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  1. #1

    There is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch, PC and Mobile)

    Bought this for its recent Switch release and I think it's a really special game.

    At its heart it's an old-fashioned point-and-click adventure, but it has a very distinctive narrative set-up. Basically you are trying to get into and play a game, but the operating system - a sentient AI - is for some reason trying to distract and stop you from doing this. So the game is all about trying to find and get into the game.

    Of course you do manage to force and puzzle your way in through the desktop interface and then you and the AI are whisked into a 'Wrong Dimension' consisting of discrete puzzle scenarios based on classic game franchises and genres (e.g. Maniac Mansion, Zelda). And there you start to learn more about the AI, why he tried to keep you out, and it gets progressively more intriguing as you go on.

    I was a bit concerned that this highly self-conscious narrative conceit - which is 'meta' to the nth degree with references to past games that come thick and fast - would very quickly become grating in its cleverness. I'm quite amazed that it has not, at least not so far. I guess this is down in large part to the excellent art and writing and voice acting (there are plenty of genuine laughs here), but more importantly to the quality of the puzzles. They're just ingenious, frequently riffing on the silliness of the point-and-click genre, and quite challenging, but not to the degree that I've had to use the hint system (yet). The overall theme of the puzzles seems to be to try to break the game in front of you, to gimp and screw with its systems and mechanics, and it's a delight to work out.

    This feels somewhat parallel to the way you had to 're-program' the rules of interaction in Baba Is You, but it is nowhere near as brain-busting as that game (which defeated me). Another game it reminds me of is Hypnospace Outlaw, at least in the aesthetics and the nostalgia pay-out for gamers of 'a certain age' (i.e. the old lags of NTSC-UK).

    Anyway, I think it's great so far. A rock solid point-and-click packed with lots of gamey references and humour. Will update as I get further in.
    Last edited by Golgo; 14-05-2021 at 03:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Great impressions, and pretty much exactly what I needed to hear about it in order to give it a chance. In the Nintendo Directs this always came across as really inventive, but also kind of overwhelming? That there is some kind of narrative thread bringing it all together is a relief for sure, and also that it's not as rough as Baba Is You (I love it, but similarly had to bow out).

  3. #3
    Sounds class that @Golgo. I love a good p&c ... deffo fancy taking a closer look.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    No probs, chaps. I'll be interested to hear what you think if you give it a whirl
    @fuse: I can see what you mean about how it might look overwhelming, as the aesthetic/style flies all over the place as it switches genres. It doesn't feel overwhelming to play, though. It always gives you enough options and tools to keep you experimenting, but not so much (as in Baba, to use that example again) that you can feel paralyzed by choice. Contrarily, it's never as limited/single-track as The Sexy Brutale, for example, which I was a bit disappointed with recently. The game logics (and illogics) it sets up for each scenario feel internally consistent so you always feel you have a chance.
    Last edited by Golgo; 15-05-2021 at 03:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Finished this now. Guess it took me about 6 or 7 hours or so. It felt that it dipped a little in one chapter after the mid-point when the meta-game satire became exceedingly in-your-face and seemed to take precedence over the puzzles. I got a bit frustrated here and relied on some clues - that thing when you know the solution but you just can't fathom how the game demands you to solve it. Despite even this, though, it was still an enjoyable section and then the game picked up again for a final third which was totally off the hook in terms of the puzzle scenarios as well as the story conclusion - really quite bizarre, surprising and clever. I wouldn't have minded if it went on for another chapter or so, but to be fair the game is really dense with ideas so maybe that's just being greedy.

    I think the chapter I enjoyed most was the one that riffed most heavily on the classic Lucasarts adventures, and now that the devs have shown their skills in experimentation I'd be really interested to see what they could come up with if they played the genre straight.

    Anyway, I wasn't expecting to be playing a point-and-click adventure anytime soon, let alone one of this quality, so this was an unexpected treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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