“There is a hero inside everyone…”
Laying in pig poop and nearly drowned, we meet our hero, Geron. Dubbed the bird catcher, Geron, is not the most popular guy in town, and has been cursed by the Seer. The Seer was a particularly creepy, fairy abusing, harp lover who was burned alive because of his premonitions. Before his BBQ he told the townsfolk that Geron would bring doom to them all, which kind of makes you wonder why they let him stay.
While Geron plays punching bag, the King and others in this superstitious town are troubled by the alarming amount of crows descending upon the area. Villagers claim the crows bring dark dreams and are an omen that the Seer has returned to destroy the land.
Mento Gwinnling, Gerons mentor, also has black dreams and is revealed to have been among those instrumental is putting the Seer to the stake. His concern grows as many of the original heroes that killed this enemy are being gruesomely murdered.
The story continues to follow Geron as he struggles to find his place. When given a chance to prove himself, he embarks on an amazing perilous adventure. As protector of Nuri, an innocent fairy, they set off to halt the end of their world.
The Dark Eye is a point-and-click Inventory-based puzzler. Gifted with Geron’s magical ability to break objects and Nuri’s ability to fix, you are presented with a number of options.
With a team from The Dark Eye company, a popular pen and paper game in Europe, this world is brought to life in superior fashion.
Be sure to take your time to look at the detailed artwork, as its very easy to miss the clues needed to progress. At one point I sat staring blankly at the screen, stumped because I didn’t see a snail on a rock smack dab in front of me.
The puzzles are straightforward and not overly complicated, but don’t get the wrong idea. The challenge level is raised as you progress. You won’t be able to speed through the story, but you will have to take time and put some serious thought into problem solving. Challenge aside, the game does flow nicely and at a steady pace. Getting stuck will happen, but the puzzles are logical enough that you can solve them all and the artwork makes it easy to enjoy.
Graphic & Sound
The studio actually hand draws the artwork, which lends to the rather awkward movement. Think Monty Python but not as funny, although I did find myself laughing at some unintentionally comical scenes. The animations are a bit of a hard sell and really take some getting used to, but be patient. At first impression things don’t look promising, but the game really takes off.
The artwork is extremely detailed right down to the smallest leaf. I felt like I was playing on an interactive canvas.
A bit of overly dramatic voice acting lends to a some chuckleworthy moments. The woman in the Bathhouse sounds just like Mrs. Swan from Saturday Night Live, no joke! Luckily, the main characters’ voices are well done.
On the plus side, the music is a real treat. The haunting melodic orchestra is one of the best things about the game. I actually found myself letting the soundtrack loop while I was working.
It has a slow start, but give it a chance. This game really takes off and the story is deep and quite good. I can see how this would be a popular pen and paper game, as the world presented is quite fascinating. Artwork is a beautiful treat for the eyes, combined with a pleasant soundtrack. The characters are endearing and I admit grew attached (even though Nuri did get on my nerves a few times).
The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav is available on PC. I had to grimace a little at the $49.99 price tag, but it does keep you interested and is long enough to make up for the cost.
I’m a bit partial to adventure games in general and am pleased to say this one doesn’t disappoint. This isn’t a fast-paced physical game and you won’t be able to rush through the story, which I appreciate. Sit back and enjoy the experience.