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The Cinema Rosa Review

The Cinema Rosa Review

The Cinema Rosa Review

Grab some popcorn and settle in for a special screening at the Cinema Rosa

Category: Review
Written by: Cindy Kyser on April 17, 2019
Developed by: Atreyu Games Pty. Ltd.
Published by: Atreyu Games Pty. Ltd.
Release Date: April 8, 2019
Genre: 3D Exploratory Adventure
Platform: Windows

In early 2019, a Kickstarter campaign for The Cinema Rosa caught my eye. It was described as a “classic adventure game set in a haunted cinema, inspired The Stanley Parable, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and Dear Esther.” It was marked as a “relaunch.” Evidently, Atreyu Games had attempted a Kickstarter in 2018 and did not get fully funded. Hats off to them for not giving up!

They were asking for very little money (as far as Kickstarters go) so I jumped in as a backer. Not a super-backer…just a regular person hoping to help a development team with more vision than funding. I was amazed to get a Steam Key for The Cinema Rosa within a few short months. Based in Sydney, Australia and led by Joshua Atreyu Krook, the team had been hard at work on the game and just needed a small kick start (no pun intended) to get it over the goal line.

Played from a 1st-person perspective, The Cinema Rosa begins as you approach a locked and dilapidated theater. Once, it was a showcase for the golden age of cinema – a classic theater with a lit marquées, sweeping staircases, balconies, velvet curtains, plush seating, and a nightclub. The theater is now closed and in a total state of disrepair. Debris is strewn across the floor, fixtures have been toppled, and most doors are locked. You, as the prior owner, arrive to wander the halls and reflect on your own past as it is linked to the place and the people who frequented it.

The voice acting is supremely done and the internal dialog (i.e., the “self-talk” of the main character) is very well-written. As you peruse the cinema, you find items that trigger memories about your past and the woman you loved. You reflect on how you and your partner created the Cinema Rosa together and how things between the two of you fell apart. You find news clippings that report a series of tragedies in the theater. For those who are paying attention, there is often a clever second article on the front page of The Late News. You also see the ghosts of past visitors. Describing the environment as “haunted” refers more to ghosts of memories than to things that go bump in the night. Ghosts are shown as transparent blue figures that are going about the business of working or enjoying the cinema.

The scenery is very detailed with some nice touches including a variety of old movie posters and décor that is perfect for a classically-styled cinema. You can help yourself to popcorn and a drink. After finding your seat, you can watch a black and white film clip on “the big screen.” It is very much a “you are there” experience.

There are puzzles ranging from simple (turning on the power or making a drink) to the obtuse (playing a piano or setting RBG color values). Solving puzzles provides access to new areas, including portals that take you back through your memories in dream-like sequences. As you progress through the game, the theater begins to restore itself to its original condition and (in some cases) the ghosts vanish. I am not sure if all the ghosts were supposed to vanish or if some remained by design. It is possible that I missed some puzzles along the way.

The Cinema Rosa is a fairly short game (played in around 2 hours) but ended in a way that made sense and tied up the loose ends. There were some minor (and a bit unsettling) glitches that did not interfere with my game. When returning to a previously saved game, items that I had picked up and placed were back in their original locations. For example, there are torn movie posters that are gathered and returned to their frames to trigger events. When I returned to my saved game, the torn fragments were back on the floor. However, my progress in triggering events was still intact.

I would recommend The Cinema Rosa to those who enjoy a good story and an interesting environment to explore. I could not help but feel the pain and loss of the main character as he recalls how his cinema and his relationship unraveled, over time. There are two interwoven stories that are being told.

As an aside, when I entered the theater business office, I was surprised to see my name (along with other backers) on a list of work assignments hanging on the wall. This made me smile. However, when I saw my name in the credits, I was a bit embarrassed. The Cinema Rosa is the result of a lot of creativity and hard work and should be entirely credited to the development team. I look forward to future endeavors by Atreyu Games!

Grade B+

+ Poignant story about the human condition
+ The classic cinema, coupled with dream world sequences, makes for an interesting 3D environment to explore
+ Voiceovers and soundtrack perfectly complement the story and the landscape
Game is a bit on the short side
Some puzzle solutions seemed random rather than clue-based (although this could be due to me not paying adequate attention)



System Requirements

Windows 7 or above (64-bit Operating System Required)
Intel Core i3-2100 (3.1GHz) or AMD Phenom X4 945 (3.0GHz)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7770 2GB
DirectX Version 11
Please note that 32-bit operating systems will not be supported

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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