceive.
The journey you undertake is pretty straightforward, at least in terms of puzzle-solving and progress. However, combined with the charming narrative, this produces a game that is relaxing, as it is pleasant, to play. It’s pacing is deliberately slow, but never boring. This allows you the time to take everything in around you, explore the landscape or figure out a solution to a puzzle without urgency, making it a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of many of today’s triple-A games. Although death can occur, it’s instances are very few and far between and with a generous checkpoint system, your never punished for making a mistake. This in turn, promotes a flow that keeps you progressing forward and before you know, you’ve sunk a few hours into the game.
However, despite all of its charms, there are a couple of factors that do hamper the overall game. The first comes in its overall playtime, running at around six to eight hours from beginning to end, dependent on your own personal skill level or how you approach the game. However, there are a series of collectables that you can go back for should you miss any, plus a few extra features such as interchangeable skins for Hodge the cat and background information on the characters and locales of the game. It’s biggest downfall through, is maybe its pricing. Running at a price that’s not far off a triple-A, its short playtime feels significantly less and, in my personal opinion, doesn’t really represent good value for money. Saying that though, it is a game of such quality that it simply needs to be experienced. If you’re put off by the price, then it’s definitely something that should be picked up in a sale.
Overall, Another Sight presents a beautiful journey within a surreal world that contains a lot of charm, both in its puzzles and the narrative that builds on the relationship between Kit and Hodge. The developers have done a fantastic job of representing a limited vision, with the heightened sense of noise painting a picture of your surroundings. The game itself plays and looks fantastic, with a pacing that makes a refreshing change and a journey that simply makes it irresistible to put down. For a debut title, this is a stunning piece of art and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for what they produce next.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Another Sight Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Another Sight presents a vision of beauty with the charm of a relationship between a girl and her cat.