Grimdark Adventuring: Tormentum Demo

By Alice O'Connor on July 18th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

You bet that statue's a puzzle!

Talk is cheap. You may get people to give your game the old Steam Greenlight within 23 days, but that doesn’t mean they’ll chip in to raise $9,000 for it. And while you can say you’re making a fantasy horror adventure game, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. Hoping to resolve all of this, OhNoo Studio have released a short demo for Tormentum – Dark Sorrow.

It’s all grim stone fortresses, torture chambers, ornate sinewy armour, dessicated worshippers, and classic adventure game puzzles–certainly everything I expected. Grab it for Windows or Mac.

The demo’s something of a ‘greatest hits’ of adventure game puzzles: find something to unscrew a panel, arrange a path of gears to turn a mechanism, using a thorny skeletal arm to pluck a crystal eye out a drain–all the classics. Normally I might grumble about this, not the biggest fan of adventure games reusing the same puzzles, but it’s so wrapped up in moody nightmarish stuff I was happy enough gazing. The developers list Dark Souls and painters Zdzislaw Beksinski and H.R. Giger among their visual inspirations.

OhNoo are looking for $9,000 on on Indiegogo, which may not seem that much but they’re still about three grand short with 15 days left of the 60-day fundathon. Surely it’ll reach that?

If downloading a demo is just too much, or you’re at work, here’s a section of it:

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10 Comments »

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  1. Gothnak says:

    My Partner plays a bunch of Hidden object games which this looks a lot like but without the Hidden Object bit. She’s been asking me to make one that actually has a decent story that makes sense and objects that when you use them, they don’t suddenly disappear only to be needed again in the very next scene. E.g. Piece of wood chopped by an axe that goes pop and then the next screen has vines in the way.

    Surely there is a market for a core gamer hidden object game? I do have a guilty secret that i quite like them too, but yeah, the stories and design are awful. For example, why did the crow have that bit of metal in it’s mouth, why was the mirror piece hanging in an alcove in the wall, it’s just terrible design… :(

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      This is the problem I have with a lot of adventure and puzzle games – the puzzles don’t make sense in context. I recently played The Room 2 on my phone and while I really enjoyed the puzzles and environments, I was disappointed that they didn’t feel anything like real places. You weren’t solving a puzzle to reactivate a broken mechanism or decode an ancient and arcane code, you were looking for a fuse in a locked draw, where the key is in a safe accessed by perfoming some magical spell involving redirecting lasers in some weird way.

      I think the Myst series generally do a reasonable job of including puzzles which make at least some sense in context (even if they are a bit arbitrary). Maybe the problem is just that the real world (and ‘realistic’ environments) don’t feature interesting puzzles!

  2. His Divine Shadow says:

    I recall an old adventure game where you had to arrange the gears to get a specific total speed ratio, not just to have them touching. Was quite satisfying to solve.

  3. Piecewise says:

    Fun fact: Beksinski thought his paintings were rather upbeat.

    So far, I gotta say, it looks like they’re trying too hard. The problem with excessive grimdark, both here and in the increasingly monstrous and autistic franchise that birthed the phrase, is that when everything is shit and skeletons you get desensitized to it almost immediately. You gotta have contrast, build up, context; Giant gibbering horrors mean nothing if they’re around every corner.

  4. snapchat for pc says:

    I have very dumb question and I know that but will this game be available on Android in future?

  5. Frivolous says:

    A hollowed Guybrush Threepwood. Certainly heartening inspirations but a bit too much handholding in that demonstration. e.g “If only I could raise the water level.” – The visual clue should be sufficient. If making a puzzle game, assume the players are willing to solve puzzles.

    Take inspiration from Year Walk, who managed this splendidly. I had to keep a notebook that was covered in Lovecraftian scrawls all through it, and it wasn’t short of frights either.

  6. mr.black says:

    Hmm. Having been playing through the whole Blackwell series since the steam sale, have to say, I’m getting kinda peckish for more old school objects and their interaction.
    Don’t get me wrong, the series is awesome and everyone should support the talented developer, but most of the puzzles involve character interaction, not object manipulation.
    Of course, after watching the video and having the strong HOG vibe from this game, one could suspect precisely those awesome things from Blackwell – believeable deep characters and their interaction will be lacking here..