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Our Review Of 3D Exploration Adventure Game 'Rituals'

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Rituals is a game that mixes 3D exploration with a subtle story and traditional point-and-click puzzles. It was released on Steam last week, and thanks to a key from developer Tymon Zgainski, we've had a look at it.

There isn't much in the way of a story in this game. That's not to say there isn't one, as you do come across a few notes and texts, and witness some strange events. However, they seem mostly intended to build atmosphere, and to hint at what might have happened at the facility that is central to the game. They are also up to you to discover, and since the game isn't strictly linear, one player might come away with a slightly different experience than another. There's a touch of something supernatural here, but whether it's meant to be real or a dream, you'll have to judge for yourself.

Rituals is set in a 3D environment where you advance in bounds through environments by pressing designated white arrows. You look around by clicking and dragging, and interact with items by clicking on them. Opening doors will open up new paths to explore, but will sometimes have to be unlocked with keys or key cards that might be hidden away. Some of these paths are optional, and there were several that I missed on my playthrough of the game. Levels change between an office building or a research facility of some sort and different outdoor areas, and progressing usually requires you to solve a more complex puzzle.

The puzzles are of a variety that will be familiar to fans of point-and-click adventures. Most of them are on the easy side, but a few will take some thinking, and they all fit nicely into the game world. My favorite is one that takes place inside a huge shaft, and is more of a Myst-style puzzle. It wasn't a roadblock by any means, but solving it gave me a nice sense of satisfaction.

One playthrough of the game took me just over an hour, but I'm curious about the places I didn't see, and plan on going back to see what I missed. There's also an event at the end of the game that affects how it pans out, but it's possible to see the other outcome simply by choosing to continue from your save. A nice detail for those who don't like to miss out on anything, and also rather not play through the whole game twice.

Rituals runs on a custom made engine, and works without any major issues on my computer. The few issues I did experience are all related to Steam integration, and include not being able to save screenshots and the Steam overlay not working.

If I were to compare Rituals to another game, Myst comes to mind. Though with puzzles that are bound by a semi-real-world logic, and presented in a much more condensed package. If this sounds interesting, you'll find Rituals on Steam, where it's 10% off for the next couple of days.

About the game (from Steam)

At its core Rituals is an adventure game with mechanics inspired by classic point and click games. Every environment and puzzle is designed to tell its own part of the story. What is the real purpose of the office building? Why are you walking through the woods at night? Whose voice are you supposed to hear? Immerse yourself in Rituals’ eerie world and see how it relates to the real one.

  • Feel the eerie and mysterious ambience reinforced by Ritual’s minimalistic low polygon look.
  • Find yourself in many places you didn’t expect. Some real, like a lush jungle, some unreal, like an ancient forest temple, all unsettling.
  • Explore them carefully and find your way out.
  • Solve puzzles and ponder on their meaning. There’s a message for you to uncover.
  • Be curious. You will find many clues which will help you answer your questions.
  • Play Rituals like you would play a classic adventure game - you’ll only need your mouse and your head.

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About the author -
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A big fan of platformers, puzzle games, point-and-click adventures and niche indie games.

I run the Hidden Linux Gems group on Steam, where we highlight good indie games for Linux that we feel deserve more attention.
See more from me
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1 comment

stan 1 Jun, 2015
  • Supporter
Thanks for the review. Maybe I’ll buy it later, when it’s cheaper.
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