Waking the Glares Review
Waking the Glares Review
An amateurish attempt at a surreal adventure game in VR
Posted: 07/03/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Wisefool Studio | Publisher: Wisefool Studio | Platform: Windows, Vr

Genre: Adventure, VR supported (Oculus)
Release date: March 15, 2017
VR Comfort: Mostly comfortable
VR Safety: Very safe

Question: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Two – one to paint the giraffe purple and one to fill the bathtub with multi-colored machine parts.

I had high expectations when I first read about Waking the Glares. The graphics looked nice. There was an intriguing story about being trapped in a book and having to puzzle your way out. It was episodic with each episode promising to be a little different. It wasn’t too expensive. So what was there not to like?

The reality, however, just didn’t live up to the promise.

I started out as a naive player – just install the game and go. The game starts off just as in the trailer, with you trudging through a blizzard. You can hear the snow crunch under your feet (indicating that the temperature is below 20 degrees F.), but you leave no footprints. Finally, you come to a house which you can enter.

You can explore the house and solve a few simple puzzles. Once the last puzzle is solved, the Introduction closes and Chapter One begins. 

Chapter One consists of one trivial puzzle. It can be completed in thirty seconds.

Then Chapter Two begins. It begins with a long gondola ride that deposits us in a square in Paris. There are a few classic puzzles to solve and it’s game over.

And that is it.

You may have noticed that I have not said anything about the story. That is because there is no story in the game proper. The alleged story about escaping a magic book does not appear anywhere except on the Steam store page. The game itself has nothing. You don’t know why you are there. You don’t know your condition. Do you have amnesia? Do you remember all? You don’t even know if you are supposed to be solving these puzzles. There just isn’t anything else to do.

This just didn’t seem right, so I double checked the store page to see if I had missed anything. And I noticed that a downloadable eBook was available. Aha! So I downloaded it. And looked for it. And looked in other places for it. And looked for a link to it in or out of game. Finally I found a PDF file in C:\Program Files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\Waking the Glares. I know, it should have been obvious.

This PDF file turned out to be the beginning of a very nice fantasy story. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with the game. That is, nothing in the book was alluded to in the game and nothing in the game was alluded to in the book.

So the game boils down to a few nice environments with some nice music and a few puzzles, all for no apparent reason.

Did the VR help any? Almost, but there was one glaring issue with how it was implemented. I was next to a bookcase. I was as close as I could get with the controller. It looked as though there was something written on the spines of the book only six inches from my nose. So I moved my head closer to the books. And the books kept their distance. No matter how I moved my head, I remained at the same point in the game. Oh, I could look around in every direction. I just could not move. Talk about an immersion-breaking nausea-inducing bug.

Waking the Glares gave me the impression that the developers had a few cool thoughts and just slapped them together. There is no coherency. There is no vision. The game doesn’t need more polish, it needs structure and purpose. This is definitely an amateur effort and there are plenty of better games out there to invest time and money in.

Grade: C
 
Some of the graphics are quite good
+ The background music is very nice
 
+/- No explanation or goals for anything
 
Poor VR implementation
- Mediocre use of surrealism
- Short for the price
 Logo 
 
Trailer 
 
 

 

System Requirements
 
MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: i5 2500k 2.6ghz
Memory: 4 
GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 650 2GB or ATI 7750 2GB
Direct X: Version 10
Storage: 3GB available space  
Specials from Digital Download
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