Two Rue Dudes: Gemini Rue Released, Demo

By Quintin Smith on February 24th, 2011 at 10:38 am.

So I think I need to watch Cowboy Bebop again.

And there’s the hat-trick of top class indie releases! IGF Student Showcase winner and dark sci-fi adventure game Gemini Rue (previously Boryokudan Rue) will be released today, and a demo has just come out allowing you to sample its rainy, future-noir flavour. The game proper is available from the Wadjet Eye site and the demo is being hosted over on Gamefront here. I’ll be posting some impressions the moment I dig myself out from under this pile of games. At this point I can’t even tell where I end and the games begin. Watch Gemini Rue’s badass trailer (again), plus pt. 1 of a walkthrough of the demo (new!) and read a brief plot synopsis after the jump.

You can waggle your eyebrows at the game’s range of voice actors here, too.

Azriel Odin, ex-assassin, arrives on the rain-drenched planet of Barracus to find someone. When things go horribly wrong, he can only seek help from the very criminals he used to work for.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a man called Delta-Six wakes up in a hospital with no memory. Without knowing where to turn or who to trust, he vows to escape before he loses his identity completely.

As fate brings these two men closer together, we discover a world where life is cheap, identities are bought and sold, and a simple quest for redemption can change the fate of a whole galaxy.

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41 Comments »

  1. mangrove says:

    Sweet. Have been keeping my eye on this one. Let’s give it a shake and see what falls out!

  2. Sarlix says:

    I like these futuristic dystopian Esq settings. It kinda reminds me of beneath a steel sky crossed with blade runner. I’m tempted by this one. Yes tempted.

  3. thebigJ_A says:

    It’s still listed as a preorder.

  4. Premium User Badge Harlander says:

    Any idea why they changed the title?

    I’m getting definate Beneath A Steel Sky vibes too… little bit of a Dreamweb vibe too. Basically a rainy dystopia vibe. It’s a good vibe.

    • Premium User Badge Saul says:

      I reckon the title was changed because “Boryokudan” is kind of hard to pronounce, which makes word-of-mouth a bit difficult. Games like this rely a lot on word-of-mouth.

  5. Premium User Badge UW says:

    Is RPS planning to give any sort of verdict on this game? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
    EDIT: Disregard that, I only just learned to read, apparently. Sometimes I skip over bits.

    I’m always interested to see modern adventure game releases, so I’ll be keeping an eye on the coverage of this one.

  6. Premium User Badge Saul says:

    I’ve been playing this for review purposes. It’s really good in a lot of ways, but has that same old adventure game problem: when you’re stuck you’re stuck. And there ain’t no walkthroughs on the internet yet!

    • Risingson says:

      So. Getting stuck in a game more than 10 minutes is a problem now.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Not to bash anyone but there is this thing that puzzles me these days:

      There is an idea that has spread through game design like a virus that if at any point a player finds themselves stuck and unable to progress easily then that is a design flaw. My biggest issue with most adventure games these days is actually that so called puzzles are all just logical procedure.

      Because people decry the use of illogical puzzles, now all puzzles are essentially just the obvious thing to do. You never really have to work anything out. Did it occur to anyone that the reason the old adventures included such random puzzles was because simply doing what is logical is not a puzzle? if I ever do get stuck then the game makes it extremely easy for me to find out what to do next by TELLING ME.

      This is restricted just to Adventure games of course.

      A game is usually supposed to be a challenge. A test of skill or intelligence against a set of rules (or an opponent confined by a set of rules). That is kind of the point. It defies the point of playing the game in the first place if we are continuously led through a game by the hand, told what to do, where to go, never allowed to fail or get stuck.

      Without being challenged, it’s just an interactive story. And as is often pointed out, most of the time the stories really aren’t that great.

      /rant

      (sorry)

    • bill says:

      But illogical puzzles aren’t puzzles… they’re just random luck. Like a jigsaw where the pieces are random colors.

      I think that the thing I never realised when i was a kid playing adventure games was that they were closer to cryptic crossword puzzles than logical puzzles. You had to put together the cryptic clues and then, maybe, it became logical.
      But then some puzzles were logical, and some were just random – so you never knew where you were. Maybe they should have had some warning on the front “this game’s puzzles are all cryptic”.

      That made it frustrating when you got stuck, and also not that rewarding when you finally got through due to trial and error.

      Personally, I think logical puzzles aren’t always much better, as you say they can be just boring. But they’re less infuriating. And whatever type of puzzles you have, adventure games still have the same pacing problem. Go. stop. go. stop.

