Somerville

Somerville
N/A
Metacritic
62
Steam
58.854
xDR
Our rating is calculated based on the reviews and popularity of the game.
Release date
14 November 2022
Developers
Publishers
Steam reviews score
Total
62 (423 votes)
Recent
79 (49 votes)

In the wake of catastrophe, you must find the means to make your family whole again. Somerville is a Sci-Fi adventure grounded in the intimate repercussions of a large-scale conflict.

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Somerville system requirements

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 10
Popularity
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Reviews
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Vantablack
Vantablack

The game had an amazing atmosphere and very much felt like a step forward from games like inside. There were a few puzzles I looked up. Walkthrough for and found a solution that didn't really make any sense, making me wonder what the designers were thinking. There were also a few puzzles that automatically solved themselves after a quick death, which felt a little odd to me personally.

I would absolutely recommend someone get this game.... In the future. Right now there are a handful of bugs, combined with a myriad of major issues. On PC the audio would stutter and blank out when an abrupt sound was supposed to play, and the game stutterd a lot. On steam deck, I was surprised I was even able to play it at all. Turning the settings down to low and rendering at 480p yielded the exact same 5-25fps results that playing on high upscaled to a 4k tv would. The earlier sections of the game were outright unplayable on the deck. While it did get better later on, it was still a terrible first impression.

The game had an amazing direction and was one of the prettiest and most awe inspiring games I've played this year, not to mention it actually had some unique gameplay mechanics. But it's lack of consistency with the quality of the puzzles, and the tech side where it completely dropped the ball, lead me to dislike the execution of the game. I do hope that it can pull a cyberpunk or no man's sky and pull itself up again, but that seems unlikely.

Maaaars
Maaaars

Somerville was a hard one for me. Ever since I discovered it a couple of months ago I was hyped for its release, especially after playing Inside. However, its important to remember that Inside IS NOT Somerville. Although Jumpship was cofounded by a CEO of Playdead, this does not necessarily make the game an immediate step up from Inside. Regardless of all of this, I still enjoyed Somerville but it felt like an unpolished release. Multiple performance issues on PC, shaky/quick camera cuts and pans, difficult interact prompts, and overall strange 2.5d movement led to me being dissatisfied with what I expected the game to be. However, the art style, general game engine physics, sound design, and ending sequences were all huge pros. Small discrepancies in the gaming process was what brought this game downhill, but in general the puzzles, graphics, and story made up for it. Overall I give this game an 8/10 recommendation, something that's a must to pick up if its on sale, or something that is worth getting for full price if some of the minor performance issues are fixed.

Majeric
Majeric

Other than some slightly jenky controls and collision volumes the game is really enjoyable. The mood of the game is interest. The puzzle challenges are interesting.

Infact, my only real complaint about the game is that you can't pet the dog.

zogingu
zogingu

Putting aside patchable technical issues, this is a really middling entry into the cinematic puzzle game genre. These are my main criticisms.

    • Impressive visual fidelity but often tacky and uninteresting visual design. My main gripes:

      • Power armour ninjas with geometric armour. In my opinion, these kinds of concepts turn science fiction into cartoon fantasy.
      • Alien structures that don't have a novel adaptation to the Earth environments—they're just geometric noise.
      • Extremely un-subtle yellow post-it notes to telegraph some interactive items, weakening the game's immersive, cinematic presentation.
      • Well rendered and detailed locations, but that often feel sparse and tedious to get through. My summary of the game's locations (complete spoilers):

        • The family's house has lots of little details and some novel interactive bits that create a unique feeling of presence.
        • The countryside quickly felt repetitive. Samey fields and woods that take a long time to move through.
        • The music festival was probably the most novel location. The wind effects were fun.
        • The mine was by far the worst. Extremely repetitive. Felt like a level in a game, as opposed to a plausible real world location.
        • The town had very nice set decoration, but the interactivity is heavily lacking. You lift the same shelf out of the way three times. I see why people bemoan The Last of Us' ladders now.
        • Underwater base/alien area is where the tacky sci-fi stuff gets turned all the way up. The base's exterior is cool, and the reactor sequence is mysterious, but switching from a man stumbling through a conflict zone to an Aperture Science lab experiment felt like it broke the tone.


    • Music is very sparse and unremarkable. The only tracks I can recall were the occasional ambient piece that introduced a chapter, and generic sad piano pieces
    • Each beat of the story doesn't build up or pay off in a satisfying way. Most chapters end with the same chase sequence involving geometric alien lions who purposefully miss you with their face lasers.
    • There were some nice puzzles, but a lot were overly simple, where the solution is found by just interacting the first object you come across.

Technical quality is something that can be easily improved in the future, but a lot of the creative concepts in the game felt flaccid. I pray to god that people writing and illustrating sci-fi stories will soon lose their infatuation with RGB lights, "bad-ass" military concepts and angular geometric greeblecore.

Chouzz
Chouzz

Atmosphere, sound and art is the only thing going for this game. The game is borderline a walking simulator with a few objects needing to be removed along the way. The story starts off promising but fizzles out as it goes along, The ending is flat. Wouldn't recommend at the price of $32AUD especially for less than 4 hours of "gameplay".

Mesh Potato
Mesh Potato

It definitely is true that the game has big performance issues and the gameplay is at times very clunky, but I really enjoyed it none the less!

Don't come in expecting something that is as polished as INSIDE, but it's worth playing for sure.
The art direction is on point!

Foobar
Foobar

The game is very good. I really like it. It reminds me a bit of the classic Out of This World. However, the PERFORMANCE IS TERRIBLE! Random frame-rate drop and stutter even when hardly anything is happening on screen. Even taking the graphics settings and resolution to their absolute lowest the performance is still terrible.

This is really disappointing. I have an older computer but I can play games with much higher requirements (e.g. Resident Evil: VII, Plague Tale, etc.) without any issues.

There really is no excuse this indy game with simple graphics should run so poorly.

I would recommend the game only if/when the devs. release some performance improvement patches. It really is very good. Just a shame it doesn't seem to be well optimized.

M.S.K
M.S.K

I was very excited for this after playing Limbo and Inside.
but when i start playing it i am losing interest in the very beginning.
all the puzzles are so obvious and easy not much enemy in this game
Not to much to do in this game, Difficulty level is very easy.
other then that Graphic wise game is really good

Audun
Audun

The player animations are pretty lackluster. You clip through stuff regularly, the animations get cancelled often, the interact button doesn't always trigger and sometimes it's quite hard to navigate because of the fixed camera with 3d movements.

I thought the game was okay to start with, but the problems listed above caused me much frustration pretty early into the game. Also, the story wasn't very good, but more importantly, the execution of the story wasn't good. It missed those subtle moments that made Inside and Limbo so great in my opinion. It kinda redeemed itself towards the end, because the last chapters were good.

If you go into this game with the expectations of Limbo and Inside quality atmosphere, storytelling and animations, you'll be disappointed. But it still showed those quality moments towards the end, it was just a struggle to get there.

My advice? Buy it when it goes on sale. 6/10 recommended (just barely).

