I read in some promotional material that the game satirizing communism was made by people “who lived there”. The devs are Poles who indeed lived under communism for 40 years. And yet their game feels little more than a collection of all cold war cliches about Soviet Russia. The country of Matryoshka is presented as a post-apocalyptic society with decayed red-grey settings and endless Stalin/vodka/Gulag jokes. Same game could’ve been easily made by Americans or Brits. In fact Russians themselves made Red Comrades Save the Galaxy some 20 years ago that worked much better as a satire.
That’s not to say that the devs were trying to make a quick buck - despite the depressing setting the game is stylishly drawn and animated with lots of neat details and references. Evan the protagonist himself is a mix of Guybrush, Larry and Rufus. Another source of humour is inventory: the interface allows to manipulate items in a close-up view, and boy do I admire the fantasy of those artists who drew them.
Puzzles are of traditional sort, and there are lots of them - in fact too many for my taste. Taking that the game usually locks you up in 2-3 locations, the inventory-heavy gameplay gets frustrating at times, like in the 2nd chapter when Evan is running in circles doing 10+ fetch quests at once. By the time I received the key item I forgot who even asked me to bring it and why. And the further we move, the more linear and obscure it gets. There are also a bunch of logic puzzles and mini-games thrown in (mostly hitting-the-right-picture sort), none are too exciting.
No surprises in the story department as well, everything is obvious from the start. What I found ironic though is that during the final segments the game that satirized propaganda turns into propaganda itself, gloryfying American special forces that bring peace all over the world. That’s not how satire works, comrades, especially in 2019.
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Time Played: 5-10 hours