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Somerville and Truberbrook

On 03/17/2023 at 09:43 AM by KnightDriver

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Sometimes Games with Gold sends me adventure games. Somerville and Truberbrook were two recent ones I tried. 

Somerville feels a bit like Limbo or Inside and for good reason, the executive producer held that position on both. The game begins with a scene  of a couple and their toddler in a house in a suburban neighborhood. You control the toddler until strange things start happening outside which wakes the family. Then you control the father. Strange alien obilisks crash into the lawn and force the family to flee. The mother and child become lost and you venture off to find them and figure out what's going on. You cross farmers fields and avoid obsticles, including alien machines, trying not to die. Well, I died trying to get past this one block and then again and again. I couldn't figure it out, so I moved on. I liked what I played though. One day I'll look up a walkthrough and see more of it. 

Truberbrook was another adventure game that reminded me of old point-and-click adventures. I really enjoyed the graphics and actually got quite far in it before hitting a wall. 

You begin by playing a spunky female archeologist stuck at a vacant gas station trying to refill your motorcycle. You solve that problem in a typically obscure way and then switch to a guy being dropped off by a bus at Truberbrook for a vacation. Eventually these two characters meet up but you continue to play as the vacationer.

Truberbrook is a former mining town in the mountains full of quirky characters and a mystery to discover. You make friends with the archeologist who convinces you to explore the mine. But you have to fix the tram that gets you there first. As you do a greater mystery unfolds and the puzzles get trickier. I eventually got stuck and then got annoyed by repeating trial-and-error proceedures to try and solve the problem. Like Somerville, one day I'll look up a walkthrough and finish it. 

What really burns me about adventure games (including point-and-click ones) is the way some puzzles are solved in such illogical and absurd ways. To figure them out, you end up just clicking everything, combining everything with everything else and see what happens. That sort of pure trial-and-error method uses no brain power at all. I like solving a puzzle that has a logical thread to it. Discovering that is a joy. But realizing that the thing you needed was in a meaningless piece of the environment which you discovered by accident because you were frustratingly clicking everything to move on. . . THAT is BS! 

I want to love these adventure games, but sometimes I want to throw my controller at the screen. 




03/17/2023 at 12:25 PM

Yeah, stuff like that is why I have such a hard time getting into adventure games. Text adventures exhausted all of my patience. My dad and I played a British point-and-click adventure called Dreamweb in the 1990s, it was really easy to miss stuff, and you had to do a lot of pixel-hunting on top of that. It had a great soundtrack, though.


03/17/2023 at 09:53 PM
I didn't have a computer when Dreamweb came out, but I was fascinated reading about it in PC Gamer magazine. Never did play it though.


03/18/2023 at 12:32 AM

It was an interesting game. The main character's diary included with the game (which also served as a form copy protection) really throws the whole plot into question, namely, is he a hero or a delusional sociopath? The game's ending never really answers that question. 

It did have a pretty great soundtrack for a mid-90s PC game, composed by Matt Seldon, who only composed for a few games before leaving the industry (he actually posted on RPGCodex in response to inquiries as to what happened to him) to pursue other projects. 


03/18/2023 at 10:04 AM

Interesting game. 


03/17/2023 at 09:54 PM

I've only played a smattering of adventure games, and luckily they all had fairly logical puzzles.


03/18/2023 at 10:05 AM

These games need a hint system like they added to the Monkey Island remasters, but even that couldn't help me get through the nonsensical solutions to some of the scenes in that series. 

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