☆ Review: Distortions – “Violin Hero is something nobody asked for” ☆ #IndieGame #GameDev

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I generally consider myself a very forgiving reviewer. I usually give games the benefit of the doubt, especially in as a far as indie and first-time developers go. 

It was with this frame of mind that I approached Distortions, a debut video game by fledgling Brazilian developer Among Giants. 

But sadly, I am in awe of Distortions, and not in a good way.

Having reportedly taken eight years to complete by a group of friends working in their spare time, everything about Distortions smacks of a passion project too deeply personal to mean anything to anyone outside of its development. 

To consider that it’s is a fully-released game and not an early access title is mind boggling. Almost everything from the collision detection, to the camera angles, to event triggers, to lighting, to textures, to controls - I could continue listing but won’t – is glitchy and broken. No matter how passionate the developer may have felt about their creation, to charge as much as $20 for this game is, I think, incredibly misguided.

If I have to give distortions credit for something, it would have to be that the graphics and FMVs are at least half decent, and the idea and design of the game is at least a novel one.

Distortions sees you playing as an unnamed female protagonist who wakes up in a dreamlike word with no idea of who or where she is. As you explore the world in search of diary pages scattered around, and threatened by a giant sleeping beast that inhabits the dream world, a sad story involving a car crash and the woman’s ex-lover begins to take shape.

While the main character has passable movement controls, the vaulting and running is slow and frustrating more than it is fun. Couple this with the woman’s inability to sprint for longer than two or three seconds without becoming winded, and you’ve got a recipe for annoyance the likes of which is inexcusable.

Early on in the game you’re introduced to a violin-playing technique which operates similarly to rhythm games like guitar hero. Using this technique in certain areas will affect parts of the world and help you traverse and solve puzzles as you go. But largely it’s an uninteresting mechanic that exists as a narrative device rather than a fun gameplay addition.

Distortions is sadly not a good game. What’s most mind-boggling of all is the slew of apparent awards the game displays on its website. 

Maybe I am just not seeing its artistic value, but in terms of playability it’s virtually unplayable in my book. 

While the story and art design might have passed as a touching and artful one, the game’s faults far outweigh the positives.

Dev Link: Among Giants
Game Link: Steam

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

 Review By Alex

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