      That’s why i think things like physics simulation are much better… it’s not about finding the ONE solution the game designer thought of, but finding your own with the tools you have. That can be logical,or out of the box – up to you.

      (But with today’s short attention span and glut of games to play, getting stuck for an hour or two feels like you’re wasting time you could be using to play another game).

      • Ragnar says:

        I completely agree.

        “(But with today’s short attention span and glut of games to play, getting stuck for an hour or two feels like you’re wasting time you could be using to play another game)”
        This is kind of missing a big issue – scarcity of time. An hour may be all the time I have to play in any given day. I play games to have fun. Losing an hour or two equates to two day’s worth of gaming time spent bashing my head against the wall trying to figure out a cryptic or illogical puzzle – not fun. It feels like the game is wasting my time, because it actually is.

        Pixel hunts are the absolute worst, though.

    • Premium User Badge phlebas says:

      @frightlever: Actually it’s more likely internet walkthroughs did it. Make it too easy to find the answer without working it out yourself and (a) the player blames the puzzle for his decision to cheat, and (b) the designer puts less thought into the puzzles because if you get stuck you can always look up the answer. Especially if the answer is usually formatted as a set of instructions – a guide to what you have to do to get to the next cut-scene, rather than how you have to think to solve the puzzle. Lazy players and designers don’t make for good adventure games – would an FPS designer get away with making an unplayable level on the grounds that if you get stuck you could always turn on god mode?

    • bill says:

      The problem was that adventure games combined a number of annoying elements (illogical/logical/cryptic puzzles, pixel hunts, similar verbs, etc..) that, while you might have been able to cope with just one, all together were too much.

      Am i stuck because I haven’t figured out the puzzle yet (fair enough), or because I missed a pixel 10 screens back, or because the puzzle makes zero sense, or because i figured out the answer too early and it wouldn’t let me combine those items THEN, or because i chose the wrong very similar verb (i USED the key with the door rather than OPENed the key door with the key) or because i can’t do this until i’ve done some other unrelated thing.

      If i’m confident that it’s just a case of working out the puzzle then i’ll keep at it, but with adventure games there’s usually a doubt in your mind that you’re totally wasting your time because there is some other reason you can’t proceed – so you check a walkthrough.

      The other thing i think that doesn’t work for cryptic puzzle “adventure” games is that they use real world settings and stories, and that leads you to expect real world logic.
      If you put me in a room with a locked door, a key, some bacon and a frisbee, i’m not going to be happy if using the key on the door kills me, but using the bacon on the frisbee causes a guard to open the door.

      The games that worked best for cryptic puzzles were the ones that were most unreal.
      In some ways, it’d be better to present them as a series of unconnected cryptic puzzles (as a crossword does) rather than try and tie them into a story and setting.

      Personally, i mostly played adventure games for the story and adventure. The fact that the gameplay mechanics actively obstructed that was always weird. If i’m being chased by guards and the door is locked i’m going to break it down with that table, not spend 5 hours using sandwiches in inventive ways to help janitors clean their floor.


      Anyway, i thought Samorost was a good example of a puzzle game that had surreal puzzles, but which avoided both the above flaws. The world was weird, so weird solutions were acceptable. The puzzles were self contained on each screen, so you knew you weren’t wasting your time.

      • Ragnar says:

        “Personally, i mostly played adventure games for the story and adventure.”
        Me too. I loved The Longest Journey because of its story, that’s what pulled me back every day to play a bit more. The only puzzles I remember from it are the frustrating ones where I got stuck, and had to look up an answer (the threatening shadow with a gun isn’t threatening unless it’s wearing a hat? what?), but the story had me coming back for more.

        “Anyway, i thought Samorost was a good example of a puzzle game that had surreal puzzles, but which avoided both the above flaws. The world was weird, so weird solutions were acceptable. The puzzles were self contained on each screen, so you knew you weren’t wasting your time.”
        Agreed. The self-contained puzzles were very nice, and avoided the “pick up everything that isn’t nailed down, or you’ll get stuck” design that plagues old-school point+click adventure games.

    • Premium User Badge phlebas says:

      Dying for using the key on the door is a design flaw, and one not many post-Lucasarts games would fall into. Having ‘use key on door’ not be the right way to get out, on the other hand, is quite acceptable.
      Say you use the key on the door, stroll through into the yard outside and get chased back in by a vicious guard dog who was lurking just outside the door. You’re pretty much back where you started, so you’ll need to come up with something cleverer.
      You try throwing the frisbee to distract the dog (use frisbee on dog/window/yard) – but he runs like the wind to catch the frisbee and brings it straight back.
      You try peeling off a rasher of bacon (use bacon on dog/window/yard) and throwing it across the yard, but (bacon not being very aerodynamic) you can’t throw it far enough to be useful. Now if only there were some way of throwing it further away…
      The intermediate thought process and the feedback to a wrong or partial solution are what make the puzzle any good or not. That’s what you don’t get from a walkthrough.

