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The Old City: Leviathan Review

The Old City: Leviathan Review

There is no one for company other than the voice in you own head. There is nothing left for you to do but think.


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Developed by

Published by


Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release Date: Dec 3, 2013

What happens when a society’s population shrinks? Every decade the birth rate gets lower and lower. How soon before the economy goes into a death spiral with fewer people to purchase goods, and factories closing down causing unemployment to escalate? How soon before there aren’t enough working trucks to bring food to the stores? How soon before the farms close down?

What would it be like to live in a decaying city which your great-grandfather helped to build, but you didn’t know what many of the artifacts actually did, let alone how to use them?

And what about the many containers filled with toxic substances left in the factories and warehouses slowly rotting and eventually leaking?

In The Old City: Leviathan you play the part of a loner, squatting in the remains of an old water purification plant. The game is very contemplative with you roaming the large facility, finding old diary pages and wondering just what meaning there is to life. And if there is anything you could possibly do to make a difference.

There are no puzzles, unless you consider the huge complex to be a maze. There is no one for company other than the voice in you own head. There is nothing left for you to do but think.

This may sound boring, but I found the game to be strangely compelling. As I explored the many environments I learned more and more about what this modern microcosm was all about and found myself just as anxious as my avatar to find answers.

But you can’t even trust your own thoughts. You are clearly hallucinating when Spanish graffiti turns into English as you approach it. Huge surreal statues float in the sky. And while a scene may contain blood stains on the first visit, it may have actual bodies the second time around. Was your mind blocking out the bodies before, or are you imagining them now?

The environment is huge and beautifully rendered. But it never felt repetitious. You might want to draw a map as you go, but you will only need to note intersections so you don’t miss any areas.

I enjoyed playing this game. It took me ten hours of play time to get through it, and for the price it’s a good value.

I wanted to give this game an “A” for originality, but a couple of glitches tarnished my experience.

First, the game uses the Unreal Engine so navigation is performed by using the keys to move and the mouse to aim and look. Fair enough, but I was stuck in the first chapter and just could not get out of the building. There were a couple of promising doors and an elevator, but no amount of clicking or walking into them did anything. I finally found a video walkthrough and it showed the doors being opened. How did they do it?

An examination of the Options Menu showed that the “E” key could be used to manipulate an object. Gee, thanks for letting me know.

Also, there is no Save Game feature. There are eleven chapters representing eleven different areas. As you leave an area it unlocks the next chapter. But if you quit the game in the middle of an area you are placed back at the beginning when you restart. At first I was appalled that I was being forced to replay entire areas. But I eventually figured out that there was nothing to save (once unlocked, a chapter remains unlocked) and so all that it cost me was the walk back to where I had left off. Still, it was an initial source of frustration.

Both of these inconveniences could have been prevented with just a little bit of instruction, perhaps a single page off of the main menu.

So I will have to give the game a final grade of “B+”.

Grade: B+
Huge, beautiful environment to explore
Compelling, thought provoking story
–  No Save Game features
  Options can be unclear 


If you like playing The Old City: Leviathan, then you might want to…

Play – Dear Esther
Read – Barefoot in the Head
Watch – The Prisoner (old TV show)

System Requirements
    • PC System Requirements
      OS: Windows Vista/7/8
      Processor: 3.0 GHz dual core or better  
      Memory: 4 GB RAM
      Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible with 512 MB RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX / Radeon HD 5850)
      DirectX: Version 9.0 
      Hard Drive: 3.0 GB available space  
      Sound Card: Windows compatible sound card

Bob Washburne

Bob Washburne

I have been playing adventure games since 1979 when I played "Adventure" on the DEC PDP minicomputer at work. The first adventure game I ever purchased was "Zork 1" for CP/M. I can remember the introduction of the IBM PC. I remember the invention of the microcomputer (actually, it was discovered rather than invented). I remember the invention of the minicomputer. Yes, I am an old fart. I have written 80 reviews and articles for JustAdventure starting with my review of "Bioscopia" in February of 2004. I currently own more adventure games than I will ever be able to play, let alone review. And I want more!

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