Gezmore Throcchtil
Gezmore Throcchtil

imagine this. your bored. your playing a game to alleviate that boredom. somerville is not that game. you will be bored out of your mind and confused the whole time. and you will have no input on where to go what to do what to say and you will beat this boring experience in less that 2 hours.

h4k3
h4k3

Amazing experience. Transports the feeling of being a survivor in an alien invasion very well. It feels very personal on many levels and is thus relatable, catching your attention and sucking you in its world and story. This definitely feels like another entry in the Playdead series (INSIDE, Limbo) but with a fresh breath of air by the different team.

The technical issues I experienced did not ruin the game for me. At the least, it shows that the game is good enough that I can look past them. I do hope they get fixed though, especially for people who struggle to play, and for an overall better experience. All in all already it's a game worth loving and I will revisit it often!

stevensteffens
stevensteffens

I understand why people had high expectations for this, but it ain't really a Playdead game, so you have to forgive the game when some jank happens. Overall, I think it was super fun and had interesting puzzles, but the ending was a bit too obscure and the game was a bit short for the $25 price tag. I'd give it an 8/10.

Bauerrules516
Bauerrules516

Somerville doesn't bring the puzzles or gameplay polish that Limbo and Inside had. But it brings the soul. The wordless connection to your emotions and actions that only interactive art like video games can provide.

That shit turned itself around REAL nice.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Was very excited for Somerville, have had it on my wishlist since last year when it was announced. Unfortunately does not live up to the hype. While the art is beautiful throughout, and the story ideas are interesting at the beginning, the plot and gameplay degrade quickly over the VERY SHORT runtime. This game only takes about 4-5 hours, and half of that is frustration from unintuitive puzzles that are often hampered by the forced perspective of the camera POV. I loved the cinematic visual storytelling, but those techniques often directly interfered with the gameplay. Way too much of the game is spent in underground tunnels with very little significance to the story. In many ways this game is just an inferior remake of Inside, both in structure, the look of the worlds and art style. The character controls are clunky and sluggish. Not being able to run or jump gets frustrating very quickly. I found the last act of the story to be very rushed and confusing. All 5 endings are confusing and unsatisfying, unlike Inside which had two very jarring and thought-provoking endings. I wanted to love this game. The sound design is incredible. The music is great. The graphics, art, and animations are gorgeous. The basic fundamentals of a game like this - interesting story, fun puzzles, and functioning mechanics fell short.

EpixPicture
EpixPicture

This is an amazing game, i completed the game at 100%.

The only thing that it's kinda concerning it's that the game gets laggy, even for my PC specs (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16 GB RAM and AMD Ryzen 3400 with Radeon Vega Graphics which you should more than enough.)

But everything else it's just great, in my opinion i really recommend SOMERVILLE, just make sure to have good specs!

Runeword
Runeword

Loved it. It will be compared to other games such as Limbo and rightfully so. It's in that genre of gameplay and if you like that type of experience you won't be disappointed playing Somerville. I ended up with 2 achievements both having to do with the different game endings available but I enjoyed playing it so much that I am considering playing through again to try and unlock some more of them. First playthrough took roughly 4 hours so it doesn't overstay its welcome which I appreciate. Great job on this one devs it's a beautiful game.

randomstuffandthings
randomstuffandthings

similar as many have said to Inside and Limbo, though not quite as polished and you likely need some beefier gpu since those came around. : ) Still with my 7? year old system its doing ok. Nifty use of 3d with the side-scrollish animation and perspective shots. If you did *not* like Inside or Limbo, doubtful you will like this one.

DjOrtho
DjOrtho

Got exactly what I was hoping for from this game! Music, visuals, story, all top-notch. Invested in the story throughout, if this is your type of game, you'll have fun! People who have issues with the puzzles need to play their favorite lego game from their childhood lmao. Glad I played this game before looking at the reviews if I'm gonna be honest.

gundogrex12
gundogrex12

This game had its issues but made up for it with an overall great experience.

The puzzles can be hit or miss at times, but I had fun with em. Loved the mechanics.
Threats in this game are imposing but not much memorable.
The story, although cryptic and strange, was still engaging for me. I believe the short gameplay of 4 hours helps to not make it drag, and also I personally just love games where I can play them in one sitting.
Atmosphere is unrelenting in most parts but can prove stale in others. Pretty good ultimately.

If you like short games whose story is told through setting, this one should definitely be in your library.

As someone who has waited since Trailer 1, I believe they could've done better, but what they have here is still an extremely great debut! I will be looking forward to Jumpship's further productions.

Slipstream
Slipstream

I had such high hopes for this title. It shares a pedigree with Limbo and Inside, two games known for their alluring visual style, puzzles, and atmosphere.

While I appreciate vague storytelling, I do require a modicum of visual narrative. Somerville doesn't feel like a cousin of Inside or Limbo but rather reminiscent of those painfully derivative knock-offs that don't offer enough puzzles or narrative to be recommended. Not a single puzzle had my head scratching for more than 10 seconds, and there weren't enough of them as often I would walk for ten minutes before encountering one. Given my experience in these types of games, I am usually patient. I take my time and try to enjoy the scenery.

Given that, I was still able to wrap Somerville in less than 3 hours.

That's insane for a game charging this much. I know it says 3.1 on my record, but that takes account of me sitting through credits, baffled by the game's logic to end when it decided to. Just when you acquire your third ability, the game barely makes use of it before an ending that makes Inside feel straightforward.

And let's not ignore the game's polish in that it isn't. You get hung up on terrain, characters vanish and reappear, and navigation can be a real pain as you try to understand where you are supposed to walk to. That ended up being more of a chore than the puzzles. The puzzles were easy. I bet I spent twenty minutes of the game wandering around a room trying to figure out where I can walk to.

It's such a damn shame as I was really looking forward to this title. Also, most of the trailers ruin the game's most interesting moments, so if you think there is some great revelation or moments the game is holding back, sorry to disappoint, but that won't happen.

Finally, a mild spoiler regarding the ending. It concludes with a puzzle so badly communicated, that you are not even sure that it is a puzzle the first time you play. In fact, you'll likely have to read discussion groups to discover this. To make matters worse, solving this puzzle requires you to pay attention and interpret moments from the whole game, moments that don't appear important...meaning if you did not pick these up, you have to replay the game. And even if you do pick them up, the final solution still requires a hell of a lot of guesswork. You're likely to default to one of the game's "bad" endings. This results in a slog that could have been solved if the game had a modicum or foresight to have you replay these moments before the end or have a series of flashbacks so you can remember the final solution. I know people want to feel smart for having to figure this out, but Somerville is a narrative failure. Seriously, I just finished Scorn--that game's a hot mess and it made more sense than this.

bullsized
bullsized

A cinematic puzzle platformer.

You will love it for its:

    • puzzles
    • vistas
    • hand powers
    • chases
    • story

You will hate it for its:

    • clumsy controls
    • lousy camera
    • inability to show you the way

You will have to:

    • play it with a controller (they removed the section from the Store page that was alerting people that there are no mouse/kbd control)
    • see it on an ultrawide, this is the way

It's worth the 25€ even only for the charging blue-red-purple drop-pod activation sequence level.

