Also on: PC, PS4, Switch
Publisher: ChiliDog Interactive
Developer: Gamecom Team
I don?t think I?ve ever played a puzzle game that was as impenetrable as A Day Without Me. I?ve certainly played puzzle games where I didn?t get the internal logic ? The Witness, I?m still looking in your direction, six years after the fact ? but at the very least I could appreciate that they clearly had internal logic. A Day Without Me is what happens when developers create a puzzle game, but forget to ensure any of the puzzles make sense.
Actually, that?s not entirely fair. The interesting thing about A Day Without Me is that its puzzles fail to be engaging in a wide variety of ways. Some are absurdly easy, to the point you wonder why they were even included. Some would be easy, if it weren?t for the fact that the game?s controls are terrible and require the tiniest bit of precision imaginable. Some ? and by that I mean the vast majority ? are just plain nonsensical, requiring absurd leaps in logic, if not outright trial and error-based guesswork.
On top of that, you usually die if you fail at a puzzle. While the is relatively generous in terms of where it dumps you back, it still means you do the same puzzles over, and over, and over again, each time hoping you?ll figure out exactly what it is that A Day Without Me wants you to do.
In fact, even when the game tells you what your objective is, it?s still not always totally clear. The game can tell you to explore your neighbourhood, for example, but with no minimap to guide you and not much in the way of memorable signposts, this means you just wander around until something happens ? that something usually being death, since it?s easy to wander into a puzzle without even being aware of it.
To give A Day Without Me some credit ? very, very limited credit ? it?s got some interesting ideas. Putting your character in an empty neighbourhood and asking you to figure out what happened could?ve made for an engaging mystery.
But that would?ve required the game being halfway decent or competent, which it?s not. No matter how intriguing the mystery at its core is, nothing can make up for the fact A Day Without Me fails so utterly at everything else, and that?s enough to make the game an easy skip.
ChiliDog Interactive provided us with an A Day Without Me Xbox One code for review purposes.