The Star Named EOS preview - "An evocative adventure that promises to turn on the waterworks"
| The Star Named EOS
What is it about stars and photographs that always evoke feelings of nostalgia within us? From the title screen of the game alone, The Star Named EOS almost feels like it's daring you not to feel emotional as you go through its hand-painted levels. Top that with an evocative soundtrack and it's definitely shaping up to be another tearjerker - a quality you can expect from the creative minds that crafted Behind The Frame (a game that I absolutely loved).
This time around, Silver Lining Studio is taking players through a journey that's behind the lens as opposed to a frame, all presented via a first-person narrative. The kind folks over at the studio were lovely enough to provide me with a sneak peek at the demo, and while it was a short experience at just a little under half an hour, it definitely has the makings of a tale that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
In the game, you play as Dei - a young photographer who sets off on a personal quest to discover just what happened to his mother. From a first-person point-of-view, you'll retrace your mother's steps to get to the bottom of her disappearance via letters she sends you across her travels. The main gameplay loop, it seems, is a series of photographs you'll need to recreate in your own way to travel back in time and find the truth.
Particularly with the demo, I had to use a photograph of a windowsill that Dei's mother sent him as a reference, and recreate it in Dei's room using items within the room as well. Of course, these items that you'll put together won't just be scattered willy-nilly - you'll need to discover lock combinations, unlock wooden puzzles, crank up toy merry-go-rounds, and piece together the missing page of a child's storybook to acquire the goods you need.
Puzzles range from pleasantly obvious to downright trial and error, as while you'll often see clues about the solution right there within your surroundings, one puzzle, in particular, had me tapping on everything I could just to figure out how to progress. That's a minor inconvenience, of course - it's a puzzle game, after all, and brainteasers are part of its appeal.
What threw me off is actually the voice acting for Dei's mother, which I feel was badly performed (at least, at the moment). It lacks the right kind of emotion that the circumstances call for, and if I could switch off her narration, I probably would have felt more immersed in the story.
Still, the 30-minute demo is much too short for me to give a proper verdict here, and with what I've played so far, the game is definitely promising. There's no official release date for the Steam version just yet, but suffice it to say that a mobile version will follow much like it did for Behind the Frame.
At the moment, though, the demo certainly made me crave more, especially since the circumstances surrounding Dei himself are far too mysterious to leave hanging. It's bound to be an emotional journey, and even if that means slogging through a less-than-stellar voiceover performance, I'm still on board.