I have a fond place in my heart for The Gallery – Episode 1 : Call of the Starseed. It is one of the first VR games I played and likely the first game I completed that had any sort of length to it. I recently revisited the game to see how nostalgia holds up before I think about delving into Episode 2.
Let’s start with the goods – Visually, the game is one of the best. I love the music, especially the “bumper music” in between levels and loading screens with the dialogue. The backpack system/inventory is perfectly done and a lesson all games should consider. Puzzles are very fair and don’t involve messing around trying to figure out a “eureka moment” as much as other puzzlers, such as the escape room games. It may be potentially too easy for the parts of the game but when you get stumped – expect to chew up time trying to figure out what is next. I’m fairly sure the last puzzle consumed 80% of my playtime – EVEN when playing through again(idiot mistake second time.)
There was a lot of effort put into a narrative by the game developer and it is noticed. There is writing on walls, notes and cassette tapes that attempt to flesh out “what’s going on” besides the character you meet. In a way, this game plays more like a narrative than an actual puzzle/game but the puzzles can still make you think.
Some of the negatives/mixed perspectives – The first time I played this game – I actually felt fairly creeped out and still was motion sick but after having my “VR feet” now, I kind of wish they had a slide movement option rather than teleport. The teleport feels slightly delayed when you move compared to a lot of games I played. I felt I’d “blink” and then take a breath before the next scene loaded. It’s not nearly as bad as something like Perfect‘s movement but I am hoping in the next game it feels a little more fluid.
End of the line is – you probably won’t play this more than once unless you’re like me – re firing it up to get used to the story before possibly buying the next game installment. Knowing the puzzles definitely can decrease your playtime dramatically and choosing to ignore the narratives can cut it down to a fairly lean, short game. The visuals and music are always welcome but at a point, it’s more like watching a movie when you’ve “cracked the code”. As I write this, the game is $19.99 which you’d have to dramatically LOVE this game/genre or have multiple family members who may play through it rather than just a single playthrough. Personally for the price, I’d prefer other genres but if you’re more of a player who prefers Myst style games and narrative heavy – this might be for you.
The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed - The Good
The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed - The Bad
- Slow movement when teleporting
- Limited movement options
- Very short game