The Operative Word is “Extreme”

Darius Poyer’s rein is a really short point-and-click adventure made in AGS where you play as one of the staff working in a secret research facility called Fraxtor 21. The story starts with the entire building collapsing around you, so you run and try to escape.

Inside the Collapsing Building

I’m going to start off with a warning: the game is extremely short. Shorter than, say, A Cure for the Common Cold, or probably even most of Ben Chandler’s games. I’ll explain a bit further, but first, the good stuff.

The game’s graphics were executed fairly well, comparable to the ones used in Croshaw’s Chzo Mythos games (5 Days A Stranger, etc.). There aren’t many objects to interact with, but the ones included in the game did suffice.

Most, if not all, of the puzzles can be solved pretty much by trial and error, and they are not very difficult to solve, either. The game also provides a handy “autosave” feature whenever you enter a new room, which lets you continue even when your character has met her untimely end.

Rein‘s soundtrack wasn’t as cut-out for the game as it should have been. The music was appropriately depressing given the story, but there were times when it didn’t really felt as urgent as it should have been.

This leads to the game’s other particular shortcoming (pun not intended): its length. Most short games, despite their shortness, are able to provide the player the sense of actually completing the game’s story. All the possibilities are neatly tied up at the end. Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t help thinking the game had been ended prematurely. Or perhaps, it’s hard to “root” for the player character because there wasn’t much time for characterization in the first place (the building is collapsing, no time for chit-chat).

Considering it was completed in under 2 weeks, rein is not a bad game. Whether the author makes a sequel or not, I’m looking forward to more of his games.