Slender Threads is a game by Argentinian based indie company, Blyts, founded in 2008 and known for its other titles such as Nobodies and Kelvin and the Infamous Machine. The game is to be their latest release and falls into the modern point and click adventure category; it is somewhat similar in style to the fantastic Deponia and the remasters of the classic Monkey Island series. I was lucky enough to get access to the prologue chapter of the new game when we ‘met’ the developer at the recent Gamescom event and, despite there being no definitive final release date yet, I couldn’t wait to dive in.
|We enjoyed…||+ Overall theme and atmosphere|
+ Fast Travel system
+ Voice acting is spot on
|We’d like to see more…||+ Expansion of the eldritch environment|
+ Vary the challenge of the puzzles
+ More of the same please
Slender Threads sees you play as Harvey Green, a budding writer who is trying to get his name and works out there by going from town to town peddling the publications of other more successful authors. He’s hoping to learn more about the world of novel writing and what it means to become a successful novelist. You arrive in the slightly eerie town of Villa Ventana and immediately realise something isn’t quite right with this place. From the overall architecture, to the townsfolk, Villa Ventana feels a little… strange.
Playing the prologue I must say that I found the world engaging and enticing – I really wanted to get stuck in and start exploring. The game is played from a vantage point akin to that of a 2.5D platformer where you navigate the streets and various buildings of the town all as if you’re standing across the road from our wannabe author. This gives you a fantastic scope and immediately allows you to explore the various objects and trinkets placed in those dark hidden corners or stashed behind a rug.
You begin the game in your hotel room, and after a nicely crafted and fast intro to the game controls you are off to explore. The character interaction is excellent and the voice acting is nicely done, and it’s all supported with a background score that supports the ethereal feel of the game. Harvey is a main character that is relatable and brings a good level of humour that works well when conversing with the entertaining townsfolk. I enjoyed the simplistic nature of the point and click elementand found that it supplemented the adventure well. There was no need to spend a lot of time wondering if I should push, pull or pick up an object, I could just interact with it and move on with the story.
Speaking of the story, it is thoroughly gripping. I don’t want to spoil anything for you but it instantly has you asking questions like, “wait what?”, “woah what was that?!”, and “eesh do I actually want to go in here?” The prologue really does a good job of selling the world’s in-game rules and immersing you in it’s believability. “Yeah sure that creepy thing that just happened is totally fine. Nothing out of place here.”
The game has some great quality of life mechanics that really respect your time as a player. I know as a dad of two preschoolers the last thing I want to do when playing my games is spend hours just walking back and forth between points to interact with the various items in the specific order. The game cuts all of this out with a fantastically intuitive in-game map. This made me very happy, to the point I even found myself exclaiming my gratitude out loud. You’re also able to skip dialogue should you wish, which is great if you accidently click that conversation option that had 13 lines of severely voice acted dialogue for the second time.
I would say that the puzzle aspect of the game, although fun and absolutely fitting the games playstyle, was a little too simplistic and could have been better if there were some more challenging puzzles to solve. I’m not asking for something on the level of the ‘stealing the golden buckle off the fishmonger’ puzzle from the Discworld game of the mid 90s, but something that will give me a little bit more of a head scratch would enhance the game from where it is now. Hopefully there can be some more bite added to the puzzles in the final version.
Overall I have to say I really enjoyed this prologue and genuinely can’t wait for the full game to be released. I am a sucker for a well crafted point and click adventure (seriously you should see my Steam library, I think I may have a problem), and this one really ticks all the right boxes for me.
- Funny and engaging main character? Check
- Interesting, sarcastic, mysterious NPCs? Check
- Well themed and crafted environment? Check
- Items to click on, some more items to click on and then endlessthrowingthingstogetherthathavenorighttocombinewitheachotherbutwhoknowsamannequinandawrenchmaydosomethingspecial….? Check?
Yeah if you, like me, like PNC adventure games, this will definitely be one to keep your multi selection cursors on going forwards. If you’re interested then keep your eyes peeled here, as we’ll be sure to keep track of progress as things develop – you can also wishlist the game on Steam to help out Blyts with their progress.
In the interest of full disclosure, the publisher provided VGamingNews with an early build of the game in order to conduct this preview. Experiences from the full game on release may vary.