GalaxyGamer
GalaxyGamer

The game is quite an experience. If it would be as polished and optimized as Playdead's INSIDE, I'd call it a masterpiece. If you think of quitting in the middle of the game, trust me, it gets much better.

Flowerpants
Flowerpants

Looks like a duck, tries to quack like a duck.. but its just not a duck.

Being that it's coming from some of the same people who have worked on Limbo and Inside, this was such a big let down. If you truly appreciated the former games for their very intense atmosphere, open ended-ominous story telling, puzzles, mood and the what the fuuuuu** moments - I think this game will deeply disappoint you.
The addition of another axis to attempt and make it feel a bit more spatial and 3D was probably what frustrated me the most. Its SO unnecessary, it adds nothing but frustration. The "platforming" is BAD - there is so little satisfaction from getting from point A to B. The puzzles are frustrating for all the wrong reasons. Some of the curious objects are so hard to interact with just because of how the space has been laid out. The optimisation feels extremely poor. I experienced so many seemingly random frame drops/screen tears and had to jerk the settings for at least 10 minutes to get it to run somewhat decent. It was not fun to play at all - but maybe that's partially because my expectations were set so high.

TLDR;
Limbo and Inside fans, If you still wanna try it out - I feel like you should either wait for a patch or a price reduction, because at this point this is not worth what is being charged.

Tonedtone
Tonedtone

The only challenge in this game comes from the wonky perspective and the player characters inability to interact with objects. Half of the puzzles have taken me much longer than needed because I couldn't grab the stupid lever or open a door. You end up holding the interact button and ramming into things in every possible direction to find the required angle.

In a game about walking around and pressing A objects, you can do neither easily or effectively. The game will be fun and worth $20 when they fix the broken interactions and terrible perspectives.

valcan_s
valcan_s

Those that don't like to read If you love the game Inside, Planet Alpha, Little Nightmares, Limbo, etc then 100% stop what you're doing and buy Somerville right away and thank me later. If Elden Ring did not exist, I would probably give GOTY to Somerville, it's an amazing experience and I am not sure any other game this year made me feel this way.

Those that like to read, here is my Somerville review since I beat the game last night in one sitting:

Holy... OMG... what can I say the game is a rush, an experience, pushes your feels, is mind juicing, and you witness an interactive artistic masterpiece. When you play the game start to finish which took me 4 hours just like Inside did in one sitting you will really start to question why so many games feel empty, dead and soulless. The game's experience is priceless and another one of a kind that I will never forget just like Inside(100% play this asap as well if you haven't).

Sound: this is incredible and is a large part of the game's whole package. Music, ambient, sound FX basically everything is top tier plus has a purpose. All I can say is hook your game up to your amp and crank it especially if you have a nice 5.1, 7.1 or Atmos system, it's 100% worth it, just make sure you have it cranked. A think a nice headset would own as well! Also, I would 100% play the game at nighttime with your blinds closed so you feel as isolated as possible, so for me it's just my normal environment :) . I think low light as you play is key, 100% do this.

Graphics: OMG, what a work of art!!!!!!!!!! Like holy shit, this is incredible!!!! The low poly style is perfect and I am not sure what else you could do to make it look any better, the visual FX are mind blowing. The lighting owns and the style is incredible, ever scene is like created by a master artist and you will savoir every second. It easily has some of the greatest video game visuals I have ever seen, the vibe and style is simple crazy and amazing. The thought and design is truly amazing.

Gameplay: basically, this is like Inside with its own mechanics which really push your mind with the puzzles and I really love that. It has new mechanics that are slowly added and then you have to figure out new combinations with those mechanics to solve problems. If you get stuck just relax and think it out, when you come to the solution it is very satisfying. I only had one spot that I could not see my character that made it a little awkward, everything else was up to me and not the games fault. The puzzles are amazing and like I said if you love Inside and games like that you will devour this game like a MAD Lad :) .

Storey: much like Inside this has so many layers and I think the story in this game and the thoughts it makes you think of are on a whole other level then Inside and it will blow your mind. I won't spoil it but at a certain point your mind will explode and then it is full on till then end and nothing will prepare you till you complete the game. I sat there with mouth open for probably an hour or more and was like "OMG, WTF??? Holy shit! This is insane!!!! Bro!! Huh!! What the?? WOW!!!!!!!!" You just have to experience it.

Any faults: I think the controls in some spots where a little tougher but to me it added to the difficulty and in my opinion it might of been done this way intentionally, you have to play it to see what I mean. The amount of thought and design that went into the game is really mind blowing. Other than that like I said there is this one spot where you sort of can't see you character but I am not sure if that was an intentional design, everything else you can 100% work out. Just breath and take your time and you will figure out the tasks and puzzles.

I think I will leave it at that, it is one of those video games I think everyone should experience from start to finish and it will stick with you for the rest of your life.

100% a 10/10, even with some small control issues and the spot I mentioned above which I think added to the difficulty which I actually enjoyed.

lazerkaboom
lazerkaboom

I've been waiting so long for this release, and yes! It was a great play through. I love the use of SFX and music to set the tone and guide the player through the game, it really allowed me to explore the beautiful environments. As a gamer who first experience Another World and Flashback at their local Sears (electronic department), it was so rewarding to enjoy Somerville in all its glory. Incorporating 3D movement did take me out of story from time to time but got me saying "oh yeah duh". Somerville is shorter than I would have liked and the ending a bit different than expected, but overall, it was worth the wait. Thanks Jumpship for your work and ready to see what you cook up next!

Beany Poopy
Beany Poopy

Limbo and Inside are among my favorite games. They instantly hooked me with fun gameplay and puzzles that you had to overcome with trial and error. I am about halfway through Somerville and am trying to refund it with less than 2 hours of playtime. It is not fun. As soon as you gain control of your character and begin to navigate the 3D space, it just sucks to play. And the puzzles aren't as good as its predecessors. And your character doesn't die in cool ways! Assuming I get the refund, I'll maybe pick it up if it goes on sale for like half-off, but I have been disappointed-- which is especially disappointing because on its surface it seems like the most ambitious of the three games.

Lil' Tyler
Lil' Tyler

(Long Review Incoming)

I don't tend to write reviews for games at all, though I felt the need to for this game. Somerville is a part of my favorite genre. As a huge fan of Inside, Little Nightmares, and other similar titles, I came into this experience with high hopes for the narrative experience. While this is not my favorite of the genre, it was a visually stunning experience that seemed to speed up too fast for my understanding as it progressed. As I played, my score dropped from around an 8/10 to a 6, or perhaps even a 5.

I won't get into the mechanics/gameplay, even if that's what a game is. I prefer the narrative for this genre, and so that's the focus here.

