Gemini Rue, which was developed by Joshua Neurnberger and published by Wadjet Eye Games, proves that good graphics can’t save a bad story, but boy can a great story make you totally forget about graphics. Half an hour into Gemini Rue you don’t even see the pixels any more, you’re just in the story, and speaking of which...
You play as Azriel Odin, an ex-assassin turned cop who’s made a name for himself trying to take down the Boryokudan, who are the big time gangsters in this neck of the galaxy. You’re currently on a planet called Barracus, it’s raining and you’re standing in it. Not because you want to, but because you’re looking for someone, an old friend who you’ve not seen or head from in five years, until now anyway.
You also play as Delta-Six, a patient at some kind of training centre. You don’t know how you got there or why, because they wiped your memory clean. All you know is that you’d been trying to escape.
Once again, point and click adventures have a fairly self explanatory game mechanic, this idea is taken even more literally when done on iOS, which Gemini Rue will be released on in the second quarter of this year. What I really liked about Gemini Rue however was that because you play as two very different characters, the jaded ex-assassin turned cop and the recently brain washed clean Delta-Six, you learn about the interacting mechanisms in a very subtle way. Starting out as Azriel, you walk through the city talking to people, gathering information and learning the investigation side of the game. Then, as Delta-Six you’re taking through various training exercises that teach you the combat mechanic, which is rare for a point an click adventure but it’s done very well. You also learn come to terms with some of the game's more mental puzzles.
Sites and Sounds
Wadjet Eye Games set out specifically to make games with a retro look and feel, which means big blocky pixels everywhere you look. The story of the game is so compelling that it really doesn’t matter that it’s doesn't have super high resolution graphics. The expert voice cast coupled with the atmospheric jazz and constant sound of falling rain when playing as Azriel, as well as the dark eerie sounds of the training centre for Delta-Six, get you so immersed in the game that you see right past the retro graphics and into the soul of the piece.
Not all sunshine and roses
I did stumble across a few bugs as I played through the game, nothing crippling but having to find a solution to a bug takes you out of the gaming experience. Also I get a bit annoyed whenever I’d tell the character to do something expecting it to prompt them to walk over and do it, and having them telling me they needed to be closer. But there was nothing damning. The climax was intense and surprising, perhaps a little rushed, compared to the elegance of the start the ending was a bit of an information dump, but I can also see how that’s exactly what’s happening to the characters so it’s only fair that it happen to the player as well.
But I don’t want to give the wrong impression here, this is a marvellous game, it’s challenging, it’s frustrating, it rocks out the overly complex retro point and click puzzles that I love so hard. It took me six hours to do my first play though and it was six fantastic hours. It’s currently available on Steam and again it’ll be out on iOS soon. If you like story, if you like adventure games, check out Gemini Rue, you’ll absolutely love it.