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Played in 2023
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Despite heavily trading on having its development led by ex-Playdead staff, Somerville a significant downgrade from Inside in about every possible way (poor optimization, some unnecessarily confusing level design, a story with interesting ideas that fails to stick the landing); still, its puzzles and set pieces are solid enough that it’s worth playing for fans of short, very linear cinematic action-adventure games, especially while it’s on Game Pass.
(I can’t really call this a “cinematic platformer” when there’s no jumping, though its linearity and cinematic pacing make that subgenre the closest point of comparison.)
Solid little first-person point-and-click adventure game themed around restoring color to a black-and-white world. Inventory puzzles can get a bit obtuse or pixel-hunty for my taste, but there's a decent hint system and it's a nice, short one-sitting play.
I'm sorry, everyone, I really tried to get into this one, but I just couldn't get past the bizarre control scheme, poorly explained mechanics, questionable checkpointing, and infrequent save points. The art direction and weird atmosphere are great and I have no doubt that this could be a much better game with some QOL tweaks and accessibility settings, but as is, I'd much rather watch a playthrough or a YouTube analysis video than attempt to play this again.