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Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Ocean Media
Developer: Cateia Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

The thing that surprises me most about Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen isn’t that it’s bad. After all, a couple of months ago, I played Eastville Chronicles: The Drama Queen Murder from the same publisher, and calling that game mediocre was being a little charitable. That their next outing is no better would be about what I would have expected.

No, what really shocks me is that Where Angels Cry is noticeably worse, even though, in a lot of respects, it tries so much harder to be better.

For example, it tries to have animated cutscenes. The thing is, the animation is terrible, and the characters all look bizarre. You know how some of the best games come so close to escaping the uncanny valley? Where Angels Cry is the opposite of that — the characters here generally look like they’ve just started the downwards descent into the uncanny valley, and the results are horrifying.

Theoretically, the voice acting should be a little better, since it’s people speaking rather than not-so-great animators trying to draw people. The thing is…they’re not. Maybe it’s just because the dialogue is so wooden and stilted, the voice actors can’t help but sound like they’re aliens using human speech for the first time. In a way, I suppose, this fits with the disturbingly humanoid characters, but it’s still very unsettling, and not in the way the developers probably intended.

Given that Where Angels Cry is a hidden object game, it’s kind of a given that the graphics and voice acting are no better than average (and that’s being generous). You’d think, however, that at least the hidden object puzzles would be tolerable. But, somehow, on that score, you’d be wrong. The puzzles are few and far between, and when they do show up, they’re very short and very basic, and even by the standards of the genre, they’re ridiculously easy.

They’re coupled with minigames that are equally unchallenging. You put statues in order, or you move a boat from side to side, or you do whatever other boring little tasks the game can come up with, and none of them add anything to the overall experience. As someone who’s averse to huge challenges in games, I’m not saying I want Where Angels Cry to become impossible, but it would have been nice for the game to show a little bit of life somewhere.

Instead, we have a game that looks awful, sounds just as bad, and whose boring gameplay can’t make up for those drawbacks. Even if you go in with fairly low expectations, Where Angels Cry won’t manage to come close to clearing that low bar.

Ocean Media provided us with a Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: D+