That score is not to say that the quality of the experienced decreased. In fact, my preference for how stories are told in this genre may have been influenced too much by previous titles. Somerville begins as an intriguing small-scale story that builds up to an action-filled climax. I enjoyed the small-scale more. While visually, Somerville has a detailed style that is very pleasing to see in play, I feel that it ultimately relied too much on visual shock-value and metaphor to conclude the story. Without going too far into the story itself, I feel that the small, family-oriented conflict of the beginning is a stronger narrative than that of the more, let's say "technologically advanced" characters. For me, It hurt a bit to realize the story was no longer just about the family (and was changing very quickly), though depends on what kind of storytelling you enjoy.

The experience in the later stages of the game, in my opinion, becomes a slideshow of confusing/surprising scenes that serve more as eye candy than a narrative device. The marketing of this game as exploring "intimate repercussions" seems to have been lost at this point. I felt there was no longer a distinct direction to my character's actions. It's the difference between having to "find family" and having to ask "where am I" because that became quite an important question in the latter half of the game.

It's always about expectations. With so many strong narratives and big names to live up to in this genre, how can I expect any new game to be at their level? When that expectation is lost, I think a better experience is had. Somerville is not a bad game, I think it's far from it. But, with such different pacing throughout the story and a short length in general, I'm fine with just one playthrough.

What a great intro sequence though. The sound design is phenomenal as well. The passion is palpable in many of the cutscenes.

I hope this game does well as time passes. This genre can have fantastic moments of visual spectacle (Somerville has these, many in fact) that add much to their strong narrative experiences (But not necessarily for this title). While Somerville may have let many down because of the wait and length, I don't think it's that bad. Turn your lights off, your volume up, and don't read any more reviews until you play it. Immersing yourself in this world is the least you can do to let the game tell its story.

Jencansee
Jencansee

I've been waiting to play this game since the day of its announcement but I still cannot play it because of pure amount of bugs even at the very start of the game. This game feels like devs won't even playtest it, there're lots of immersion breaking bugs such as dog's AI which runs off in random direction or won't be beside you, I even thought maybe this is not a family dog but just a stray from the streets that took shelter in protagonist's house.

For my one hour playthrough I encountered this issues: fall into textures of the bridge, no-clipping through cars, some strange animations that protagonist will pull off, sometimes for 0.1 second I had black blank screen, bad ultrawide monitor support, random black rectangles appearing appearing on screen, 70% of new scenes will start with stuttering and/or small freezing on high-end PC (5800x & 3800 w/ 32gb of RAM, m2 drive). Game also won't response to keyboard when you're playing on controller even Esc keys won't work. Also, I think pause menu should close when you click on controller's O "back" button and option button.

Devs did you know that arrow keys exist on controllers? It is very annoying to navigate in menu with sticks.

Art style, graphics and probably story is very good, but I can't play game with so much bugs, refunded.

Szyphoid
Szyphoid

Amazing game. Great story and mechanics.

It seams they bad reviews for this game are coming from people that don't like this type of game. It's a great game by an indie company, and I hope there will be more like it.

My only con for the game is that it is really short.

KoolAid_Man
KoolAid_Man

Great game. I'm about 3 hours in and had a hard time putting it down. Not sure why the mixed reviews. If you want a great story and awesome visuals, and don't mind the ambiguity of the story and some of the mechanics, I recommend it. Glad I bought it and for something different.

DevoTan
DevoTan

Pretty cool game, can't say there's a lot of replay value though. I spent a little bit at the end of the game trying to get all of the endings and will likely replay the whole game once more to try and 100% it. I'll probably come back to it every once and a while like I do with Journey. As for bugs, I noticed some animations didn't line up to where the person would actually end up and when your wife picks up your child they will disappear for split second before reappearing. I saw that there was a rare chance to get stuck in the falling animation but, you will probably not encounter this in your playthrough as I didn't in 5ish hours. Most of these will probably be fixed when the planned hotfix comes out later down the line. And if you asking, "Should I buy this?" I'd probably pick it up if it's on sale.

GeorgeBroussard
GeorgeBroussard

I liked the game.

It's a little clunky in the movement. Mainly early on due to larger scenes and walk speed. This is less an issue in the back 2/3 of the game I thought. Also the fact that you can move in 3D in the scene, so fwd/back vs just left/right on a plane in a 3D world. But this and some other things are nit picks. After some time with the game it gels and you just play and the issues fade into the background.

I really enjoyed the visuals, atmosphere and storytelling, even though the ending and other details are more like "wtf?" than anything solid. But I can roll with that for the overall experience, which I really liked.

Sound effects are amazing and I love the lack of any interface (apart from the first room or so) and love the lack of any spoken dialogue.

Failing a sequence of dying is never a chore as the checkpoints are liberal and on point and you never lose much progress. Load times are very fast, too. Dying is a non issue, I thought.

There are some really good puzzles once you get going. While not up to the level of INSIDE, across the board, the game is enjoyable and I wanted more of it. End of the day the game could have used a couple more months of polish.

All in all there are not enough atmospheric cinematic platformers like this game (or Inside or Limbo or way back in the day, Out of this World). I can overlook a little clunk and sit back and soak in the game. If you like cinematic platformers and stroy/puzzle driven games, you will likely enjoy it.

info
info

I took my time...Don't let the haters keep you from this game. It was a lot of fun, lovingly crafted, and at a great price point. It has some rough edges, sure, but those giving it a thumbs down are, to be quite honest, folks that lack imagination. People that only paint by numbers inside the lines. Yes, i'm talking to you, pleb.

As for some constructive notes on what surely will be more future projects. Adding even a moderate sprint boost on button down would increase the feeling of you controlling the character. On the same note, even a 5 degree of freedom to move the camera would feel freeing. Death animations! If you are going to die, make it awesome. The main character must ba able to pet the dog. This has been on every forum for years!

Chord Lord
Chord Lord

I have super mixed feelings after finishing this game. In total it took me 4 hours to beat. The visuals and audio design are top notch but everything else is kind of a mess. Puzzles range from ok to terrible. The story has a very promising start but ultimately doesn't really go anywhere. The biggest problem is the movement and interaction. Walking into invisible walls or having my guy refuse to step up a 6-inch step happened way too often. The movement speed is god awful in most parts of the game. Hopefully in the future the movement speed and collision will be fixed, but for now I would avoid this game.

Thexxis
Thexxis

Quite a disappointing game. While this games comes from some of the creators behind the game INSIDE, it does not share the same qualities that made INSIDE such a great game. Even unmoored from INSIDE, in its current state, Somerville does not stand out as a good game on its own.

The visuals and the audio are good (the sound design was actually FANTASTIC and probably the best aspect of the game). It shares a lot of the same visual design language as INSIDE, but that's about the only positive aspect of this game, and even then it comes with some caveats. While the visual elements and environments are striking and memorable, this game oddly seems to suffer from performance hitches. It was unplayable on the steam deck, averaging under 20 fps, but even when playing on a gaming desktop, there were still odd skips and stutters throughout the game. So the visual experience was a bit hindered by less than ideal performance. Another thing to note was that sometimes environments were a bit cluttered, mix in some interesting choices of camera angle, and I was often left confused as to where the player needed to go next to proceed. This persisted even as I was replaying sections of the game.

