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Tormentum – Dark Sorrow Review
Release Date: March 4, 2015
Available Platforms: PC/Steam
Recommended Price Point: $11.99
Are you looking for a point-and-click adventure game that will make your skin crawl? Look no further because this eerie title from Polish developer OhNoo is about as creepy as you can get. This partially crowd-funded masterpiece raises the bar for any game of the same genre. Rarely in my life has an indie game blown my expectations out of the water in the way that this game has. Normally, a game that does as many things right as this game does requires a gigantic team of developers for everything to be executed properly, but OhNoo only threw three people into the ring to create this one. Without a question, this 2D gem should be in every indie gamers Steam library.
You play as an anonymous character who comes into this world not remembering a single thing about his past. You have to help him recover everything that you can to bring him back into his own reality. You solve puzzles while having to deal with choices that affect what path your hero goes down, much like old R.L Stine’s Goosebumps “Choose Your Ending” books. Point-and-click adventure games can easily mess up the “I Spy” aspect that the genre relies so heavily on, but Tormentum does a fantastic job at toeing the line between frustrating and overly simple.
So far this year, Tormentum has an atmospheric presence that is second to none. I come from a very artistic background, and when I found out that OhNoo was shooting to pay homage to H.R. Giger I could not be more excited. It definitely shows in this game. It’s hard to go wrong with that artistic style mixed with a soundtrack that could gives me the chills. There is a part of the game (no spoilers) where you come across a building full of about seventy different individual paintings. The main illustrator, Piotr Ruszkowski, had created dozens of rendered paintings that I would not be surprised to see hanging on an art gallery wall. I spent almost forty-five minutes browsing the different pieces hanging around that specific building.
You can play this game in a number of different ways and still get the full effect, in my opinion. I played this game in the middle of the night with my headphones on while in a room by myself. I feel like that is the ideal way to play because you get to bask in the glory that is the dark world they created. Also, due to the simple nature of this genre of adventure games, it is perfect to play with an audience. I can see this game finding a solid lane on twitch.tv if you can get the right crowd of interactive problem solvers watching you play.
As with any game, Tormentum has its flaws. First off, I firmly believe that this game would benefit so much from voice acting. There is a lot of text to read throughout the whole adventure, and solid voice overs would really add to the already extraordinary atmosphere of this game. The biggest flaw that this game carries, in my opinion, happens to be a problem with the inventory screen. All of the items in your inventory screen have lowercase letters for the entirety of the word. I know it is a tiny thing, but it bugs me to no end. Besides those couple of things, this game is fantastic.
OhNoo has shown that with proper funding, they can pack a heavy punch. Imagine what they could do with a bigger budget and a bigger team of developers. An amazing time can be had playing this game on your couch with some friends and collectively trying to solve this games puzzles. Turn the volume up, pay attention, and get sucked into this compelling and nightmarish world. You have to pick up this low priced, 2D, point-and-click adventure game if you want to have an excellent experience that is getting more and more prevalent in the world of crowd funded video games. I played this game on the PC via the Steam marketplace.