29 July 2012

DeadEnd: Cerebral Vortex

Gaming Genres: Puzzle, Exploration
Story Genres: Fantasy
Graphical Styles: 2.5D, Realism, High Resolution
Platforms: Windows
Pricing Model: Pay $
Developer(s): Membranos
Publisher(s): Membranos
Initial Release Date: February 18, 2012
Website(s): Homepage, Facebook, Indievania, GamersGate
DeadEnd: Cerebral Vortex is a first-person surreal labyrinth game.

The game threatens to break gaming conventions by throwing a player into a surreal world of subconscious, where reality mingles with illusion, and symbolism replaces traditional storytelling.

As a player, you must recover you shattered soul, piece by piece, by wondering around game's 20 levels, while the environment changes from claustrophobic to moody to sublime. Whilst roaming around, you see illusions that disappear when approached, while at the same time real obstacles appear to block your path. Things get even more interesting when you turn the world upside-down so that illusions become reality, and reality turns into illusion.

Key Features:
  • 20 Levels set in 5 surreal worlds of subconsciousness.
  • Unique and artistic concept of alternating realities.
  • Elegant, streamlined interface.
  • Multi-language (English, French, Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian).
DeadEnd is a labyrinthine game, you traverse a series of beautiful labyrinths with a unique difference; These labyrinths contain many illusions and power-ups. Walls appear solid until closer inspection show that they are in-fact doorways and open areas get solid as you approach. There are warp gates, and inversion switches that switch the illusions; Power-ups that allow you to see clearly over longer distances, as well as a few others and many collectables.

At its best, DeadEnd had an absolutely beautiful open environment and complex labyrinthine puzzles that are a joy to solve; There might still be a big element of trial and error, but there is certainly strategy, memory, and loads of 
exploration involved. At its worst, Deadend removes this beauty for closed in boring corridors and repetitive visuals and this strategy and exploration for a complexity that is so far overwhelming that it reduces the game to randomly walking through identical corridors until an exit is found.

Images (+):
Related Media (+):
Indieness: Quintessentially Indie
Play?: Should Play

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