Lithium: Inmate 39 is developed and published by Canu Arts. I honestly expected more from a company that’s just getting started on Steam. Their first project is clear flop.
Developer: Canu Arts
Publisher: Canu Arts
Genre: 3D Horror Puzzle Platformer
Release date: 25 October, 2016
It’s almost amusing how misleading screenshots can be, even for (in my own opinion at least) a trained eye. I could have never guessed just how bad the game I was about to start, can actually be. Sure, I could have read the reviews already posted by I try to judge a game from my perspective alone. It’s not that I might not trust others, it’s simply a habit. I don’t even read other folks’ reviews for the game in question until I thoroughly playtest it myself. Luckly, the times of doctored “in-game” screenshots are about to end. I’m glad Valve is finally stepping in and trying to deter such misleading actions as some developers were presenting almost fake (or at least taken out of context) images that did not reflect the finally released game.
Now onto Lithium’s creepy story. At least this part delivers what was promised. Our tormented lemur-like silent protagonist (inmate 39) must escape what looks like the worst kind of mental asylum I’ve seen in recent video games. That’s not really a compliment, even if we’re talking of a horror game. The atrocious camera controls and equally abysmal key bindings (in terms of actual response), make traversing the booby-trapped hallways even harder than it already is. After sufficient trial & error and some degree of repetitiveness you think you’d be treated with something else, but no. It’s always the same thing. Key retrieval, trap avoiding and the rare moment in which you can fight back instead of just running away. Terrorized lemur has an alter ego/buddy. A less than convincing zombie of sorts which for a very limited time frame, can help you destroy other pseudo-zombies or to break away some obstacles in your path. Don’t expect me to go further into detail regarding a coherent plot, since I never found one. At least there weren’t any cheap jump scares and for that I am grateful. Now, if only the developer would have specified that his game is ideally played on a controller…
As far as graphics are concerned, they are fairly subpar. Low-res textures are aplenty and even those seem to have trouble loading from one room to another. I dare not imagine what would Lithium have looked like, in full color spectrum. Mercifully, we are treated with a grey scale setting and the occasionally shade of red and yellow. I cannot complain of its sounds though since there’s not much to say at all. The in-game options are fairly limited and simplistic to a fault, no doubt as a result of the legacy it shares with consoles. 1080p the maximum supported resolution, really? Seeing comments in different places and Lithium being compared to Limbo seems closer to a blasphemy than anything else.
+ Interesting chromatic choice
+ Steam Achievements & Trading Cards
– Texture loading issues and other glitches
– Troublesome control scheme
– Overpriced for its current state
Result / Final thoughts
I might have still recommended Lithium if it was priced at about 5 dollars/euros and not a cent more. Asking 10 for so many technical issues, is just too much. The story is half-decent I’ll admit, but it’s far too broken for me to continue playing, even less so to encourage others to give it a chance. When and IF some of the issues I mentioned above may be fixed, you should consider purchasing it when found on offer. At a substantial discount, naturally.