All That Remains: Episode 1
All That Remains: Episode 1
Those who follow Glitch will not be disappointed by All That Remains
Posted: 06/30/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Glitch Games | Publisher: Glitch Games | Platform: Android, Ios, Windows, Mac

Genre: Adventure, Room Escape
Release date: June 29, 2017

A Party of Three  
 

It is no secret that I am a fan of Graham Ranson and Simon Pearce – the guys that are Glitch Games. I played Forever Lost: Episode 1 in early 2013 and was so delighted by it that I have tracked their development activities ever since. They went on to create two additional episodes of Forever Lost and, in late 2016, they released The Forgotten Room. In between came a couple of short “teaser” games – A Short Tale and Cabin Escape – Alice’s Story.

Glitch is self-described as a “micro-studio” with Graham coding and Simon creating the artwork. Composer Richard J. Moir has partnered with this developing duo and creates original sound tracks for their games. So, it was with enthusiasm that I saw a recent tweet announcing a release date for a new title from this team.

Unlocking the Bunker  
 

All That Remains: Episode 1 is best described as a complex 2D point-and-click escape adventure in which you play from the first-person perspective of Campbell, a young man alone in an underground bunker. He is in radio contact with his sister, Clara, who remains above ground during an unknown but seemingly catastrophic event. Campbell’s father was a “prepper” ahead of his time and built the bunker for just such a scenario. It is impenetrable, with a multi-phase security system that Campbell must disarm to bring his sister to safety. Snippets of backstory and current events outside the bunker are revealed by emergency broadcasts and short-wave radio conversations.

In the true Glitch tradition, the environment is littered with puzzles and clues that hide in plain sight. Graffiti on a wall is rarely just for art’s sake and even a book on the coffee table has meaning. However, solutions are not obvious. Connections are subtle and the answers usually require some serious contemplation. When playing a Glitch game, it is not unusual for me to spend time with a pencil and paper, gathering facts and redrawing patterns in search of that “Eureka” moment.

The environment of the bunker unfolds as puzzles are solved. In addition to pointing-and-clicking, there is a computer to interact with, a television and a radio to dial in, and clocks to set. All-in-all, it is a very interesting environment with much to see and do in a relatively small space.

You collect quite a bit of inventory which is managed by an interface that allows easy viewing. Items are used by dragging from inventory and dropping onto the main screen.  Once an item has been “used up,” it disappears from inventory. Thus, the player can be certain that everything currently held has an undiscovered purpose.

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All That Remains also includes the player’s best friend…the Glitch Camera. This allows you to snapshot a scene for later reference. You can annotate the image and it can be ‘floated’ on a different screen so that you can see the clue while working a puzzle. Very handy, indeed!

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The Legend Continues 
 

Those who follow Glitch will not be disappointed by All That Remains. While the game is short and the bunker fairly small, the price point is right and it still took me several days to complete without a walkthrough. It does not break new ground but, instead, encompasses the trademark darkness, humor and clever puzzles that make a Glitch game unique. If you have a heart for puzzles and have not experienced Glitch, what are you waiting for?

Personally, I love puzzles. Not the nonsensical ones, but the kind that stretch my mind and really make me think. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than that moment when clues fall into place and I suddenly see the solution to a puzzle I have been reflecting on for hours. With a Glitch game, I trust that I am not being set up to fail…that a logical answer is within reach if I can organize the clues correctly. If something seems impossible, it is because I do not yet have all the clues OR there is a pattern in the environment that I have not interpreted correctly. All That Remains has a couple of conundrums that took me a long time to figure out. My strategy for such puzzles is to walk away from the game but continue to cogitate upon it as I go about the normal business of my day. Later, when I return to the game, all that “background thinking” gives me a new perspective. When I complete a Glitch game, I feel as though I’ve really accomplished something and have earned the right to enjoy the ending scenes.

I played All That Remains on an Android tablet, which is easier to carry around than a laptop. The game ran flawlessly and my only complaint is that it is over (for now…).  The “Episode 1” annotation would indicate that there is more of Campbell’s story to be told and I am looking forward to encountering him again in the future.

Grade: B+
 
Another successful release that stays true to Glitch traditions
+ Puzzles are thought-provoking, challenging, and integral to the story
Graphics and original sound track combine to create an immersive 2D experience
 
- Those who want to “fly through” a game, without contemplation, may want to choose an easier title
-  Those who favor story-rich adventures over puzzles may be disappointed
 Logo 
 
Trailer:
 

System Requirements
Unavailable

Specials from Digital Download
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