The biggest negative aspect of the game, and frankly, my biggest gripe with it, is the gameplay. The gameplay experience was marred by all sorts of bugs and glitches that ranged from mildly annoying to bugs that downright halted progress (fortunately for me, I didn't encounter any show stopping bugs until after my first playthrough, though my first playthrough still had many minor and moderate bugs.)

An example of an annoying bug was the inconsistency of interacting with objects. There'd be a lever that the player needs to pull, but more often than not pressing the interact button will do nothing unless the player positions their character in the EXACT position that the game wants you to be in.

This resulted in many puzzles taking more than twice as long to solve, as I often had to mash the interact button while shimmying my character in the hopes that they eventually interact with an object (on average I would try to interact with basic levers & doors about ten times before I would get it right.) This was especially frustrating on my first playthrough as I would enter a new puzzle area, attempt to interact with a lever/door/piece of debris/etc. and after 3 or so attempts to interact with an object, I would assume that I am incorrectly trying to interact with a piece of scenery, only to come back to that object and mash the button until my character would finally grab it.

Another negative example of the gameplay was the movement. Moving the character always felt like a chore more than anything. The movement speed of your character is always fluctuating depending on the context of the situation they're in. If they're being chased they will break into a run/sprint. If you're in a puzzle area your character will walk. My big issue isn't the context based movement speed, it's mainly the fine tuning and feel of it. The character's walking speed for most of the game is frustratingly slow. This was compounded by "point-and-click" style puzzles that often involve going back and forth in certain areas (this was exacerbated by the interaction bugs I mentioned above.) I found myself unconsiously straining the thumbstick against the edge of the controller as I was trying to get the character to pick up the pace. I would also hold down the interact button in the desperate hopes that my character will start sprinting like they would in the chase sequence just moments before. Another issue with the movement is that the joystick movement seems to be tied to the camera rather than the character, so even if your character just needs to move from left to right, since the camera will rotate to keep the character in frame, the angle that the joystick needs to be held at will fluctuate from one end of a room to another. I found myself looking down at my controller to see that, in order for my character to walk directly to the left, I had to push the joystick LEFT AND SLIGHTLY DOWN AT AN ANGLE. This is just a few examples of the weird dance I had to do just to get my character to walk in a straight line (and very often I still ran into my fair share of walls and obstacles.)

The story was... okay? Again, much like INSIDE (and by extension LIMBO) the story of the game includes no dialogue and is told purely by the actions, environments, and situations that the character finds themselves in. Without going into spoiler territory I will say that there are multiple endings, and by design the game will most likely have the player go with a "bad" ending on their first playthrough, which will leave the player with a lot of questions. In order to get to the "good" ending, you will have to play through the game and look for hints that you couldn't understand the first time around (you'll still probably be left with just as many questions though.)

The multiple endings isn't the issue, and neither is having to replay to get the "good" ending. The main problem with the story is that it's really hard to invest in the main character, and often the pacing of the game was so slow and stilted that I was often not thinking about the character's motivations. I think this is due to the middle section being too long, too slow, and too isolated from the main events of the story (avoiding spoilers but for those who've played I'm talking about the underground section.) Credit where it's due: there are a few set piece scenes in the game that were awesome and stunning (mainly the sequences with a lot of action and chaos,) but these didn't tend to pertain to our character's journey, and more or less served as theatrical eye candy.

So, to recap, Visuals&Sound were good, Gameplay was buggy and poor, Story was okay with some highs and some lows. The biggest problem is that INSIDE had, at least in my opinion, NAILED (dare I say PERFECTED) all of these criteria already!

INSIDE's Visuals&Sound were on par with Somerville (although Somerville often has larger scope than INSIDE.)

INSIDE's gameplay was near flawless in almost every aspect! Movement in INSIDE never felt frustrating, and the character handled interactions with puzzles and the environment with ease (the controls in INSIDE did a great job of inferring what the player's intent was rather than just bluntly feeding inputs to the character. ie: The character would often move itself towards objects if the player tried interacting with something that's slightly out of reach.)

The story is the most subjective point of comparison between the two games. Some people will like Somerville more for it's world building and high octane action (most of which is happening around the player rather than [i] to [i/] the player.) Others will like INSIDE for it's thought provoking mysteries that slowly unfurl through the main character's journey. I will say that, at least to me, while both stories are cool, Somerville falls short when it comes to pacing and the payoff falls a bit flat as the story progresses, whereas INSIDE had me on the edge of my seat for the entire 3 hours of my first playthrough, and I still am intrigued by it's world years after. It also doesn't feel like Somerville has any moral or message to the story, whereas INSIDE has ideas and imagery that can be interpreted many different ways and can resonate with players on a deeper level.

To be frank, I tried to find the "good" ending for Somerville immediately after my first playthrough, and a few minutes in one of the puzzles glitched out and my character died. After a few seconds, I decided to look up a guide for all of the endings, because it simply wasn't worth my time fighting through all of the game's bugs.

If they update the game and fixed the interactivity issues that would honestly be enough for me to give it another go. But as of right now I'm uninstalling. Jumpship pls fix.

DeeJay
DeeJay

Really enjoyed this game! It has it's minor bugs (which the developers could easilly patch later on) but it never stopped me from feelin invested in the story. The game is also very generous with it's checkpoints if you happen to die.

grimmerghost
grimmerghost

Listen, I'm trying to save you the $20 you're about to spend on this game... Forget that the controls are terrible, forget that the puzzles are a mixed bag of "meh" and "WTF kind of puzzle is this?," forget the fact that INSIDE was made by a different developer, PLAYDEAD, not JUMPSHIP, which seemingly does not have the same work ethic as Playdead, forget that nothing feels connected to anything else and none of the story has any sort of depth; let me just try to ram it home for you... the ending is god awful. You want to be let down at the end of a game? This is definitely the way to go.

Snow
Snow

Spent 30 minutes playing this game before giving up (Something very unusual for me)

While it's very pretty, it's clear this game was made by an art-driven team. It's very unclear what you're supposed to be doing at every stage of the game I experienced, even to the point that I spent 3 minutes trying to find the exact position I needed to stand to open a fence gate, wondering if I was doing something wrong. Reminded of old school resident evil controls

I finally ran into a puzzle that simply killed me repeatedly with no clue of what I was supposed to be "solving", and gave up realising I hadn't at any point had fun

the shockmaster
the shockmaster

Game elements (objects that can be traversed, moved, or otherwise manipulated) are often difficult to identify within the world. This stems from the (otherwise appealing) visual style, which does not efficiently telegraph which elements can be interacted with and which are simply set dressing. This is exacerbated by the fact that many game elements, such as doors and barriers, function inconsistently through the course of the game. As a result, the player spends an inordinate amount of time probing the game world through trial and error, simply to figure out what elements they are working with, rather than truly solving puzzles. Can I not open this door because it is not meant to be opened, because some other condition needs to be fulfilled before I open it, or because I am not standing quite close enough to open it? Oh, you mean I can actually crawl through this tunnel, contrary to every single previous tunnel I've seen in this game?

