So, in our look at point and click adventure games, we’ve already reviewed Detective Grimoire and Yesterday. Both very good and both using different approaches to the genre. This time around it’s the turn of Gemini Rue by Wadjeteye Games based out of New York.
Gemini Rue takes you through the story of man called Azriel who is looking for his brother, kidnapped by the Boroyuken. The plot twists and turns, through planets and distant colonies, giving you the chance to play both as Azrial and as his brother as you uncover the sinister storyline.
There are many takes on the point and click style of games. Detective Grimoire took a very device friendly approach, with large trigger points and a modern unique design style. Yesterday was a modern reinvention of the classic point and click games, using lush high resolution artwork and challenging the player with small areas crammed with complex puzzles.
Gemini Rue shows that there is yet another approach to be taken. Gemini Rue is the evolution of traditional point and click games such Day of the Tentacle and Beneath a Steel Sky. It would be easy to think that you are playing a ScummVM based 90’s game, such is it’s loyalty to the genre. Where Yesterday stuck you in one or two rooms and asked you to find your way out, Gemini Rue gives you street after street of space to explore, and you’ll be pounding those streets a lot. Information terminals make life easier allowing you to view maps and search for information as you move around.
You also get a gun and I think it’s the first time I can remember being able to fight enemies in a point and click game. The gun controls are basic but as a result they make the shooting element feel natural. You can whack off a few rounds or focus your aim and go for the headshot.
The graphics are traditional point and click fair. There isn’t any up-to-date high resolution, 1080p stuff here, oh no. Neither are there the characterisations that you see in Detective Grimoire. Instead the graphics are sucked directly from our favourite games and kept just how you remember them. That’s not to say that the graphics are cheap or crap in anyway, the art work is gorgeous and real thought has been taken when creating the grim, oppressing worlds of the colonies. The worlds feel grim, rain soaked, and dark. If anything the pixelation just makes you feel more at home.
I would say that I would like the trigger points to stand out a little more. It’s not that I’ve ever been stuck looking for something, but you find yourself just sweeping over the screen with your finger looking for the tell-tale popup text that shows an item is usable. Whilst this is clearly intended – you’re told to do that by the game itself – it would be nice if that particular part of point-and-click games was left in the 90s.
In general the sounds are good with the voice overs being solid, if not outstanding. There are some noticeable exceptions and it’s clear some people had a great time hamming it up for the recording sessions. It would be nice to get a bit more ambient sound within the game; wind and rain in the background, the sound of life (or the lack of it) in the streets around. That kind of thing. When you compare the audio to something like Detective Grimoire you start to feel that it’s a bit muted.
Overall Gemini Rue is a great solid game. There’s a lot of game there to be played through, and if you want something to sit and play and really get in to then this provides great value for money at about $5 (£3 GBP).
It’s not without it’s quirks. The auto-save feature doesn’t kick in anywhere like as often as I would have hoped for. Several times I had to restart and then sit through a long conversation path for the second or third time before starting the action. The dark brooding artwork can at time obscure some of the trigger points but it doesn’t make the game impossible to play.
There’s no doubt that this is a classic point and click game made the modern gamer. Buy it and enjoy it. It’s a corker.