Review: Somerville – NWTV

In terms of AAA games, this year isn’t Xbox’s year, but that doesn’t mean nothing interesting will appear. One of the games that has been on our radar for a while is Somervilleespecially since this one comes from Dino Patti, who arrived earlier Limbo in Inside has worked. Let that game have just been released last week. We checked for you whether this stylish indie game is worth it.

One minute you’re sitting on the couch with the family and the next you’re in the middle of an invasion of hostile aliens. At least that is the case for the family from the game. After the invasion, the father becomes unconscious and when he wakes up there is only the dog left. His wife and child have disappeared without a trace. To top it all off, he has gained a mysterious power in the process, whereby he can melt structures of the aliens. A special search begins for his missing wife and child.

That the game from one of the creators of Limbo in Inside can be seen immediately, because Somerville is also very atmospheric. We mainly see dark pastel shades with bright red and purple colors of the lights of the aliens. Especially the lighting effects make Somerville a feast for the eyes. The atmospheric soundtrack also ensures that you are constantly fascinated and that it is difficult to stop playing.

Somerville is a side-scroller (with occasional 3D variation) in which you solve puzzles and make your way back to your missing family. However, the game starts very slowly. Certainly the first hour you are mainly walking and you sporadically come across a simple puzzle. Fortunately, the makers then put your brain to work a bit more and the puzzles become a bit more difficult and more frequent. What is a pity is that these puzzles are much the same. In the beginning you can melt elements and later you can make them solid again. Every puzzle is a game between these forces and so the solution is often there for the taking. The elements with which you can interact are also clearly highlighted, which makes it all a bit simpler. It ensures that the story continues nicely, but we think it’s a shame that we weren’t really challenged anywhere.

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The puzzles are interspersed with other gameplay elements. For example, you will occasionally have to escape in a chase or sneak past a group of aliens. These sections are mainly trial and error and you will pass after a few tries.

Also technically late Somerville occasional stitches. For example, the interactions are sometimes unclear and you know exactly what to do, but it simply does not work. After a few tries, it suddenly works for inexplicable reasons and that is frustrating. Especially because you get the feeling that you are doing something wrong and it turns out that you got it right after all.

We sound very negative about it now Somerville, but we certainly don’t want to lose that. The small frustrations do not stand in the way of the final experience. The atmospheric mystery that you largely have to fill in yourself, makes you want to play a bit further and you take those frustrations for granted. We want Somerville therefore highly recommend. Especially when you have a subscription to Game Pass, there is really no reason not to give this game a chance.

We played Somerville on the Xbox Series. The game is also playable on Xbox One and PC.