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The Search

A story-driven puzzle-adventure set in a mysterious world where art comes to life! · By Jason Godbey

Impressions on The Search

A topic by Matt Lieutier created Jul 11, 2020 Views: 266
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I found The Search to be a fairly good adventure-puzzle game. The puzzles were fun, if a bit on the easy side, and the concept behind them was interesting. I liked the symbolism of the journey of self-discovery, and the True Artist ending was a striking and clever use of the medium. The atmosphere was also great.

However, there is one major flaw that, in my eyes, really drags the experience down. After almost every note you find from "The Invisible", there is a short monologue from the main character describing exactly what the note meant and what texts and philosophical or psychological theory the note alluded to. This gave me the sense of a game insecure in its own symbolism, feeling the need to explain exactly what it means at every turn in fear that the player wouldn't "get it". This would be bad in any game, I feel, but especially in one so explicitly about finding meaning for oneself. The Wasteland ending, with pretty clear symbolism followed by a monologue explaining it and simultaneously telling the player about the danger of "passively accepting and consuming realities other people give us", felt almost like a parody of itself.

On top of this, the monologues grind the game's pace to a screeching halt. I feel they would have been more bearable (though I'd still advice to remove them) if the player was able to continue looking around while they played in the background, instead of needing to stop everything to hear them.

In short, The Search is a strong, intriguing experience, greatly weakened by a need to make sure every player knows exactly what it is trying to convey at every point.