Once you strip away the issue of the muddy UI, the actual puzzles are quite simple. The core scifi-themed mechanic does not significantly develop throughout the course of the game, beyond some novelty applications during the endgame. I will not belabor this point, as it has been well trodden by other reviewers.

Speaking of the endgame, it goes for the same "mystery box" approach as Inception, Tenet, or Lost, basically by throwing a bunch of worlds-within-worlds/dreams-within-dreams/"what is reality" tropes at the wall to see what sticks. Just a bunch of weirdness presumably to cover up the lack of a coherent narrative. This is distinct from "Inside," which despite not slapping you over the face with its story at least presented an easily discernible sequence of events.

I experienced two endings, of which there are apparently five or six. In one of them, I apparently "resigned," and in another I "chose the path of violence." In neither case did my actions suggest these choices, as I was simply button mashing in the hopes of moving the game forward. Reading the forums, it seems the other endings require mastery of some type of esoteric patterns seen earlier in the game, which strikes me as a bit of a tall order given the aforementioned "noisiness" of the game's visual presentation.

However, this game is not a disaster, and it is clear that a lot of attention went into its production. It has some bugs and visual glitches, having been released less than a week from when I write these words. Gameplay aside, its visuals and atmosphere are stunning and compelling. It is relatively cheap, at around EUR 20 for around five hours of fairly enjoyable gameplay. I was disappointed that I did not get the "good" ending after all that work, but at least the journey was memorable. So, on balance, I lean towards recommending this one, but with lots of caveats.

Filty
Filty

Sommerville is quite similar to games like Inside or Limbo in terms of atmosphere, mystery, puzzle solving and lenght. The main difference is that this one is not a platformer.
The puzzles are not hard, the story is immersive and the experience is great.
If you are looking for a game that's Inside but not Inside this one is definitely a GO!

Pyciko
Pyciko

The most bugged game I have ever played in my entire life, counting betas and even leaked alphas.
What seems funny is that some bugs persist game relaunch, but they don't appear when launching the game on a different device, which means that SOMEHOW, some of the core game elements (not physics only) are tied to specific platform specs. For example, on one device, my character constantly stays in crouched state. I switched to another machine and it worked fine:))
Had a bug with a bucket in the well quest, it wasn't spawning. Again, relaunches didn't help. Switched TO THE THIRD MACHINE in Amazon Cloud, and bam, it worked!

but seriously, this game needs huge fixes before it can get stable

jonrumbaugh3
jonrumbaugh3

there is so much copied from inside for starters. also where is the excitement? its the same mundane thing the entire game. i expected a lot more from dino patti didnt get what i was expecting which was fun. boring period.

Gotzilas
Gotzilas

I really enjoyed this game!. Style, music and overall vibe is great. I loved the camera movement, it looks like a movie. The length of it is as much as it should,if it was longer i think i would have been bored. I would like some voiceovers though, maybe like the protagonist is thinking or something.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Eerily beautiful and the perfect game to play after Limbo and Inside but ... once the aliens have you and have left your family behind, the story just drops away into repetitive nonsense and leaves you deeply disappointed. Also ... there's the dog (or rather where's the dog), who seems to have vanished in all the endings I could find. Poor storytelling mars a beautiful idea - shame ...

Kallus Valk
Kallus Valk

The beginning of the game is captivating with great audio and visuals, but the game sadly moves into chore territory. It is a bit of a walking simulator at times with fancy effects going on. Some memorable moments mixed with mundane filler puzzles and plenty of "this doesn't make sense at all" character interactions (I'm not spoiling anything). The end of the game left me with a feeling of "thanks for wasting my time". I really tried appreciating it for what it was but something left me with a bad taste I can't shake. I do think you should give it a shot if you are interested in this but know that it has its flaws.

Criss Jay
Criss Jay

I really enjoyed this game. Style, music and overall vibe is great. I loved the camera movement, it looks like a movie. The length of it is as much as it should,if it was longer i think i would have been bored.

Danger Bay
Danger Bay

Controls are a bit wonky and the movement is a bit slow and clunky, nothing really had that nice feeling of agile controls that I enjoy from these types of games

The muted color palette makes the lighting work wonders, the lighting is beautiful and gorgeous, it feels good, it looks good, it’s effective, I really enjoyed the graphics/lighting/aliens and the alien movement,

Puzzles were alright, nothing amazing but still some fun ones, easy and a bit dry over all though for the flare sections and the cart sections.

the house scene was awesome, bit slow to start but was intense at the right moments.

the part where you are in the survivor place is neat, it was emotional, it really made you feel the impact of the large scale alien invasion trying to kill humanity – the shrines to the dead and the music really worked here – finding the family again was heartfelt and effective. Esp the kid running at him – really well done. Great visual storytelling

The interaction with the red and blue and his wife was clunky, The movement is brutal, and the mechanics just did not do it for me. I'd rather play something faster and more responsive.

Around the 2 hour mark I just could not take it anymore. Had to quit playing.

DaveyTheDuck
DaveyTheDuck

80% of this game is amazing but that last 20% just ruins everything and leaves a bad, confusing, aftertaste. I’m really sad cuz this game was so promising. It honestly just needed more time to build it’s world and narrative. (and probably ditch the weird trio of color people thing)

Kadayi
Kadayi

100%'d it. Took around 6 hours overall. Had a good time with it. If you enjoyed Limbo & Inside, I think you know what to expect. A bit more forgiving in the being squished stakes versus those two, and the mechanics were kind of cool. Full price? It's a 6 hour game so YMMV, bit if not now then down the road. Beautiful Art Style and direction as well.

Wrathorious
Wrathorious

I'm quite disappointed of how the game has been out for 9 days and I'm still having issues of getting randomly stuck. It's definitely less than on release and movement often feels clunky also some background things often lose their physics and spin nonstop.

seneca3191
seneca3191

This is a hard one to rate but I guess I'm going with a thumbs up. Like most everyone has pointed out, the controls are subpar and need to be patched or something. It's frustrating but I will say it's not completely game breaking; it is possible to play the game to completion in it's current state.
The puzzles are OK, occasionally good but very little of it feels intuitive. I had to consult a walk-through guide a good five or six times because I couldn't figure out what the game wanted me to do. Towards the end of the game the plot meanders all over the place and things become pretty abstract, sort of a Space Odyssey type of ending that's sort of cool but not particularly satisfying lol.
So why the thumbs up? All I can say is, Somerville succeeds in being something different. This is a strange story rendered in very unique, eerie settings. Art direction and soundtrack are where this game excels. But it's nowhere near as compelling as INSIDE or Limbo. It almost feels like a project from the creators of Vane, another very fascinating but quite flawed game. For those of us who like weird games, we look forward to experiencing releases such as Vane or White Shadows or Scorn or even something like Obduction. None of those games are perfect but they definitely succeed at being off the beaten path when it comes to world building and story lines.
If you're that type of gamer, I'd say you should give Somerville a try. But having played it, I don't know that I'd pay full price for it unless or until they patch the controls and some of the character movement, etc.

b0necarver
b0necarver

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS

"Our commitment is to deliver unique experiences that treat people with respect "
I find it hard to agree that the player is treated with respect in this unique experience.

