|Game: Perils of Man
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: IF Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Release Date: Sep 10, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating: 7/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 8.5/10
Replay Value: 8/10
The Point and Click adventure game Perils of Man (or The Perils of Man, if they make up their minds), by IF games, takes you on a journey through time. You play as Ana: after getting a present from her missing father, she wants to learn more about the gift, about him and try to find where he is now.
The game in itself is nice and short, controlled mainly by the mouse, though you can use your keyboard to call up the inventory, which was handy. The graphics might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I rather liked them – they have a bit of a cartoony look to them, and also reminded me a little of Coraline for some reason (however, Perils of Man has nothing to do with it). The 3D renditions of them move nicely, though I did miss the ability to run on double click, and in a couple sections they did bug out and ‘slid’ rather than walk. But I’ll go more on that later. The music was a delight to listen to, although I do wish it would have stopped when the game wasn’t in focus or was minimized. The sound effects and voices were really, really nicely done, making the game quite charming.
The dialogs and just the overall feeling of it all was reminiscent of the adventure games of old, just in a slighter… easier way. The puzzles weren’t as challenging, but they were pleasant to play through all the same. There was no oblique thought going into it about forming strange things to use as other things, all item mixing was logical and/or explained somewhere if it didn’t seem overly logical.
I do have to say my computer, as it’s not extremely powerful, tends to lag a bit on videos, and unfortunately lagged on Peril’s videos as well. Normally I try to skip them (which you can do here) and watch them later (after I’m done with the game) on youtube, or make a second play-through if the game wasn’t too long to see it with all the laggy cutscenes, but I found it hard to do with Perils, for the cutscenes contained only not parts of the story, but entire clues on what you had to do next. This was quite troublesome to me. As much as I love to watch carefully crafted cutscenes, what I like more about games is often to play them, after all. However, the cutsecnes weren’t too long, so if the videos work well for you they are worth a watch for the clues and the story alike.
As for everything else, Perils of Man ran quite fine in all chapters except one when she’s on a ship in the sea; the storm in the back lagged it terribly and it was quite a torture to get through it. It lagged even when the storm wasn’t seen through any of the ships windows or portholes, which was even more annoying.
Another thing that was really bothersome was a section in the theater, there is an area that links the furnace and cisterns, but unless you click in a very precise area, the camera won’t follow you even when you hear Ana walking away out of sight. I was pretty sure I clicked all over to no avail, and in the end had to turn to the forums for help. It wasn’t really a bug, but it wasn’t very well thought out either. What was a bug though was getting stuck in a couple areas on invisible walls, just because I tried to do two actions too fast. Then she would refuse to walk but you could still hear the steps sound effect. She would also end up walking but then not want to accept any further commands – no leaving the area or clicking on another item unless you reloaded the game. It wouldn’t had been so annoying if it hadn’t all started happening after I got “stuck” trying to enter the cistern, which had already frustrated me quite a bit.
Fortunately the game auto-saves (apparently) fairly often, so I didn’t experience any loss when I had to do the reloads.
Those little pesky bugs ended up taking away a good deal of my enjoyment of the game, hence I give it a lower rating than I would have if my play-through had gone smoothly. (I would’ve probably gone for a 9/10 instead of 7/10)
Despite that, the game is fun, the story is interesting and the ideas in it good, although I do feel like the ending didn’t quite resolve things entirely… and it reminded me of the good old adventure games of old, which is always nice.
I definitely recommend it, and hope you don’t encounter the bugs I did.