By Dalton McClain / November 26th, 2019
|Title||From Beyond Prologue|
|Release Date||Dec 7th, 2018|
From Beyond Prologue is exactly as it sounds. A prologue to a series of games known as From Beyond. The game sets out to emulate a horror, Lovecraftian style of game, mixed with old 8-bit game styles. Being a fan of Lovecraft myself, how did this game fare?
Well there isn’t really a whole lot to talk about to be frank. From Beyond Prologue is a 2D point-and-click adventure game in the style of an old 8-Bit video game. The game is very by the book when it comes to how it plays. You select an action, then click on what you wanted to do. You have an inventory of items that you can pick up, and a journal to keep track of your progress and read more about what your character thinks, but that’s really all there is to it. The one complaint I have is about the compass. In game, you use it to dictate where you go. It’s a little odd to get your head around, but it was more of an inconvenience than an actual complaint. Other than that, the game does throw some puzzles at you, but none of them are all that hard and just require a bit of thinking.
Unlike the gameplay, this game far exceeds most others just in design alone. I absolutely love Lovecraft inspired things, especially when done as well as it is here. You actually only have a tiny screen showing what’s happening, meanwhile the rest of the screen is taken up by the UI, which resembles a book and a compass, two normal things that explorers might carry with them. The art in the game, besides being beautiful, also reflects the tone of the game as well. Going from eerie and calm, to downright weird and horrific. Few games have made me feel as uneasy as this game has. I’d love to see more of this game just from the art alone.
Speaking of the game’s tone, I guess it’s time I finally mention the story. You play Crawford Tillinghast, a professor from 1910 who has set out to look for a hidden village deep within the European Mountains. As you discover more and more, the scenery starts to shift, and you begin to learn more of the village’s past. If you can get past all the blocks of text, and don’t mind a little Lovecraft dialect, the story is a fascinating one that dives not only into the village, but also into your characters reactions in his journal. It’s a fascinating look that captures the themes of Lovecraft’s novels beautifully.
Now that I’ve been praising the game for a while, it’s time I talk about the problems I had with it. I decided to condense them all into one paragraph, because while they’re issues I had, they aren’t deal breakers. Plus I couldn’t find an ample place to squeeze them into any of my previous paragraphs. The first issue I had is with the sound design. While the music is okay, albeit a bit repetitive, nothing was more grating than the loud screeching noise. I’m not going to spoil what causes it, but every time it happens I have to mute the game because it’s so grating on my ears. The only other issue I had was the text speed. While you can click through it to speed it up, the default speed is horrendously slow. I normally don’t like to skip text, but I had no choice in this game. It was either make it all appear at once, or wait a full minute or two for it to crawl its way across the screen. There are also some deaths that can occur that feel a little cheap, but where the game is so short it usually didn’t set me back that far. Just be sure to save often.
Honestly, even with my tiny gripes, I really enjoyed this game. I can’t wait to see more and more episodes come out. The one that’s out right now is only $2.99, and is definitely worth a pick up in my eyes. I played the game for almost an hour and a half trying to see everything that there is to see. This game definitely gets my seal of approval.
Review code provided by the publisher.
From Beyond: PrologueLovecraftpoint and clickRetroSuckerFree Games