05th Jul2019

‘Another Sight’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Chris Cummings

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From developers Lunar Great Wall Studios and publishers Toplitz Productions, Another Sight is a tapestry of steampunk fantasy amidst platform puzzle adventure gaming, with a strong narrative tale woven in and out of the seams and cracks. It’s a tale of two characters, mainly, our protagonists, Kit, a teenage girl who has lost her sight, and Hodge, a cat who can help lead Kit to safety, around obstacles and through difficult-to-navigate terrain. Think of games in like Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Limbo and you’re close to the way this game plays.

I thought, initially, that Another Sight would be very much up my street, as you flick back and forth between playing as Kit and Hodge as you uncover pathways and find your way out of the place you’ve found yourself in. It’s a puzzling one, and it doesn’t waste any time in throwing those puzzles at you, forcing you to figure out how to use your characters in order to progress. As well as that Victorian Steampunk tone that is present in the game, there’s also a definite Alice in Wonderland inspiration going on, not only in the environments but in Kit herself. It’s also been said that Neverwhere, the fantasy book from Neil Gaiman, was a big inspiration for the makers of Another Sight, and Gaiman’s influence is obvious. As a fan of the fantastical, in both games and literature, I thought the whole atmosphere of the game was excellently realised, and while the graphics lacked a little at times, I still found it to be very charming to look at. The sound, especially the voice-acting work which tells us the story and narrates the game, is well done too. It all feels and sounds great, but there’s problems to be found beneath the surface of this game.

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The platform gameplay itself feels clunky and awkward and I felt myself getting a little frustrated at how often the game failed to respond to the buttons I pressed or the directions I wanted to take Kit and Hodge in. The cat needs to jump a lot to reach certain platforms, and it was irritating trying to get it lined-up just right, only for the game to ignore your wishes as the cat fell back down to earth. I feel like, sadly, the actual gameplay is what misses here, and considering the thought and love obviously put into the story and visual style of the game, seeing it fail on many of the aspects of play is a real shame. There are mechanics that are given to you yet ignored by the game itself, there are frustrating moments of movement feeling sluggish and difficult, and it just doesn’t feel smooth or slick to play. I was so disappointed but this, because really… if the controls were tightened up and the responsiveness was sorted out, this could be a fine adventure game with an enjoyable story and fun ideas. Really, though, because of the main element, the playability, being so flawed, Another Sight becomes a tedious and frustrating experience that feels more like a chore than a treat.

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Another Sight is not a complete disaster, it looks nice, sounds really good and if you can force yourself past the frustrating elements of gameplay then you might just enjoy yourself with it. At its heights it offers a solid story with nice characters to control, at its depths, it is frustrating and messy in so many instances. I hate to say that, though, because this has some melancholy, delightful and very intriguing concepts going for it, and if it had nailed the platforming better, it could have been something very cool. I hope the developers fix their errors and create something equally enchanting in theme, but better to play, next time.

Another Sight is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

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