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Forgiveness Review

Forgiveness Review

Forgiveness Review

A challenging exercise for fans of the escape-the-room genre

Category: Review
Written by: Cindy Kyser on March 28, 2019
Developed by: X-Aiety Studios
Published by: X-Aiety Studios
Release Date: February 28, 2019
Genre: 3D Escape-the-Room Puzzler
Platform: Windows, Mac, SteamOS+ Linux

Forgiveness is the brain-child of Noam Matan Ratem. Based in Israel, he and a small team have put together an “escape-the-room” puzzle game with a twist. Upon waking in an unknown location, you are confronted by the voice of Benjamin Smith who claims to be filling in for God. With colorful language, he lets you know that you are a Sinner (with a capital “S”!) and that your own personal Judgment Day has arrived. As an alternative to eternal damnation, you chance at redemption lies in escaping the prisons of your own sins.

The game consists a prologue and seven rooms – one for each of the seven deadly sins: Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, and Wrath. You can select which room/sin to play or you can answer some questions to have the game identify your sin. Mine was Pride (no surprise there!). I played through each of the 7 rooms, selecting them in order of difficulty (beginning with “Medium” and ending with “Insane.”)

You also have the choice of playing each segment in one of two modes – “Normal” (no timer and sound cues as clues are located) or “Extreme” (30-minute timer and no cues). I knew, going in, that the timer option was not for me. I played in “Normal” mode and did not solve anything within 30 minutes. If you are completely stuck, a hint for the current puzzle can be accessed with a single keystroke.

Other than the initial introduction and explanation by Benjamin Smith, you play Forgiveness alone. There is no story outside of the prologue. Each room has a unique and mood-setting soundtrack composed by Julian Blasins and is loosely themed to match the sin… a kitchen for gluttony, a casino for greed, a cluttered attic for sloth, etc.

Upon entering a room, your first task is to figure out what the puzzle is. This becomes a pixel hunt. Each room is a very detailed 3D environment filled with objects. Your cursor (a tiny spot on the screen) goes red when you scan an active item that can be examined and picked up. If you do pick up an item, good luck dropping it back in its original position. I ended up restarting one of the rooms because I had moved an important object and could not figure out where it had landed! Note to self: Examine objects only and do not pick them up until they are needed elsewhere.

Most active items are red herrings and have no relevance to the puzzles. To further complicate things, many clues are not active (such as pictures or messages on a wall) and others become active based on where you are in the sequence of puzzles.

There is no Save function so if you choose to leave a room without completing your escape, you will need to start over when you return. This is not as bad as it sounds because you can generally restore your progress in just a few seconds. For example, it might have taken you an hour to figure out a computer password. When you return, all you do is reenter the password previously discovered and continue where you left off.

I happen to really enjoy “escape-the-room” games, especially if the puzzles are complex and clever. Forgiveness meets both criteria and I ended up using a pencil and paper to solve problems in almost every room. If you are a player who thrives on logical puzzles, Forgiveness can be solved with patience and creative thinking. None of the solutions are absurd or random and each requires paying attention to patterns and interpreting the clues presented in a specific way.

As far as “escape-the-room” games go, Forgiveness is one of the better ones in terms of the puzzles. Perhaps I am not as smart as I think I am because, without using hints, I spent more time than I care to admit working through puzzles in quite a few of the rooms. I had some interface challenges when the prompts for placing an object in a specific location did not appear consistently in the Envy room. Although objects could still be placed without the prompt, it made it quite the conundrum to figure out where they were supposed to end up!

I would recommend this game to those who enjoy stretching their minds and solving unique puzzles in an interesting environment. If you love puzzles just for the joy of figuring them out, then Forgiveness should be in your library.

Grade B+

+ Complex and logic-based puzzles provide an intellectual challenge
+ Interesting rooms with different kinds of puzzles will keep you engaged
+ Hints available if/when you are stuck and patience is not one of your virtues
Highly detailed rooms with many objects become a pixel hunt
Those looking for more than an “escape-the-room” puzzler may be disappointed – no story outside of the prologue


System Requirements
MINIMUM Windows:

OS: Windows 7 or higher 64bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 2.00 GHz or AMD equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450 or higher with 1GB Memory
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 6 GB available space


OS: Mac OS X 10.8+
Processor: Intel Core i5 (2011 or newer)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 / AMD Radeon HD 5750. OpenGL 3.2
Storage: 6 GB available space

MINIMUM SteamOS+ Linux:

OS: 64-bit OS
Processor: Intel Core i3 2.00 GHz or AMD equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 450 or higher with 1GB Memory
Storage: 6 GB available space

Cindy Kyser

Cindy Kyser

Cindy’s love affair with gaming began when she opened a mailbox in front of a white house and took the first step in a long series of adventures. ‘Back in the day,’ Cindy was a regular contributor to JA and an active member of the online gaming community. She has attended several E3s and has had the pleasure of spending time in person with both Ray and Randy. Her all- time favorite adventures include the Tex Murphy series, the Gabriel Knight series, and The Longest Journey. She also enjoys RPGs and her list of ‘best ever’ includes Fallout, Asheron’s Call, and Planescape Torment. Â Frustrated with the cost of rising PC system requirements, Cindy decided to switch to console and tablet gaming. Although you can teach some old dogs new tricks, she discovered that console controller dexterity is a skill set that she is lacking. Her results with tablet gaming were not much better. With the exception of a few gems such as The Room and Forever Lost, there is a limit to how much one can play Candy Crush and Hidden Object Adventures. Having proved that pure escapism is worth the investment, she has a new gaming laptop and is back to her search for the perfect adventure. Â After spending most of her life in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Cindy escaped the stress of urban life and moved to rural Arkansas. To show that she has become a true Arkansan, she has taken up deer hunting, wears pink camo, and put a chicken coop in her backyard. On a stressful day, she can be heard yelling ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ when all else fails.

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