Shardlight is placed in the world after the apocalypse, where the ruling Aristocracy subtly terrorized the masses. A heroine, Amy Wellard, suffers from the deadly illness of green lung and has to work for Aristocracy to get the chance to participate in the lottery for the vaccine. Soon he comes into contact with the resistance movement, and then begins a ride after which things will never be the same again….
Shardlight is primarily a short story, while the puzzles are light and serve to drag players into the world of gameplay, filled with lots of interesting details and ideas. The unnamed city in which the game takes place represents a mixture of cultures and epochs: the dominant shadow of the fifties, modern technology, decadent aristocracy, Victorian-style cultures.
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Atmosphere also contributes to audio-visual characteristics, re-rendering a brown-yellow post-apocalypse, but the world is otherwise visually well built. Events get gurgled, numerous characters get new roles and show that they are not just talking to them once, the topics are crystallized and it becomes clear that almost every part of the story is well integrated into a meaningful whole.
Amy is a lovely heroine, we lock her in a city where she spent her entire life. Her history, clear, benevolent motives, and relationships with friends make you lose the real person, which is backed up by good acting. The problem is the dialogues, not only because they are uninterestingly written, but also because the characters have nothing special, clever, lucid or witty to say.
The motives of the main villain are superficial and unconvincingly presented, and the most interesting mystery of the game, who are red-eyed redheads that follow Amy and how they relate to the cult of Reaper, is at the same time the biggest disappointment. In the global, it seems that the author tried the story, but failed to raise it above the level of a solid pulp. However, since in the world of games we rarely see really good stories, and solid pulp is a beautiful sight.
To make his next game, Unavowed, Wayet Eye uses Unity instead of a weak AGS engine that runs almost all of their previous games, including this one. As more and better quality monitors become standard, their low-resolution adventures are getting worse and poorer in the full screen, and it was high time we started getting them in HD.