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The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone Review

The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone Review

The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone Review

The second of four chapters of a classic Sci-Fi adventure game in VR

Category: Review
Written by: Bob Washburne on April 30, 2019
Genre: Sci-Fi VR Adventure
Release date: October 28, 2018
Developer: Cloudhead Games Ltd
Publisher: Cloudhead Games Ltd
Platform: Windows, VR only


Call of the Starseed, the first chapter of The Gallery, ended with your acquisition of a new hand, the opening of an interdimensional portal and your entrance into said portal. Reasonably enough, Heart of the Emberstone begins with you exiting the portal, and the story continues.

You find yourself in the decaying ruins of a fallen civilization. The machinery that provided food and water barely works, but not enough to keep the people alive. You are alone.

Or almost alone.

You meet a creepy old man who claims to have your sister. If you want to see her again you must revive the ancient technology and acquire a “grip” for your other hand. If you fail…

The first thing I noticed when playing the game was that Cloudhead Games kept their word and fixed the navigation issue. The default mode is Click-Turn with the one thumb stick turning and the other accelerating/braking. After playing for five minutes I was moving without thinking about it.

The other thing I noticed was that Cloudhead made excellent use of their assets. Adventure games tend to be expensive to make because you have to spend so much effort to create an environment and then you don’t spend much game time in it (compared to FPS or RPG where you can spend hours at a single location). So the game usually ends up being short.

But Cloudhead made three good-sized areas and managed to use them effectively by sending the player back-and-forth between them several times to solve the various puzzles. So the game has a good length and a good value for time spent. Navigating between the areas is never boring as you are able to teleport right back to a place you have visited before.

The bottom line is that the graphics are beautiful, the VR fully immersive, the story unfolds smoothly throughout the game, and the voice acting is spot on. All-in-all a thoroughly professional job and a welcome addition to VR adventure gaming.

The only criticism I have is that it’s been over a year and there hasn’t been one word from Cloudhead Games about Chapter Three. Hopefully, we will hear something soon.

Grade: B

+ Virtual Reality
+ Good graphics
+ Good navigation (click-turn)
+ Good unfolding story
+ Great Voice acting
No word on the Third Chapter




MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core i5-4590
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Geforce GTX 970 OR AMD Radeon R9 290
DirectX: Version 11
Additional Notes: Requires a virtual reality headset; includes native Rift support
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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