This first-person 3D mystery adventure is not without its problems
Posted: July 21, 2018 | Category: Review | Developer: DarkPath Studio | Publisher: DarkPath Studio
Genre: 3D Mystery Adventure
Release date: April 28, 2018
Written by: Karla Munger
The developer of Nowhere: Lost Memories, DarkPath Studio, is just one man: Miguel Angel Alosete. He’s worked on the game at least three years. He recently opted to make the game free, or name your own price (Windows).
I try to support indie developers whenever possible, and the game looked intriguing to me. So I plopped down several bucks more than the suggested minimum (for those who want to pay), and jumped in.
Alas, I encountered some serious problems. I’m naming them here in the spirit of constructive criticism.
Note: my computer exceeds the stated minimum system requirements.
Talk About a Short Game!
Initially, I didn’t think I’d be able to play Nowhere: Lost Memories at all. Right off the bat, I came up against what I interpreted to be three show-stoppers, which I was hoping to illustrate with screenshots. But I was unable to get a shot that turned out anything but solid black when plugged into my graphics program.
The first time I fired up the game, I was standing in a darkened structure facing an arched doorway leading outside. Music was playing. I went through the doorway and onto a bridge, where I lost control of my character and started floating. Throughout this sequence a “hand” icon — which indicates action is possible — was visible but unresponsive.
The screen then turned solid white and stayed that way for awhile. Then I briefly saw a woman and a small boy, who were also floating.
Next, the screen turned solid black, after which I landed on a stone walkway. Then the credits rolled, complete with “Thanks for playing.”
My second attempt at a new game started out with the text, “Where am I?” in white on a solid black background. There was no other text. I then landed on a stone walkway, after which I was shown the credits.
Attempt number three was a mixture of elements from the first two attempts. The arched doorway was back. I went outside and onto a bridge, lost control, got a white screen and saw the woman and small boy. Then, I landed on a stone walkway and the text “Where am I?” displayed briefly, in black. Then the entire screen turned black, a discordant sound blared and the credits rolled.
So where did the actual game go? I’m not sure. I was finally able to access it through trial-and-error, and things went well enough until I was tripped up by navigation (more about that momentarily) and additional bugs.
Where Am I?
You awaken alone in an unfamiliar place with no idea how you got there. To discover what’s happening, you must explore your surroundings and look for clues.
You read notes and look at diagrams that were apparently made by someone who preceded you. And, of course, you solve puzzles. You may be led in a direction you never anticipated.
Have Keyboard, Won’t Travel
Nowhere: Lost Memories is keyboard-controlled: WASD; space bar for jump, left-click to act and P for pause. The mouse controls the camera. There’s no re-mapping. The game also supports a controller.
I have only a keyboard. I’m left-handed. The game includes some jumping. Uh-oh.
I routinely slid off what I was trying to jump to or missed it altogether, as I was unable to hold down the W (forward) and hit the spacebar (jump) while guiding my direction with the mouse using my left hand (it’s a finger-pretzel!). The best I could do is position the mouse as best I could, let go of it, hit W and jump. Sometimes this worked. More often than not, however, I fell on my face and/or crashed into things.
At one point, something I’d been trying jump to in order to escape from a locked structure flat-out disappeared after several failed attempts. This was the only way out, so I was left trapped inside the structure. There was nothing to do except start over.
The game’s physics are a little rough. For instance, when moving boxes and other solid objects, it can be difficult to let them go.
This was particularly vexing for me when I tried to place one object on top of another. Sometimes, in a sort of role-reversal, an object would tug at my character as if it were trying to pull me with it. This was actually kind of funny.
All is Not Lost
Nowhere: Lost Memories tells an interesting story. It’s actually somewhat creepy (I love creepy). It’s a shame my playthrough was plagued by so many technical issues.
It’s possible that you will have a completely different experience, particularly if you’re right-handed or use a controller. The game will likely take a couple of hours to finish (a very rough estimate), depending on bugs encountered.
Bottom line: Nowhere: Lost Memories for Windows is free, so what do you have to lose? Or, you can name your own price and kick in a few dollars to support this developer’s three years’ hard work.
+ Interesting, somewhat creepy story
+ Play it free or name your own price
– Can be buggy
– Keyboard navigation could be problematic for left-handers
Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core processor or higher