June 18, 2012
If you’re looking for a game to bring you back to your youth (or the 80′s, depending on when you were born) then Resonance is for you. This is a point-and-click style mystery game that is brought to us in retro pixel art graphics, reminiscent of the colorful style of California Games. The graphics alone really sent me back to the world of DOS and floppy discs.
The game starts with TV news coverage of worldwide attacks and blackouts, then jumps back 60 hours to where the game play begins. At first players are in control of Ed, a research assistant to particle physicist Dr. Morales. Ed gets a call from the doctor, who is worried about his most recent project. He has been working on creating a new power source but is worried of it falling into the wrong hands. Ed tells the Doctor not to do anything crazy, like destroying all the research they have been working on, and that he is on his way to the lab. However, on the way there’s a blackout, and when he does get there the Doctor is hurt badly and part of the laboratory (and building) is missing.
At this point Ed starts to think the Doctor might have been right; someone is after is his new technology. Luckily, the Doctor was smart enough to secure his research. It’s now up to you and some newfound friends to locate where the Doctor hid the info before the wrong people get to it first.
As said before Resonance is a point and click mystery game. There is an inventory system, of course, where players can pick up some items and hold on to them for use at any point later in the game. You can even store short term memories (STM) of any item in a room in order to talk to other characters about them. Unlike items, STMs only remain for one level before being cleared out. This, in particular, is what makes the game a challenge.
In most point and click games there is a set of pre-made questions to ask; cycling through them will of course get you to the correct answer. It’s left all to the player in Resonance, though. I kept getting stuck because I would forget about the STMs and how key to the game they really are. STMs and items are very easy to make and use. Anything you can click on can be dragged into the drop-down bar on the top left of the screen and added to the appropriate tab. Using them is similar, just use the drop-down bar and drag the item to where you want to use it.
Once you get through the first chapter thing started getting really challenging. Four characters will be controllable at once and there will be multiple locations to visit. Each character has their own special skills and background, so you’ll have to figure out who to use to get what’s needed.
If you get stuck there is really only one way to get a hint. All four characters can interact with each other, so you can ask what they each think you should do next. Sometimes the hints won’t do anything but tell you what you already knew you needed to look for, though. The lack of a useful hint feature takes away from the game play. There is nothing worse than getting into a game, then getting to the point of not wanting to play anymore because there’s no real help for a frustrating puzzle.
The music and sound can be repetitive to the point of annoyance sometimes. If you’re quick and don’t need hints you’ll be okay with this game, but if you’re slower you might get irritated by the looping soundtrack and lack of hints. I found Resonance fun, with a storyline that is easy to get lost in. Other players might be better off with small doses of this retro style game.
Out Of 5
The vivid and detailed pixel art graphics were done very well. I didn't see any misplaced pixels or any jumpy graphics.
I found the music and sounds to be very repetitive, to the point of getting annoying. If you spend a long amount of time in one area you might find yourself going somewhere else just to get away from it for a bit.
The controls aren't anything fancy; just point and click. I definitely liked the collection and usage of short term memories and items though.
This game can be very challenging; you really have to remember all your available tools. There are tons of interactions with the environments and therefore it's easy to over look some of the small things. It's also very easy to get lost in the story.
At first the game is very enjoyable but once things get more complicated the lack of a good hint system really took away from it. Once you were able to control all four characters, I would have liked to see some kind of hint system be available. Instead, the only hints you seem to get are the characters saying, “we should find someone who'll know how to do this.” I understand that some people might prefer not to be tempted by hints, but at the same time players don't want to get lost to the point of quitting.