OhNoo Studio has released the first demo of Tormentum: Dark Sorrow that shows off the game’s creepy psychological horror style and puzzle based gameplay.

Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a game that puts players in the control of an amnesic protagonist who must find a way to escape a surreal nightmarish land while uncovering the truth about his own origin and why he is even there in the first place.

The dark tone of the game is established quickly in the demo’s opening moments as it evokes a sense of dread through the drones of its soundtrack and the cryptic nature of its dialogue. What follows is the sight of our main character as he drives forward the state of his mind with questions of “Who am I? and “Why am I here?”

HOPE

The visual style of the game is instantly striking. It is clear from looking at the game’s environments that OhNoo Studios proudly wears their H.R. Giger influences on their sleeve. From distinct images such as the beginning of the game where the main character is being transported in a cage via old decrepit zeppelin fused with organic matter to a disturbing angelic statue with skulls and bodies laced into the foot of its design, there is more than enough here that acts to disturb and give a sense of uneasiness to.

STATUEEEETormentum: Dark Sorrow’s distinct style and visuals translate over to its point n’ click adventure puzzle solving gameplay. The game showcases this with a host of morbid puzzles. For example, there is a puzzle that has you using the arm of a skeleton to grab a red glass eye that fell into a grain. The whole thing reeks of a certain kind of discomfort that gets you thinking “what kind of horrifying and surreal things am I going to need to interact with next to get where I need to go?”

In the demo, the puzzles are simple albeit a bit by the numbers in terms of design. You spend your time solving genre staples like the gear arrangement puzzle and the light reflection puzzle. It’s nothing too new but it’s still entertaining. Another puzzle in the demo dealt with finding a laundry list of items to activate a mechanism. Finding the items was a simple matter of clicking around the environment. But at a point, it felt like the items seemed a bit too unnaturally or cryptically placed in environments. For example, you find a stone heart you need in a wall behind a few random planks of wood. This may feel like a little too much of a nit-pick but the pieces felt like they could have had more significance behind them in their placement. In a way, it was oddly too cryptic and disjointed for its own good.

HEARTSDespite the fair amount of dread and uneasiness that fills the game as you play through its different puzzles, there didn’t seem to be too much at stake in terms of actual danger to the main character/player from the demo just yet. There weren’t any clear threats in the demo which made some of that uneasiness fall a bit flat. However, from the look of screenshots displaying later parts of the game, there seems to be  puzzles in the final game that deal with having to solve a puzzle to get past an enemy guard. So gameplay looks like it will definitely have elements of danger once the game is finally released.

All things considered, Tormentum: Dark Sorrow does an amazing job with its presentation and atmosphere. The game oozes dread and darkness but its simple puzzle design and gameplay seem to take a slight backseat to those elements despite still being in line with it. It is important to note that this is an early demo and only really showcases the beginning 10-15 minutes or so of the game so it’s all still very hard to judge. But I can only hope that puzzles will start to become more complex and more fascinatingly morbid with a lot to lose for failing as development starts to wrap up on the game. Regardless, this game has a lot of great potential in being a highly memorable surreal point n’ click horror adventure.

The demo of Tormentum: Dark Sorrow can be downloaded via the game’s indiegogo page.The game is expected to release on PC, Mac, Linux and mobile devices sometime in late 2014.

 

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  • Not You!

    This game looks pretty legit with its artstyle. Thanks for sharing this game with me!