May 27, 2017 Last Updated 11:41 AM, May 27, 2017

Saucer-Like Review

Published in Adventure
Read 555 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Saucer-Like is a short-form art piece in its genre

Saucer-Like, a highly artistic point-and-click adventure game developed by Fosfatina Ediciones and published by Tizona Interactive, loads to pleasing harp music and a peaceful screen with flowing clouds, waving grass, and a backdrop of rocky hills. The art style, a Jose Garnelo creation, is a minimalistic palette of earthy tones. Starting a new game cues a short animation in which the landscape, Kanji characters, and anime stylings are all reminiscent of Japan. The characters are drawn in a soft, rounded fashion, like those in a Miyazaki film [EN: For those of you in the nation’s capital who crave yet Japanese art, visit Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit, featured at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through May 14]. The cast come in sharp focus against the heavily textured backgrounds, which resemble pastels on coarse paper. Everything about the artwork is subtle, intentional, beautiful.

As the opening animation ends, the music blends into an orchestral score. Its melody merges into a single track, weaving in and out different themes for locations or people. The score incorporates sounds from the environment in a way that is too intentional to dismiss. I cannot overstate the nuances of every inch of this title; Saucer-Like feels like a piece of art as you play. The few cut scenes found after solving each major puzzle are short and direct. The animations do more than show what the character is experiencing: they evoke a poignant emotions – sharp sensory impulses of lust, fear, peace, harmony, longing, or disgust. The experience is palpable and moving.

You play as Yanagi, a young villager who is preparing for a life-changing ceremony with his village.

There is neither urgency to the game nor is there a driving pressure. The curtain draws on your character lazily waking up in his room, and you are allowed to explore the surroundings at leisure. It’s a pace which persists throughout the adventure.

The mechanics are simple, like the minimalism of the art direction. Scrolling up will access your inventory, and the click-and-drag function allows for interaction with your items. There is no run function, and your character walks at a casual pace that straddles the line between unbearably slow and calculated enough to fully take in the scene. The puzzles are straightforward and logical. Saucer-Like incorporates the plot and progression into the clues and solutions, so the puzzles you solve tell part of the story.

For all its beautiful wonder, though, Saucer-Like is SHORT!

I mean surprisingly short. It’s slow paced, and I loved taking my time delving into the rich details of the world, yet I still completed it in under one and a half hours. I'm accustomed to the short form titles available these days, but this isn't even a full episode. It plays as if Kubo and the Two Strings were a short film. There’s nothing wrong with short form, but I worry about potential abuse of Steam's two-hours-or-less return policy. Saucer-Like could benefit from being packaged with other, lengthier titles. I wonder, had Portal been released as an individual title, would we still be saying the cake is a lie? Unfortunately, I experienced a black screen consistently after a period and despite how short this game is, it glitched on me at least once per playthrough. The current version has language support for English, German, Russian, French, and Spanish. The dialogue in the game is easy to follow, and the options never get confusing or convoluted. However, a few of the English translations have some odd wording or misplaced grammar, but not enough to be jarring or lose the ambiance.

8

The Verdict

If you are the type of player who only loves the puzzles and skips the dialogue and cutscenes, this is not the game for you. If you enjoy the short form medium and all its nuances and subtext, you will appreciate Saucer-Like. Part of the appeal of traditional point-and-click games is the long, arduous journey you take with the character, building a strong tie over many hours. I think that what Garnelo has done is even more impressive, given how short it is.  The complex issues of personal identity and self-awareness are deftly handled through the imagery and gameplay. The poignant emotions it can pull out of you will remain with you long after you have finished the title.

Image Gallery

Cole Cousins

C. S. Cousins has been gaming since they were old enough to hold a controller. He picked up PC gaming at 10 after a family Christmas present of a Packard Bell 486. This marked a life-long love affair with DOOM and classic Point-and-Click adventure games. C. S. Cousins list Amanda Palmer, Kathleen Hanna, and Edward Snowden as personal heroes.  Hobbies include: writing, playing guitar, pen and paper rpg games, Anime, Movies, Art, and anything else that stimulates the creative. 

Related items

  • Telltale Developers Discuss 'The Walking Dead: A New Frontier'

    Telltale Games shared their season recap trailer for the critically-acclaimed The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier. As fans gear up for the finale, find out how they handled some of this season's most gripping choices, and hear insights into the seasons' emotional core from the developers themselves.

  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

    Komaru Naegi has been imprisoned inside a mysterious apartment for over a year. Her rescue is derailed when hundreds of Monokumas suddenly attack. She teams up with Toko Fukawa to survive the rampaging Monokumas, escape the crafty Monokuma Kids, and uncover the secrets of the city.

  • Empathy: Path of Whispers

    Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once inhabited it, trying to restore the world’s lost balance by journeying through its past.

More in this category: Roots of Insanity Review »

Latest Shows

Bulletstorm: Ful…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers Gearbox's remake of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition... Featuring Du...

OPN DevLounge Mo…

Episode Five, Season One! OPN's DevLounge Monthly is a lively conversation between game developers on Twitch, on the hottest PC games to be released this upcoming month. Watch it o...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Micro Machines W…

The legend is back! Micro Machines World Series combines the thrilling madness of racing micro vehic...

TEKKEN 7

Discover the epic conclusion of the long-time clan warfare between members of the Mishima family. Po...

Tormentor X Puni…

Everything in Tormentor X Punisher can be killed in one hit, from bosses to yourself. Bosses conjure...

Hot Plates

Discover the future world of cooking! The Chef of a space-restaurant needs to know all about managem...

The Infectious M…

The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker delivers a fresh, memorable, and intricately woven tale of psychological horror. The developer's experience in crafting murder mysteries sho...

Reservoir Dogs: …

Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days by Big Star Games is a third-person top-down shooter with few connections to Quentin Tarantino’s film other than it being about gangsters with color-cod...

SAMURAI WARRIORS…

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is superb and easily drags you into the gameplay, with the ability to train multiple characters and play as them, along with the replayability of...

Empathy: Path of…

Between the graphics and exploring this abandoned world and piecing together what happened, Empathy: Path of Whispers is incredible and highly recommended, even if you might not us...