Subject 13: Flashback Designer’s Adventure Game Out

You might’ve thought a new adventure game from Paul Cuisset, the lead designer of Flashback, would’ve drawn more attention from us here in the RPS treehouse. Don’t look at me: I get irate at the very notion of realigning mirrors to direct a beam of light.

Still, here we are, and here Subject 13 [official site] is. It launched today for Windows and Mac with a tale of a physics professor who ends up in an odd secret base after his car plunges into a lake. I’m sure he’s fine, folks, and it’s not at all some kind of drowning dream and/or purgatory.

The way to find out what’s going on is to solve puzzles, of course. It’s probably also fine that he’s chatting with an unseen robotic voice which calls him Subject 13. Maybe he is actually in some strange secret abandoned experiment as he wanders around the base and, later, an island. It does have a tinge of ‘ancient supertechnology’ about it.

Developers Microids ran a Kickstarter for Subject 13 last year, netting a touch over their $40,000 (£26k) goal to improve the graphics and pay for the score. Backers should have their game keys real soon if they don’t already.

For the rest of us, a 35% launch discount makes it £8.49 on GOG and £9.74 on Steam.

10 Comments

  1. Scurra says:

    I was concerned when the first screen ran like a slug, with unresponsive mouse controls even with the settings turned down.
    But once into the second room, it seemed to find its feet and became very pleasant, if a little quirky in places – it feels more like a big budget casual Room Escape game rather than a serious point-and-click challenge and there is no real consistency between how things react to actions (sometimes you pull at things, other times you have to rotate them or move the camera) but so far everything has felt moderately logical. One problem I have is that The Room has set the bar for manipulating objects very high, and this doesn’t really quite match it.

    But the story is quite promising (I reckon I’m between a third and half-way through after a couple of hours play) and the voice acting isn’t entirely irritating.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      I wanted to back this on Kickstarter but didn’t have the funds at the time. Was intending to pick this up over the weekend. From your experience so far would you say ‘Aye’? I’m a fan of his, I enjoy games like this (both adventure and the mobile games like The Room) and I don’t view a few hours good entertainment as poor value for a tenner. My reasons for wanting to support the kickstarter were quite simply “This bloke made Flashback, it’s one of my favourite games ever”. Is it at all like Flashback in terms of setting/style/story (not gameplay obviously)?

      • Scurra says:

        Actually, yes, I’d say that the story is very much in keeping with the general style of Flashback, whilst having nothing really in common with it at all..!
        And yes, I’d also say to pick it up if you like this sort of thing. It still seems to have a couple of bugs (I’ve just run into one object that wasn’t collected properly if certain combinations of other objects have been picked up earlier) and the lack of a formal save system is annoying as a result (I had to restart the “chapter” in order to sort that one out) but it doesn’t feel like too much of a drag to go through it again.
        I’ll stick my neck out and guess that Mr Walker may be a little more sniffy about it, given the lack of originality it shows and the way it resorts to certain implausible tropes of the genre a little too often, but I’m not regretting putting my cash down.

  2. WJonathan says:

    “Love…death…remorse…guilt…SCIENCE!”

  3. Diziet Sma says:

    Well I bought it via GoG… and it’s Myst with a smattering of the style of Flashback. I’ve just started Chapter Four and by and large I too have enjoyed my time with the game. Nothing mind blowing but it’s been fun and some of the puzzles have been good. My only gripe was not being able to collect a ‘recorder’ item in Chapter 3, I had to restart it. I’m guessing that’s the bug you mentioned…. :D Nothing too onerous to run back through the puzzles. I expect I’ll finish it before Sunday is done with.