Puzzle platform games are one of my favorite game type. The attention for the environment and characters that is given to this type are very important. And when these two elements are done well and an appealing story or subject is laid out, it makes people curious to play it.
This time I got my hands on a copy of the new to come game from Noetic Games, Blue Sheep. We know about them from a previous game, See No Evil, which Justin reviewed a while back, and you can find it here.
The main character is a little nine year old girl named Rose. She has a brother who started to have some mental illness issues after a friend of his has passed away . This is the main focus of the game, exploring how a person with these type of issues faces them and what their thoughts are. As dark as the subject is, I find it very appealing, because it never has been tackled well in the gaming industry. This can be caused mostly because of the depressing environment and feeling of the entire game.
Here is not the case, we have a very bright and vivid colored world, that looks almost as a dream or some child’s imagination. Rose enters this world, exploring it and having her brother in the background talking to her. The place, as stated by her brother, is called Anything, abstract enough to leave me wondering what it is about. Along the way, Rose is helped with items by the Kin, which are creatures that created this world and also her brother’s friends. One kin that stands out is Joel, which has the same name as a neighbour of theirs. This makes me think that this is the friend which Rose’s brothers is talking about, but it is just an assumption. There are also some smaller creatures that looks like some teddy bears going angry, called the Influence, which are involved in destroying this world. However there is a bigger foe, portraited by a wolf and this is the guy that you actually have to fight.
The mechanics of the game are kind of standard for a puzzle platform game. Going left or right (but mostly left), jumping around, rolling and all the usual stuff. The combat is made out by using two tools, a stick or a sword of some kind I’m still not pretty sure what it is, which you receive early in the game from a kin and a bow. The bow really comes in handy when you will have your first boss fight.
The complexity of the puzzle as for what I played until now are not difficult, though i doubt this was the main focus of the game, but rather to make an exploration into mental illness. I hope that when the game will be released and you play further into the story, the puzzles become harder and harder.
At the moment the game is still in development but will be soon finished and ready for a launch day. There are still bugs regarding character control or delay of commands received from the keyboard (especially the jump), but I’m sure that they will be resolved. One thing that I haven’t mention is the music. It is made out of acoustic guitar playing which is extremely beautiful and matches the atmosphere and the magical world 100%.
The developers Gabriel and Ryan wish to make an educated journey in this not so happy world of people that have suffered from mental illness. The way they deliver this world is in a comforting way but without forgetting to be honest about it. I can see that this project is one very close to their hearts and want to show the world what people go through.
You can check their game trailer down below and also their Greenlight page on Steam. Give them a vote and follow them. The game is annouced to be released later this year in December.
Rating: GOOD (shite, cash grab, mediocre, good, excellent).