Alone and stuck… seems about right.
The idea of being stripped from our daily and sometimes rudimentary life could sound exciting, hell maybe even a change of pace for those that need a break. Subject 13 toys with the idea in a not so subtle way. Franklin is depressed and bitter life has lead him to a drab existence. One day he awakens to find himself in a secret lab, not knowing what exactly is going on or how he got there. It’s exciting, but can it carry the entire experience?
Adventures R’ Us
Subject 13 is an adventure point and click style game, which is a long time genre favorite of mine. They usually rely on two aspects to keep me completely enthralled with them. The first is actually the setting and storyline. With gameplay that can be consistent with simple solving puzzles and pointing on various pixels, the centerpiece of these games, how they live, die, and are remembered are the storylines.
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
Subject 13, to that degree, starts off extremely promising. A voice over the system lets Franklin know he is in for experimentation of sorts, and there are various notes across the environments to find. Sadly, I found the further I got into the game, the less interested I became. There wasn’t enough of a hook or interesting elements to keep things moving forward or staying as fresh as I would have liked.
The other aspect of these titles are the puzzles. I actually enjoyed some of these, with sometimes multiple steps being needed to accomplish progress. Sometimes it involves looking and examining an item, and said item has a puzzle itself to figure out. The user interface even felt simple and refreshingly easy to use. The puzzles themselves can range from easy to rather hard or obscure.
A hint system is in place to provide various clues for items and puzzles, which is great. If players are missing a key item though, there is no hint to tell them where to look for said item. I found myself lost a few times and even to the point of frustration. I had exhausted all my screens and could not find what I was looking for till looking it up online. This leads to frustration and overall inconsistencies with the experience.
Fun enough but forgettable
Subject 13 just left me with an overall been there, done that feeling. Nothing screamed original to me outside the first hour or so. Then it became frustrating with puzzles along with player interaction. The interface to the puzzles was easy to use, yet the navigating environment with the character felt rough, even at times getting stuck on an edge of an environment. Subject 13 isn’t a horrible game or experience, it’s was just an extremely tepid one for me. Hard to recommend to anyone except those craving for more entries in the genre when most other options are exhausted.
Favorite moment: The starting moments really left me with a sense of wonder and mystery which I loved.
Worst moment: Missing puzzle items and getting stuck on environments.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.