All alone, at least, that’s what you think.
Aside from a few things here and there, I’m actually not too familiar with Lovecraftian horror. I have played several games that had to do with the old gods and many of them I enjoyed a lot, but as far as knowing the lore of any of these things, I’m at a loss. Luckily, I don’t really have to know much when it comes to Conarium. This game really attempts to explain it all, all the while trying to create a twisted physiological world that is interesting to explore as well as adding a few puzzles to tease the brain.
Players take control of Frank Gilman. Frank is an explorer of sorts that has came to Antarctica on a research and excavation expedition. Of course, he doesn’t remember any of it due to his memory being erased. He wakes up in a room on the arctic station and must explore the area and many other places in hopes of finding out what has happened and where everyone else has gone.
Price I’d pay: $19.99
The gameplay itself is more of an adventure game. The player will find items that can be used on certain things like keys, handles, etc. but it never becomes a chore like trying to use everything in the inventory with everything in the environment. There are also sections of the game that have the player solving puzzles. This is where the game shines the most. While I enjoy a good puzzle, the ones in Conarium felt a bit different. Nothing was ever laid out for me while playing. I just had to figure it out. Normally, this would drive me up a wall, but since the puzzles are implemented so well, I enjoyed my time figuring them out even when it felt like I had hit a brick wall. The exploration seemed to stop me more than anything. I would come to multiple places during my time with the game where I just wouldn’t know where to go next. I had things in my inventory that I could use, but had no idea where to use them.
There are also sections where I would be chased by a supernatural force (this is a horror game, after all) and if caught, would instantly die. While these sections are short, it seemed like a brute force attempt every time. I was guaranteed to die at least once in order to figure out the best escape plan. Luckily, like I said, these sections were short and few.
The story itself is portrayed through many audio and reading logs told much like other games in this genre. And while Frank’s voice acting wasn’t the greatest in the world, I actually really enjoyed the story being told here. I’m a sucker for diary notes that tell a story, especially a supernatural/disturbing one. While this is a horror game, don’t expect constant jump scares to be happening. In fact, this is more of a thriller game over a horror game. It sets the atmosphere and tells a story rather than a game that streamers will be playing to get those “hilarious” screaming moments.
For $20, players get a decent adventure game that has some pretty good puzzles and a decent story. Granted, it’s not the longest game out there and completionists can get pretty much everything on their first run if they really try. Conarium came out of nowhere and surprised me when I finally played it. It takes a few moments to get into it, but when it ramps up, it gets pretty good. Give it a shot if you enjoy adventure games and a decent horror story.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.