Welcome to Softonic’s Greenlight Spotlight, a new column where I highlight games that I have caught my eye on the community voted Steam Greenlight program. The beauty of this crowd voted platform is that it has resulted in a broader range of game’s making it through Steam’s clearing process for better and, occasionally, worse (yes, not all these game will be good).
With it being such an open and diverse environment, the games that I will focus on here should either have gained a certain amount of attention/infamy, or simply have caught my eye – which is exactly what happened this week with Tormentum – Dark Sorrow on PC and Mac.
Landing on the store page I was instantly drawn to this point-and-click adventure’s grim hand painted art, and I knew I had to play it. Reading Tormentum’s description only further enamored me to its style, as it cited both H.R. Giger and Zdzislaw Beksinski as its visual influences. These artists blending of industrial, organic, and often sexual imagery, gives a slick violent look to the world, providing the perfect setting to the bleak adventure.
In honestly though, for me, its art style did more than just set the stage, it evoked the sense of playing within the Dark Souls fiction. This was a feeling quickly reinforced by Tormentum’s similar story setup (you begin in a dungeon thanks to a mysterious mark), or the resemblance the lead character had with my mage in Dark Souls. Whatever the reason, the effect was absolute – for me this became a side story to a game I adore, showing me a different side to that world. Like an amazing fan fiction, it entranced me.
Of course, Tormentum – Dark Sorrow is a very different game to Dark Souls. Its point-and-click puzzles place a focus on guile and cunning, rather than brutal combat. The strange effect this had for me was that it created a further fascination to this amalgamation world and how people may try and survive in it, albeit only in my head.
You can get a taste of Tormentum from its demo, though this short taster’s puzzles lack the involvements of later conundrums. This area’s linear nature does nothing to show how later challenges expand, layering in unforeseen ways to create depth in the fiction, often resulting in choices that effect later sections of the game and story. This was an unforeseen treat in what I expected would be a simple linear affair with attractive art.
To really cement my enjoyment of Tormentum, it also features well designed puzzles. Often point-and-click adventure games demand surreal paths of actions, but here the logic seems straightforward – or at least comprehensible. If you need to kill a phallic shaped beast, of course a poisoned spider’s leg stewed with a steak will work. Or perhaps you have to create a spark in a boiler – two ram skulls smashed together should do it. Also, to make sure you are never reduced to clicking randomly around the screen for possible hints, everything you can interact with is politely indicated with a nice glow effect.
Your hero’s battle for freedom is a wonderful one, and something I would never have experienced had I not been combing my way through Greenlight. Certainly give the demo a try, and consider if the look and feel will draw you in, because you don’t have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy Tormentum – Dark Sorrow, just a fan of the world.
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