Forgotten Passages isn’t a game you beat, it’s a game you endure because it’s absolutely grueling to get through all 100 levels due to how utterly boring it is.
Release date: 17 Jan, 2020
Forgotten Passages is a walking simulator that revolves around exploring 100 tiny levels. The game was created by an environmental artist and it definitely shows because the game showcases a wide variety of different ones. If this sounds interesting to you, do read on, if not, then I recommend abandoning ship immediately because we’re heading into some pretty choppy waters.
Forgotten Passages relies heavily on exploration but this only applies in some “larger” levels the game has to offer. Each area is still quite tiny so you can’t go very far as there are visible and invisible walls preventing you from going very far. Some levels are actually just straight lines in which to progress or are played in a side-scrolling manner. You also have zero control of the camera so you can’t zoom in or look around the environment to get cooler pictures or actually see things from different angles.
There’s also no story or even narrative to keep you progressing through each level. The character you play as doesn’t even have a name, or backstory, or really anything that would indicate who she is or why she’s being tortured by having to go through 100 different rooms while dragging you along for the journey. The game just throws her into the heat of things and you’re left to your own devices. There’s no main menu either, so you load the game and BAM, you’re playing after a short title screen.
What is this? A Music Visualizer?
So, some levels in this game rely on a tiny bit of exploration, the rest of the levels look like old WinAmp music visualizers, just with beefed up graphics. The above screenshot is a good example, and definitely makes it clear to all. These levels are usually the ones with linear means of motion, usually side-scrolling or some form of it. These “visualizer” levels do tend to be fairly neat… for the first 25 or so, by the 50th the game was losing its staying power and by the 75th I was beginning to sweat due to it really beginning to try my patience and at the 100th level I felt no satisfaction in completing the game, only a feeling of utter bewilderment as to what I had just experienced and a simple question asking why I put myself through this torture in the first place. A question I’m still trying to answer as I’m writing this review.
Some Positives? Say It Ain’t So! (I Will Not Go)
While I found this game pretty painful I did have some positive takeaways from the game. Firstly, I could definitely see the amount of work that went into this game, and I was pretty impressed with quite a few of the levels, especially with the lighting effects in many of them. The level with the lightsaber laser things was pretty neat. The area pictured above was also pretty impressive too.
Honestly, I found it pretty impressive that I managed to complete the game considering how much of an endurance test it was to my patience but to be honest, I did find it fairly interesting in the first 25 levels of the game. After that, it slowly built up and ultimately became pure torture by the last 20 levels of the game. I’m usually pretty lenient when it comes to reviewing games but I felt this one needed an extra dose of sarcasm to make the pain of having to experience that game worthwhile. That said, I know that a lot of work was put into the game and even though I didn’t really enjoy this one, I wish the developer luck on their next game and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.