To start with the positive: A Golden Wake has a lot of the things that makes the rest of the Wadjet Eye games memorable: a pixel art, a soundtrack and dialogue that together really set a great mood for a game. So I definitely enjoyed being in A Golden Wake. Playing it? Well, that really depends on what you want from a game.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the “selling” dialogue puzzles, and the fact that you only got one shot at getting them right. And sure, the occasional HOG (!), logic puzzle and action-ish scene all work, but after one playthrough it just seems to little and too easy.
A lot of it has to do with the pacing of the overall game. Most of the scenes are quite short, so you never really get to dwell in or get to know any of the locations. I’m not saying I love backtracking - but being able to do it actually is what gives you the illusion of being in control of the character.
Also, there is a big problem with the MAIN PLOT TWIST coming way too sudden. There are definitely surprising things in life you would do if you felt you had no choice. Here, instead, you are given the illusion that you have one.
Verdict: Some work on dramaturgy and making at least one of the acts longer could have made (to avoid any wordplay involving ‘gold’) good to great.
Playtime: 4,5 hours.
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Time Played: 2-5 hours