Sep 23, 2017 Last Updated 10:18 PM, Sep 22, 2017

Saucer-Like Review

Published in Adventure
Read 1251 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

  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm Review

    Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself designed the levels. The title deals with weighty issues wrapped in stunning visuals and peppered with a comprehensive soundtrack by real artists. This addition to the franchise is a must-play.

  • Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story Review

    Another Lost Phone is truly a masterpiece in its kind, setting a bar in both creativity and meaning that will be hard for future installments in the genre to match. In addition to being one of the most innovative vehicles for a puzzle-based story to be released in a long time, the story is immensely engaging from the moment you unlock the phone. Accidental Queens have now issued a challenge to game designers everywhere: use your art to tell stories that need to be told.

  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 Review

    With Divinity: Original Sin 2, Larian Studios creates a title that brings together the best aspects of table-top and classic roleplaying games. The graphics, along with the score and voice acting, are painstakingly detailed and are truly awe-inspiring. Every decision you make, from character creation to dialogue, will affect your experience, giving you a slightly different playthrough every time. This is not a game for the casual player, however. The sheer size of the game and the difficulty of some battles will require dozens of hours and have you loading quicksaves time and again. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is primed to be on many all-time favorites lists; few, if any, have succeeded to this degree.

More in this category: Roots of Insanity Review »

Latest Shows

Crumple Intervie…

The OPN Dev Talk with Gabriel Gutierrez from Nascent Games, on their title newly release title "Crumple." A great conversation about what it takes to get a studio on the run, and o...

The Search Inter…

Embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration in The Search - a story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! In an unknown world, you'll sear...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

FIFA 18

Score incredible goals in FIFA 18 as new movement and finishing animations unlock more fluid strikin...

Cook, Serve, Del…

If you loved the first Cook, Serve, Delicious!, then you'll probably love Cook 2,as well. While there are major bugs for the Mac version right now, there are only minor bugs for Wi...

Sine Mora EX Rev…

As you familiarize yourself with Sine Mora  EX, difficulty declines: bosses and normal enemies have predetermined flight and attack patterns, the structure of the map doesn’t chang...

Life is Strange:…

Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself design...

Tangledeep Early…

Tangledeep is like the platonic ideal of RPGs: it has everything you want in a dungeon crawling roguelike without all the mess of outdated graphics or frustrating UI. This gem evok...