The development team at Open & Close and with help from publishers Comuesp. Here comes the 3-D puzzle adventure called Road to Devadatta which will be released on the Steam Store on April 12 of this year.
This game will test your faith
If you like platforming and uncovering ancient history while looking for a missing family member. Then come check out Road to Devadatta.
The player begins the game as Alo, the nephew of a man named Robert. Alo is looking for his missing uncle Robert, who has been missing for several years. Starting his investigation at his uncle’s house, he is knocked out and forced to take a dangerous journey to prove he can join a cult.
The gameplay in Road to Devadatta consists of puzzle segments, platforming and a few chase scenes. Players can only pick up things, jump, sprint, and crouch. There is no combat. When running, players will run out of stamina very quickly, making it incredibly frustrating during chase scenes. The demon that chases Alo is faster, and with the poor stamina system, players have a high chance of dying.
Puzzles and the platforming
The puzzle segments also wildly vary in difficulty. Sometimes puzzles are stupidly simple; one such puzzle has the player simply turn around one out of the two statues, with a note nearby telling you to do so. Yet other puzzles leave the player completely lost, with no clues nearby indicating what to do. The first puzzle at your uncle’s storage shed tells you nothing, and I only figured it out through pure guesswork.
The frigid and unprecise jumping controls make platforming sections incredibly tedious. Jumping to a platform falls short, and you will die and restart the whole section again. One segment has the player jumping and dodging flames bursting from walls. While usually, this would be a simple matter of timing, the awkward jumping combined with the poor stamina had me repeatedly dying on what would usually be an easy obstacle.
The problems I faced
Another equally annoying part is using large wooden planks to cross wide gaps between stone platforms to avoid falling into (and dying in) the water below. Again, this would usually be a pretty straightforward task. However, the physics of picking up and moving the planks of wood is terrible, so there is no accurate way to position or adjust them, which often results in you dropping them into the water. The planks of wood don’t respawn, and as they’re in the water, the player has to jump off and die to get the planks of wood back, making yet another seemingly simple section tedious.
Multiple times throughout the game, you can accidentally mess up like this and need to die to respawn items or get your character back on the right path. In addition, there is little to no story in Devadatta, with notes scattered around that pertain to nothing of what’s going on or why. In fact, Uncle Robert barely gets mentioned throughout the game.
Graphics & Audio
Road To Devadatta features no ambience and very little music, which is only present once or twice, and temporarily during chase scenes. The lack of music or background noise makes the game feel hollow and bland, with nothing to really catch your attention. The little voice acting in the game was dry as if the main character is unbothered. Alo only speaks at the beginning, so most of the game is complete silence. Generally, the audio sounds very fuzzy and crackly, and overall not very good quality.
Graphically there isn’t much to write about in Devadatta, with most environments looking like ruins or cliffs, resulting in a very bland colour palette. They use the same statues throughout the game and don’t leave any mystery for the player to uncover.
No secret endings or challenges are available, so Road To Devadatta is a quick one-and-done linear story. It took just under an hour and a half to complete, and if it weren’t for the frustrating puzzle sequences, then the game could have been even shorter.
I was happy for my time to end with the game. Puzzles were dull and frustrating. The story and gameplay feel next to non-existent. Lacking any substance or anything to grip the player, it doesn’t feel like anything here would appeal to any particular audience. Chase scenes felt like an attempt to stretch the game out a bit and were pretty much pointless.
I award Road To Devadatta the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.