Developer: Dan Smith Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed), PC
Genres: Adventure, Indie, Strategy
Published by: Ripstone
The Spectrum Retreat is a narrative-driven puzzler. Adventure, Indie, Strategy It’s a first person game with loads of puzzle action! This game is also the fully developed version of the game ‘Spectrum’ that won the BAFTA YGD Game Designers Game Making Award 2016. Games that are similar to The Spectrum Retreat would be Portal, Portal 2, Quern, and Lake Ridden.
You wake up at this hotel called the Penrose Hotel and are surrounded by robot-like staff members. You have no memory of your past and explore the hotel, where you go through the five floors of the hotel and perform a bunch of challenges in order to get out of the hotel. You aren’t sure as to why you are being kept in this hotel by the robot-like staff. You receive a phone in the beginning of the game which helps you through the different puzzles on each floors and also is used to keep in touch with a lady named Cooper.
The game is based around this person named Alex. He receives a phone in the beginning of the game, which later on he figures out that it’s not a usual phone. When accessing each challenge point from each floor, you (as Alex) use your phone to get through each puzzle. The puzzles include colour changing, teleportation and controlling gravity.
The controls to this game are very simple. You have buttons that include jumping, teleporting, colour changing, pausing, and walking. The controls are very straightforward which is easy for you to get a quick hold on to them.
The art style of this game is extremely good. The hotel is set in the future, which gives the player that vibe when they dive straight into the game. The whole hotel and each challenge area are very well designed. When taking a look at the art style of this game it makes the player feel like the hotel is something that would be present in reality. The makers of this game have paid very close attention to everything, including the light that shines through the window. The shining of light through the window affect is amazing, because the specks of lights in the air make it look so real. In general the art and the design of this game is really good. The robots, the carpet, the bed, chair, elevator make everything in the game look so realistic. The graphics of this game compliments the art style. The graphics are very good, because everything in the game looks very clean which makes it appealing.
The soundtrack choice of this game is very elegant which suits the vibe of the game. The music really helps set a calm feel that helps the player want to play more. The music selection is very nice and sets a mood to the game.
There are five floors to the hotel and in order to reach each floor you have to do the same routine in order to get to the next floor. You reach the floor where you have to find an access point next to a door, then you find the code to input and make your way towards the challenge area. After you finish all the puzzles you go to sleep to set the cycle. You then wake up, and get greeted by the manager and make your way to the restaurant. You do this every time you finish a floor, but as you do so you start figuring out things about your past.
The Spectrum Retreat is a great game to play. It is very different to other puzzle games and has some amazing mechanics. This game is recommended for those who enjoy puzzle games and want to play a 4-5 hour long game. This is a calm, fun, brain teasing game which is very well developed. As you make your way to other levels, they start to get harder but they still make the game fun to play. The story of this game is very intriguing as well, it makes the player want to know what took place for Alex to get ‘trapped’ in the Penrose Hotel. The variations of the different type of puzzle don’t make the game boring or dull which is a positive attribute.
In order to make your way out of the hotel. You (as Alex) need to finish all the brain teasing challenges to get out. As you unravel the story you find out the truth and maybe you get to make a choice. This game is really good and is recommended to all!!