There is a certain amount of despair and futility that seems to come along with most post-apocalyptic settings. This is a huge bummer when you consider just how saturated the market is with the “end of the world” genre games. With all the sadness and hopelessness portrayed, it can be hard to remember that even the people in a devastated wasteland are still, in fact, people. Wadjet Eye’s upcoming game Shardlight, a point and click adventure set in a destroyed world, has really impressed me by how well they balance”everything is ruined” with the common goodness we tend to have, despite terrible circumstances. There are a number of scenes that give me the sense that most of the characters you meet are just trying to survive and be decent. It’s a refreshing change over the feel that everything is awful in many media these days.
Shardlight is about an average young woman named Amy in a barely surviving city, trying to fend off death itself. The game is in the style of every other Wadjet Eye game, fashioned like old school LucasArts adventures but with a much simpler interface.
Everyone in Shardlight is fully voiced, and the actor portraying the main character seems promising enough. Though there was this really weird moment in the preview I played that kind of surprised me. Basically you run across a few kids playing jump rope while repeating a dark nursery rhyme. This goes on for a full minute if you let it. It helps expand the story and introduce some of the lore to the player, which I found really cool. What gets weird is that Amy can take over the jump rope and sing one of five different jump rope songs, all about the same length. I guess I just wonder why the developers would include such a long session of voice acting, when there was the traditional point and click problem of the character repeating the same line every time I tried using an object on something in the world.
I am very hopeful for the rest of Shardlight, and am looking forward to exploring more areas. The art is just so good that I want to see more of what the game has to offer. Shardlight is scheduled for release this Spring.