Indie Trial Worth Trying: Decay – Part 3 by Shining Gate Software

“Decay – Part 3″ is listed as Action & Adventure, not to be confused with an Action-Adventure game. It is an interactive story mystery game. Games like these bring me back to middle school computer class when we had a selection of five or so games we could play in our free time (Always including, and sometimes limited to, Oregon Trail). Except this one is a horror game…

You’re in a place you’re unfamiliar with and you must find clues to enlighten yourself and solve your way out of the room/off the island/ out of the house/ ect.

So, in “Decay – Part 3,” keep in mind I haven’t played parts 1 or 2, you’re in an abandoned(ish) apartment building or facility. I couldn’t tell exactly which it was but I’m leaning towards apartment building. The surroundings flicker like dying fluorescent lights from a past with cleanliness and upkeep to a present with graffiti and crime-scene remnants.

This effect and the intended overall air of eeriness had me sitting up and paying attention. I am always the girl who knew it was coming but got startled anyway. I was prepared for something to lunge out at me or fall from the ceiling.

Then, after some time where I couldn’t tell if the game had started yet, I realized I’d probably see anything coming because in this game I walk extremely slowly. I was pushing the left stick for a while thinking I wasn’t moving at all.

Sadly, most things in the game environment aren’t clickable. You “explore” rooms and use the D-pad to look around. But you don’t actually look around, you shift perspective. Facing forward. Facing left. Facing right. There’s something obvious to touch and/or take and nothing else. It’s like a museum, just look with your eyes.

From only playing the trial I didn’t see much decision making or storyline options. Simply move forward until you hit a roadblock. Wander around until you find the thing that will clear the roadblock. Or wander around finding the two things you can until you hit a roadblock and then use the things on it. Not super exciting.

While I wasn’t wowed by the game play, I was impressed with the design and curious about the story. I’d totally read the book or graphic novel. Maybe play the game.

I played the trial because I was drawn in by the name and the cover art. You don’t often see quality cover art on crap indie games. Designers tend to correlate covers and contents.

I plan to go back and try 1 and 2, because with what little story I was able to experience I feel this might be a series worth slowly shuffling through.

Decay – Part 3 is available for download on XBox Live Indie Games (240 points) and was created by Shining Gate Software.

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