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    dkirschner's The Artful Escape (PC)

    [January 2, 2022 03:04:54 PM]
    I was excited to play this because it looked visually stunning and had an interesting premise. You play as a teenager whose uncle was a famous folk musician (like a Bob Dylan figure). You are a budding folk musician yourself, don't care for folk. What you really want to be is a guitar phenom playing sci-fi inspired epic rock music. So on the night before your first show at the annual festival in honor of your uncle, some far-out aliens come in need of a supporting act for their intergalactic, jammin' concert tour. Queue a series of incredible looking levels where you ostensibly get to play the guitar with the universe's greats for an intergalactic audience.

    Did I mention how great this game looks? Holy crap. The art is phenomenal. I recommend it on that alone. You can make the visuals look even better by holding down X to solo on your guitar as you move left/right through the levels, which makes environments and creatures respond in mesmerizing, gorgeous ways. This interplay between your input, the music, and the environment is pretty cool.

    The visuals never get old, but unfortunately the music does! Each level has chill, ambient music by default, and when you hold X, you wail on your guitar. I think that most people can only handle so much spacey guitar soloing, even with the slight variations in each level. But the ambient noise is quite nice, and I wound up just listening to it and admiring the scenery in many areas, especially those in which pressing X didn't trigger any environmental changes.

    I've mentioned that you press X to wail on guitar while you move left and right. Okay, so that is >90% of the gameplay. The other <10% is dialogue choices and the concerts. The concerts (or battles, or tests, or whatever you want to call them) are really simple Simon Says mini-games. In a game about a kid finding his musical identity and expressing his creativity, it is odd that the player is prevented from doing either. At one point, you are told that you can press X to be creative and create rhythm or something; this is extremely shallow. You can technically create rhythm by pressing X and by holding buttons during Simon Says (and technically can choose notes during Simon Says), but your range of freedom is minimal. It also doesn't matter whether you get it right or not. The pattern will just repeat if you mess up, and you try again, and the alien is always impressed and you win in the end. There's no perfecting sequences, no encouragement for flair or improvisation. So once you've heard enough guitar solos, learn there is no failure, learn you can't really DO anything, and realize this game is mostly a lot of eye candy, it's kind of like, let's hurry up and get to the end. Luckily it's not that long and I finished it before I fell asleep, though I did nod off toward the end.

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    dkirschner's The Artful Escape (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 29 December, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 29 December, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Beautiful visuals, but starts to wear thin by the end.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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