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Review of The Rodinia Project by Stevens R. Miller

Stars - 40

Rating by Stevens R. Miller posted on Mar 31, 2020 | edit | delete

Talos-Style Puzzles, No Real Story, Good Overall

This is a minimalist take on the same theme that Croteam developed so well (and so much more fully) in their acclaimed “The Talos Principle.” Aegon Games stripped away almost everything non-essential to the same kind of put-this-there-then-move-that-here-then-stand-on-this kind of puzzle that defined Talos. That includes any kind of narrative soundtrack or written story, all possible explanation for what you are doing and why, and even texture and bump maps. What’s left is a pristine environment that will remind you of the Apple Store, or the scenes with Buck Henry in “Heaven Can Wait.”

That all works out pretty well, though, if what you liked best about “Talos” were those what-if-I-do-this-first-and-then-that-second puzzles. Some story would have been nice, and there is just enough non-essential material in place to suggest that there could actually be one. You may spend the entire game thinking you are on the verge of deciphering What It’s All About, but you’ll never actually do it. But that’s okay, if you like this kind of puzzle. Somehow, the absence of any overarching theme doesn’t hurt it much. The puzzles are a great follow-up to the definitive giant of this genre, so go ahead and enjoy them on their own merits.

Somnambulant score is initially pretty dreamy and really sets the mood. But it gets monotonously repetitive before the end. Kind of like the game itself, you may start to expect it will develop into something more than it does. If it really ends up bugging you, mute your PC and play your “Enya” CDs instead. (Don’t deny it. If you are thinking of playing this game, there is Enya in your music library.)

We never hit a bug or had any technical problems with “Rodinia.” Here and there, a walkthrough might help you when you get stuck. But pretty much all of the puzzles are about the same level of difficulty, and comparable to those in Talos. Nearly no ninja skills required. We found only one level that called for a timed jump to solve it and, who knows, maybe there’s a solution we didn’t discover that doesn’t need it?

Recommended if you like this kind of game at all.

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Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

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