For 90% of the game the designers have enforced that the character should move at an overly cautious, weary pace. Not only is this annoying in the many situations where you will want to move faster, it is often at odds with the very story they desire to tell.

How is there such a huge gap between what the designers seem to think is a good pace and what many feel a gravitation toward?

The main character, despite being in seemingly urgent circumstances never seems to want to RUN to save his lives of his WIFE and BABY CHILD, personally, this takes me out of the experience a little.

To be fair, maybe my desired pace is not what the designers had in mind, but that is precisely a shortcoming that has made this game worse, what exactly did they have in mind? I think it is a little ridiculous to expect everyone to want to gaze and appreciate your camera angles instead of exercising their agency and appreciating each piece at a speed they feel comfortable, you know, playing a game.

The sound design is great, as well as the excruciating effort put into the coordination of set pieces, gigantic vistas, and environmental design. The visual storytelling is obtuse, and the teams desire to walk you through an impressively seamless flowing set disintegrates into multiple flowing dream-like sequences (in the mid way) that beat the horse to death. It actually does this to an extent it becomes confusing what is going on.

You really get the sense that there isn't a clear direction to the story, when the end came around it was sudden and I felt I had missed something.

While the shader effect used in gameplay sections is quite nice, most of, if not all sequences often boil down to the following :

"Ok player, find the piece of the level with some yellow on it indicating it is a handle, then make him walk (not run) over to it and press the A button"

"Ok player, time to watch the shader go off now, ok that was fun",

"Ok player, time to show us you understand what gravity is, over and over again."

"Ok player, press the left trigger"

"Ok player, press the right trigger"

This is not game design to me, this is a long winded, and low effort.

What's on offer is a beautiful enough cinematography storybook, yet the pages can only ever turn at a pace that would lull a snail to sleep.

Showing some Cube Raptor Aliens stalk the useless Father, meet the survivors of the apocalypse, watch the cyber ninja run and jump around having more fun than you will for these 3 short hours of story telling tour de force, you're in the alien ship now, now you're the most important man on earth saving the world from certain destruction. All ideas you've seen before executed in more depth and dignity.

I don't want to be rude, but for $30 it does not at all deliver any kind of lasting memory, and is over in 3 hours.

The past achievements of the creators are not lost on me, but with great reputation comes some amount of expectation, pretending this game was coherent would be silly.

Hopefully this can be a great learning experience for the studio!

Back to the drawing board and can't wait for the next one!

maratgothix
maratgothix

definitely recommended. i'm slow as hell, and not very good at these kinds of spatial puzzles, but i really enjoyed Limbo and Inside. different studio, same executive producer. this is like a variation on the themes of the game mechanics in those games, with some nice extras, so you don't feel so helpless all the time.

the story introduction and evolution is really well done and equally enjoyable. not sure i agree with some other reviews that suggest this game won't encourage multiple play-thrus. i can certainly see myself wanting to play this at least one more time after i've finished it. if only to see how many of the puzzles i remember.

one more thing i might add is that there's this 'transition' from heavy story (when you're first learning the basic mechanics -- and they are very basic) to when you're full-on in the game. it was jarring for me, and i had to put the controller down for a bit and come back to it. i realized later that i was actually pretty deeply emotionally engaged with the start of the story and didn't really want the game to kick in when it did.

can't say i ever felt that with either Limbo or Inside, mostly (i guess) because you're dropped immediately into the gameplay. kinda feels like maybe the folks at this studio are operating on multiple levels.

code is a bit glitchy in spots, and i did see frame rate drops, but nothing that interfered with my enjoyment of the game.

yes, the controls take some getting used to, but once i stopped fighting them and just moved the character in a more leisurely way, i found the whole experience more enjoyable. wouldn't mind them tightening up the responsiveness a little, tho.

i bought this day one, after having followed it for quite a while. it was worth the looie.

Moon_Nick
Moon_Nick

Game is decent enough (me lol), and so everyone knows, it seems like the developers are putting out patches; the issue with needing to be in a very specific spot to interact with objects seems to have been (mostly) patched out, and indeed, the character now will (often) move toward interactable objects when you hold the interact button. Play with controller for best experience!

MoonManRises
MoonManRises

Being a fan of Playdead's Limbo and Inside, I can say for certain this game does get the vibe right on the mark. Was hoping for it to have a little bit more disturbing tones like the previous games, but I still love this game nonetheless (when it doesn't bug out)

Dinosaur Diarrhea
Dinosaur Diarrhea

I don't write reviews, but I'm making an exception. Did I play the same game as all of these negative reviewers did?

First of all, some of my favorite games of all time are Another World, Flashback, and Inside. This game (despite needing some minor polish) is worthy among those titles. It's amazing, thought provoking, science fiction. The "2001" of video games if you will.

I don't know if all the negative reviews are due to the fact that we've been force fed a diet of mental baby formula in our pop culture for the last few decades, but I'm sad to live in a world where this is not considered an amazing work of art. Because that is what it is, an amazing work of art.

Jump Ship, you've created a masterpiece. I've been a game developer for 22 years and these are the types of experiences that I always long for. ...Wading through the endless handheld / juvenile story telling that permeates this industry to find those rare gems like this one. I'll be thinking about this one for quite a while.

10/10

Mcburghy
Mcburghy

I'm sad to saying that i could not suggest this game at all, the atmosphere reminds me back to Another World, a game that doesn't give you any hint or tutorial, that is good! you are thrown in the game without warning but unlike that masterpiece the main character is sick and slow, too slow and the game doesn't have any mentionable action scene.
The puzzles are embarrassingly easy to achieve.
At the end, after the first final scene, i uninstalled it without the curiosity to see anything else.
I gasped when I saw the purple power but I was fooled 'cause I thought I could be like that purple ninja, jumping and shooting around like a demon but nothing... you remain useless and dumb, even more considering the "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" dumb sound puzzle, that is the most embarassing scene of the game.
Guys i loved so much Limbo and Inside, this is not a comparable title.
Only the atmosphere and graphic are good, but puzzles like press a button to reveal a path.. no that's not a mature game.

Sircorvo
Sircorvo

اتمسفير اللعبة رائع والارت ستايل جذاب ومن الواضح المطور يريد ان يجعلك تختبر تجربة تفاعلية عميقة لكن للاسف المشاكل التقنية في الفريم ريت والتحكم وبعض القرارات التي اتخذوها في زاوية الكاميرا كانت تذكرني بانني العب لعبة، مجرد لعبة لا اكثر

Xstatic36
Xstatic36

This was a hard game to decide on I wish there was a maybe option instead of just yes/no. It starts out awesome and the visuals are fun. The puzzles interesting at first get kind of boring by the end. I am not sure I think its worth the price though maybe on a sale it would be it seems really short even for this style of game. Overall I think it is slightly good enough to recommend but barely. If you are ok with a neat little story its worth but if you want engaging gameplay this is not for you.

fancydink
fancydink

This game has a lot of bugs. From errors popping up reporting missing game assets, to random crashes, glitches that kill you for no apparent reason, and one instance of my entire computer locking up and needing a hard reset. It's an obviously unfinished game and that sucks.

