The Forgotten City

released on Jul 28, 2021

The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure game of exploration and deduction, and a re-imagining of the critically acclaimed mod of the same name. Combat is an option, but violence will only get you so far. Only by questioning an intertwined community of colorful characters, cleverly exploiting the time loop, and making difficult moral choices can you hope to solve this epic mystery. Here, your decisions matter. The fate of the city is in your hands.

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This review contains spoilers

I played the Skyrim mod a few years back and it was one of the best mods I have ever played. This standalone game improved many things (world, dialogues, etc.) but I wish it kept the ending from the original.

Cool concept. Lots of research went into the historical references. Holds your hand way too often though, and I though the twist at the end was dumb (with the true ending resolving everything a little bit too neatly).
Great for a Skyrim mod, but as a full game I felt it was short.

1: It's not a puzzle game
2: It's a dialogue based game
3: Choose "soldier"

Really enjoyed this one. The basic premise is that you're sent back in time to a small, closed-off Roman city in a ravine. The 20-odd inhabitants are trapped there, under threat of a "Golden Rule." If one person sins, then everyone suffers a grisly fate, though it's ambiguous to the residents as to what the actual rules are. Does theft count as a sin? How about suicide? Lying?
The twist is that on top of your exceptional circumstances, you're given access to a time loop that allows you to go back to the start if things go wrong. This allows you to solve the problems of the residents, remedy potential sins that might occur, and figure out the origins of the Golden Rule.
There's a lot of foresight and nuance in the dialogue options and choices. If you talk to a character about their love interest, for instance, go back in time, and broach the topic before they can tell you about it, they'll question how you knew about the person they were in love with. That's only one small example, but there are numerous others. The game also plays nicely with themes or morality and ethics, as well as the notion of collective punishment and the idea of a stringent, universal moral system.
The gameplay isn't terribly complex (there's one "combat" section that's kinda janky) and the character models look a little dated, but the narrative and time loop gimmick is more enough to carry the game. I don't think I've been this engrossed in a game for a while.

This one's a complicated one.
I absoluetly enjoyed the experience of this game, discovering its various secrets of it, connecting the string of the story made for a very engaging game for me. Some of my favorite moments were discovering the locations, but can't say more than that hehe.
It comes with one of the best twist during the game i've experienced in a long while, the surprise really stuck with me, also the voice acting? oh my gosh its lovely, the people did a wonderful job.
One thing that deserves mention is, without revealing too much, there is an optional thing you can do in the game that involves some rather gruesome moments, the game gently lets you know, that this is is about to happen and that you can avoid it. You absolutely can and everything is designed in mind for skipping this part of the game.
Now what about the story? I would say, its ok. Its not the best thing ive ever experienced but also not the worst, its a lil bit hit and miss but overall i would say things works fine.
Some of the problems i have with the story is a general problem most people run into when making a story game where the protagonist is the player and has to choose very specific dialogue to get to a perfect ending. And given the behind the scene of the game, the creator and the fact its an indie, i can totally understand how it has happened. At least to me knowing about the creator and how the art came to be for most work as it provides additional context sometimes.
The other major thing that may put people off is the ending, in my opinion, it just barely works, it makes sense, its a touchy subject to handle, but ive pondered long about it find it, an resolution that works.
With that said its very much a game that will hit differently with everyone. and thats fine.
I had a good time with this game, Gallerius got me when no one else got me, exploring this world was a blast.