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Resonance | Available Now
PC | Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games | Developer: Wadjet Eye Games
I need to make a confession: I am horrible at puzzle games. Despite this (frequently virtually fatal) flaw, I still enjoy them, even if I need to
occasionally often refer to a walkthrough.
I am not embarrassed to admit that I kept a walkthrough open through most of Resonance.
Resonance is a 90′s-style point-and-click adventure game. Throughout the game, you play four different characters, sometimes individually, sometimes utilizing multiple characters at once, who are investigating the mysterious death of a scientist who discovered an amazing but dangerous new technology.
The puzzles range from simple to needlessly convoluted. Thankfully, there are more of the former than the latter, but several puzzles were unnecessarily frustrating, including one that most guides actually give a mathematical formula to make it “easier” to solve. I don’t generally enjoy running for a pen and paper to do math while playing a video game. There are also some easily-missed moments that will make you scratch your head in frustration. Early on I was told I had to visit a cemetery, but it was never marked on my in-game map. Eventually I found out that you need to use the proper character to talk to another character and then you will get a dialogue choice to visit the cemetery.
At least in the beginning, I found the interface to be a bit confusing and clunky as well. Reminders on how to use it do appear; however, they scroll by on your Memory/Inventory interface and only a few short words are displayed at one time. Sitting there trying to re-read the tips as they scroll is frustrating.
The most interesting concept in Resonance for me was the use of Long- and Short-Term Memory as well as Inventory items to drive conversations. Key story points appear in your Long-Term Memory dropdown box, and you can drag and drop any clickable item in the environment into your Short-Term Memory and use those items in conversations with any character in the game. Early in the game, you need to access a computer that is in use by a receptionist. Drop the wall clock into your Short-Term Memory, speak to the receptionist, and use that memory of the clock to remind her that it’s time for her to go home! It’s a novel idea that sounds a little crazy but totally works.
The overall story of Resonance branches out as the game progresses and ends up in a place that feels quite poignant given the concerns of things in today’s world like terrorism and security. I don’t really want to elaborate more on this topic, as I feel it is integral to the story; however, I will say that I am not entirely sure I liked the direction the story went or the endings of the game in relation to the story. It has been several hours since I finished the game at this point and I am still disturbed by the subject matter and the overall implications of the story. I do not know if the designers meant to draw parallels to the world we live in or if they just meant to tell an intriguing story, but I think it is impossible to play through Resonance and not find these parallels. Maybe I am reading too much into it, or maybe, like me, you will be disturbed by them as well.