There is a lot to like about it otherwise. The art direction is stellar, even if it's not very original considering the pedigree of the developer. The world is at least interesting, and there are a few really cool setpiece moments.

But the gameplay itself isn't fantastic, even without the bugs. The mechanics are extremely limited, and nothing very clever is done with them. It gets boring pretty quickly. A much bigger problem though is just how unpolished things are, from janky animations, nonsensical invisible walls, controls that don't quite work half of the time. All of those things break immersion, and they are constant, which makes it really hard to appreciate the good bits. Few and far between as they are.

Can't recommend without a plethora of improvements, and a price drop to like $10.

WhichWayToTheExit
WhichWayToTheExit

I'm not sure if I've ever written a review, and if I'm correct that this is my first, I'll keep it brief anyway.

First, Somerville is visually quite appealing. The art style, implementation and tone are superb. The mechanics around material melting or solidifying is executed well. The sound design is also excellent, creating really an amazingly atmospheric experience. Plenty of other reviews have drawn the comparison to Inside in these regards, and they are correct.

However, once we get beyond the audio/visuals, the rest of the game is unfortunately a bit of a slog. The setup of "the story" is quite promising and heavy at first, but the story is barely expanded on: guy is separated from his family due to an alien invasion, and tries to reunite with them. There's some oddness about three super powers from some (fellow human?) super soldiers, which are used to help you progress, but absolutely nothing is explored in depth. And then the ending is abstract and vague. But there is zero elaboration. I'm not looking for an epic here, but we learn literally *nothing* about the aliens or why they came. We learn nothing material about these super soldiers (who we *assume* are humans too?), how they know how to use the same alien powers, heck how there is even this apparently technologically advanced resistance in the first place, etc.

Throughout the game, the puzzles, which are all like Inside's: solve some environment situation to progress beyond an obstacle, are brutally simple. I don't mind some simple puzzles, but it basically started feeling like a walking simulator after about 10 minutes.

Which brings me to the last unfortunate aspect: the controls. I played with a controller (the default, I believe), and everything about this game is sluggish to the point of becoming enraging. Navigation lacks responsiveness, and your walking speed (there is only one) is so slow that I'm genuinely suspicious it was done on purpose to make the play time longer for the price. I'm being serious. It probably took me 5-6 hours to complete this game (some pausing in there due to real life), but it would have been a 2hr game max if the character simply walked faster than a snail.

All this being said, I don't *regret* the purchase entirely, as I'd really like to support and see more stuff from Jumpship. I think the potential is clearly immense. But unfortunately Somerville, which initially looks incredibly promising, turned out for me to be a pretty boring slog that just happened to be really nice on the eyes and ears.

scarsceptix
scarsceptix

I don't know what anyone's on about giving negative reviews for this.

The sound designs! The music, the art direction and environment?? Masterpiece.

Some controls and character getting stuck on random places are just minor things, but overall, it's a masterpiece :D

Estranged2
Estranged2

CONS:
- BUGS:
Because Somerville has the visuals of INSIDE, people expect the same perfection in terms of edge case animations, edge case interactions, polish, lack of bugs etc. If the visuals were different (check Little Nightmares) the unfavourable comparison wouldn't have been so obvious.
- PUZZLES:
But that's irrelevant. People also wouldn't have been that impressed by the bugs if the puzzles were more interesting. But they're not.
- INTERACTIVITY:
Because of the above, the interactivity is also very limited. Let's forget INSIDE - the first 15 minutes of Little Nightmares have more interesting puzzles / interactions than all of Somerville.

PROS:
- THE HIDDEN CORE IDEA:
The idea behind the game is amazing actually. The aliens and the materials they use are so otherworldly that our inability to fully understand them with our puny brains makes the relationship between us and them similar to that of our cats and dogs to us. The aliens are not trying to kill us, they just see us as vicious irrational animals and try to tame us and turn us into their pets. It is up to you to actually figure out that the aliens have their own language and if you decipher the phrases in the meaningful conversations of the orbs, you can talk with them at the end and prove that you are worthy of respect as an intelligent being, even if not very intelligent.

Unfortunately, this amazing idea is not enough to carry the whole game. There already is a game about deciphering a language - Heaven's Vault - but in there, the goal is explicit. Here, the greatest idea is actually hidden only for the smartest players to figure out, and the rest is just visuals without good puzzles or interactions to support them (I'm sorry, I find the liquify / solidify matter puzzles very bland). If I have to paraphrase one movie, "Liquefying matter is like fire, and solidifying matter is like ice, and when fire and ice meet, you end up with lukewarm water."

- THE CINEMATIC DECISIONS:
Unlike other players, I like that the protagonist chooses his own walking speed and I also like the static cameras. It's a decision that reinforces important emotional points of the game even if it's not very "gamey". There would have been fewer complaints about this if the rest worked better.

YES OR NO?
Even though Little Nightmares and Inside are better (play them first), I can still recommend Somerville, just because I like this type of games. Somerville reminds me not just of Another World, but also of the 80s Sierra games. We're getting there, rediscovering the action-adventure gameplay of the distant past. Too bad that the modern "walking simulator" influence is stronger.
In any case, Somerville made all the right decisions on a macro level but failed to execute them properly on a micro level. It was still worth the experience, at least for me.
I am sure the creators are devastated by the bad reviews, but at least they had a chance to make the thing; the creators of Afterlight (another INSIDE wannabe game that had incredible promise) didn't even manage to succeed in their Kickstarter campaign.
Thank you for the effort to make beautiful things, Jumpship.

globnobulous
globnobulous

This game is a great atmospheric, cinematographic, sci-fi, puzzle adventure game, in the vein of Another World. I've read a lot of "It never explains what's happening" or "He walks too slow" reviews and all I can say is, chill out, take in the sights and sounds, and use your damn imagination. This is a top shelf, artistic set piece, not a run and gun platformer.

dj
dj

Well I started the program. It runs through a set animation. Then a kid hops off the sofa on which his parents remain asleep. Then nothing happens. There is no response to mouse or keyboard activity. I waited a goodly time for something to happen, but it did not.

So I couldn't get past instruction 0. Fez was like that. "Hit A" it said. But nothing happens when I typed A. This program doesn't even tell you to do something. There is nothing, no instructions, no hint, no response.

Maybe I'm not smart enough and I'm missing an important puzzle point. If so, could the program let me know.

2049
2049

OMFG I WAITED FOR THIS KIND OF DISTOPIC SCI-FI FOR SO LONG!

So far, so good. Atmosphere, feelings, the game doesn't hold your hand with the gameplay and you have to discover it yourself... Looking forward to come back to it tomorrow.

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