    • Damien Stark says:

      @SanguineAngel

      “A game is usually supposed to be a challenge. A test of skill or intelligence against a set of rules (or an opponent confined by a set of rules). That is kind of the point.”

      I reject your premise.
      http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=define:game

      You have not stated what a game is; you’ve stated your personal preference in games. One I don’t share. I remember being a kid and enjoying even a frustrating struggle against a game that lasted a long time. The challenge was rewarding when eventually mastered. Now I’m an adult, and I get plenty of that from my work. When I get home to play games, that is not what I want.

      If your preference is different than mine, that’s perfectly alright, but keep in mind that it’s just that: a preference. I will not mourn the loss of games requiring me to brute-force combine objects for hours before proceeding.

  7. MadMinstrel says:

    I realize the low resolution is both an artistic and a budgetary decision. I can’t say I like it. I’ll probably still buy it though.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Have to say I love it. Probably nostalgia talking but it seems more like it should be.

    • patricij says:

      Budgetary? Not necessarily…Dave Dilbert (the publisher of this game and developer of Blackwell series, The Shivah, Puzzle Bots..) found out it’s cheaper to get an hi-res art work done, so he decided to convert hi-res to lo-res for his upcoming Blackwell game

  8. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Eh, I hope you can turn voice acting off… I may be being unfair, especially after only watching that short clip, but it sounds like the actors weren’t actually in the same room or probably on the same day when recording the different characters lines.

  9. Premium User Badge Anthile says:

    Pre-ordered it a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to actually play this.

  10. Urael says:

    What’s a ‘Hat-trick’? Is this something TF2 inspired??

    In other news – Awesome. Will be sampling with a view to buy as soon as I get a moment to call my own.

    • Premium User Badge dartt says:

      ‘Hat-trick’ is a sporting term that means to achieve something three times within the space of a single game. e.g. When a player scores three goals in one football match he is said to have “gotten a hat-trick”.

      In this case, they mean that three great indie titles have been released in quick succession, likely referring to the new Hegemony and Din’s Curse games.

    • Thants says:

      There should be a nerd achievement for mistaking a sports term for a TF2 term.

  11. Sunjammer says:

    Azriel Odin is still the single dumbest fucking name I have ever seen. It’s actually worse than Superfly Johnson.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I’ve always had soft spots for Super Joe from Bionic Commando, Wakle Skade from Gungage and Jad The Taff from Elevator Action Returns. So much so I’ve been known to use them as aliases when checking in to hotels.

    • banski83 says:

      Azriel Odin’s not bad. Could’ve been worse.

      Could’ve used Big McLargeHuge.

    • Qjuad says:

      How about Smoke Manmuscle?

    • Sarlix says:

      Unless Azriel Odin is a cheap play on an existing name I’m not aware of, I don’t see the issue.

      After all it could be a lot worse. It could’ve been Leggy Mountbatten

    • stahlwerk says:

      Or Cranny Faggot (oh god, the memories, will they ever go away?).
      But yeah, Azriel Odin is kind of bad. Why not go all out and call him Gabriel Lucifer? Or Peter Buddha?

  12. Red_Avatar says:

    The demo doesn’t exactly give me a lot of confidence – the mouse cursor is very hard to move and it won’t work in a window unless I set it at 320×200.

  13. Robin says:

    I couldn’t figure out a way to get it to run in a window. 320×200 graphics still look nice, but not at their best blown up on a non-CRT, larger-than-14″ monitor.

    Character portraits look a little bit out of place, but other than that, I’m very impressed with how it’s turned out.

  14. jplayer01 says:

    I’ve reached a point where I’ll just download and try a demo because RPS says I should. Can’t say I’m complaining though. :D

  15. Liquidben says:

    Well, if the first planet is Barracus, then presumably the other planet is going to be either Hannibal, Face or Murdock.

  16. Flappybat says:

    It’s so nice to play an indie adventure with fairly decent voice acting. Voice acting alone is rare enough.

    • patricij says:

      it is a shame they are repeating a bit…but I understand there is lots of lines, so Dave Gilbert, the publisher, had to cover a bit..

  17. Tuco says:

    I’m very, very impressed with this demo.