Another Sight Review

I really enjoy when a game brings something not just mechanically interesting to the table, but something fairly innovative too. Whilst Lunar Great Wall’s Another Sight certainly ticks those boxes, it’s slightly pulled short elsewhere. We’ll touch up on that in a bit, but for all intents and purposes, I wanted to commend the game’s framework from the get-go. The game serves itself as a fantasy puzzle adventure that’s based in 1899, London, at the back-end of the Victorian era. The setting alone makes for a fascinating affair, as does the game’s plot.

Players take on the role of both Kit, a young female teenager, and Hodge, a mysterious furry cat. During the introduction of the game, Kit’s exploring London’s underground, when all of a sudden, the structure she’s charting falls through. Now, as a result of the incident, Kit has seemingly lost nearly all of her sight. Enter Hodge. Hodge appears soon after, and literally, somewhat fantastically, is able to understand Kit’s predicament. Together, they must work in unity to traverse the strange locales that now surround them on an adventure like no other.

Kit’s sight isn’t a lost cause. In fact, she’s able to see in a way that’s akin to how Matt Murdock’s sight works; she can see through the use of sound and vibration. What ensues from this instant bond between girl and feline is quite magical; both relying on one another in equal parts, and both clearly in need of companionship. It helps, of course, that the overarching story remains compelling throughout. I’ll not spoil any beats, but if you’ve a soft spot for outlandish, somewhat emotional journeys, you’ll find a lot to appreciate on this front.

There are some gripes to be mindful of, however. One of which is dominant from the start; the default audio, at least as far as the voice-work is concerned, can be all over the place. Not only is the voice acting fairly hit and miss, but a fair bit of it is drowned out by surrounding cues and scores. This isn’t a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I would certainly tweak the audio before stepping in, if for any reason to ensure that you’re not missing out on any threads or composure. That to the side, let’s dive on in, shall we?

Initially, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Alice in Wonderland. The setting, the characteristics, the theme’s oddities, and more besides, collectively force your mind to that state. Look past that, on the other hand, and you’ll see a lot of originality shining through. One thing I really liked about Another Sight, is its ability to toy with perception. The game’s steampunk-like presentation isn’t overly done, I mean, it’s there, but, it’s actually quite loose overall, allowing a range of other themes and set pieces to pull through as the story unfolds.

Kit’s movement when her sight is strained is snail pace. She’ll only pick up swift movement when noise or vibrations open up her perception. This is relayed to you early on through a train passing by your immediate location, illuminating your surroundings almost entirely. Unfortunately for Kit, however, that train is gone as fast as it approached. This is where Hodge comes in useful. Hodge can let out a light meow, subsequently allowing Kit to see what’s around her. This unity is what drives the game forwards on a mechanical basis.

Another Sight is quite an accessible game as far as its handling goes. The controls remain well mapped and easy to adapt to. Movement is tethered to the left stick, with a jump function tied to the A button, and an action command tied to the X button. You’re free to swap between Kit and Hodge on the fly through tapping RB, and depending on who you’re playing as, you’ll hit the Y button to either call Hodge, or meow as Hodge. Swapping between these characters remains essential throughout, and allows for some very intricate puzzle work.

Each character sports pros and cons, and only with each other’s help can they overcome the journey at hand. Kit, as alluded to above, is quite slow on her feet. Hodge, however, is much swifter and can jump to greater heights. One thing that Kit can do that Hodge cant do, is pull levers or push heavy objects, but on the flip-side, Kit is unable to squeeze through narrow gaps or scale walls, unlike Hodge. These are just a few (of the many) examples of the mechanics that you’ll endure, with the game housing a commendable amount of freshness.

I had fear that, as evident in many games of this type, Another Sight would throw all of its chips onto the proverbial table from the off. That, is certainly not the case. The game does a wonderful job at keeping you on your toes, constantly treating you to new sights, new varying puzzles, and new gimmicks. Whilst a little on the short side overall, there’s a lot packed in. The puzzles function in a way that you would expect, especially as you start out. Things are kept pretty simple as you get a firm grasp as to how everything plays and handles.

This usually consists of the likes of getting Hodge to harder to reach places in order to activate a switch, and then swapping to Kit and having her pull a lever that then allows them both to proceed. That does sound painfully straightforward, but thanks to some stellar level design, you’ll find plenty of intricacy through working out what to do, and in what sequence order to do it in. That, and as already stated, Another Sight soon ramps up the innovation with more difficult problems to solve, problems that come very thick and very fast.

Regardless, most puzzles rely on the duo mechanic; guide one character here to activate this function, and guide the other character elsewhere to move through a now open door to manipulate something else, and so on and so forth. The game does well at maintaining its pace, and constantly encourages both characters to split up in an attempt to seek out clues in order to progress. Puzzles tend to revolve around the theme of each area; temple-like technologies, factory-like electrical work, and fantastical dreamscapes filled with wonder.

There’s even some stealth gameplay thrown in for good measure, and this breaks up the pace of play rather well. I do take issue with the light platform elements though. Jumping is a bit off. I lost count at how many times I failed a jump because either Kit or Hodge wasn’t perfectly aligned. Whether it’s Kit falling to her death through not being on the absolute edge of a platform before a jump, or, Hodge failing to grip to a platform, it’s jarring. It takes some adjustment on the player’s part, but once you’ve nailed it, it becomes second nature.

The addition of bumping into historical figures is a wonderful touch, and serves as a means to alter the perception of play rather intelligently. There’s also story beats you can pull from the world should you seek it. This is a game that rewards you more for taking your time to soak its messages up, in doing so, you’ll come out with a better understanding and more appreciation for the effort that’s gone in. It’s a refreshing design choice. There’s an area on the main menu that allows you to look up lore, alongside a skin changer for Hodge, because, why not?

The bottom line in all of this is that if you’ve a soft spot for unique puzzle games, Another Sight is for you. The game’s length may only last for a few hours on a fluid run, and it may have the occasional drawback to be mindful of, but even so, it’s well worth a trip. The constant shift in both theme and function makes for a memorable adventure, one that knows how to keep you gripped from the get-go to the credit roll. Speaking more of the game’s visual and audio design, I’ll sing the game some well deserved praises on both fronts.

Sure, it’s not the best looking game in the market, and it clearly could have done with a bit of refinement, but overall, it’s a stunning adventure to behold. Whilst the voice-work can be a bit off, the soundtrack is beautifully relevant. If you’re on the fence, I would recommend giving it a chance. This, for me at least, is one of those few games that just turn up and surprise you for all the right reasons. There’s better choices out there to select from, though even with that in mind, you’ll not likely regret meeting Kit, Hodge, nor their adventure.

Conclusion

Another Sight does a wonderful job at making you feel invested in not only its characters, but its world, its story, and its deeper meaning. Whilst fairly short, it makes great use of its time through a constant influx of diverse, intelligently developed puzzles. Overall, despite some minor issues with its platforming elements, the game offers an adventure that’s every bit as engaging as it is intriguing, and one that’s unlike anything else readily available.

This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.
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Good
  • Wonderful story that hits all the right marks.
  • Plays well throughout the game's entirety.
  • Intelligently designed puzzles to solve.
  • The pacing is well set from start to finish.
  • Great visual and audio work.
Bad
  • Platforming can be hit and miss.
  • Voice acting isn't all that great.
8
Great
Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 9
Audio - 7.5
Longevity - 7.5
Written by
Howdy folks! Now, as of July 23rd, 2019, I no longer operate here at Xbox Tavern. It was one hell of a ride; creating this, building this, and operating it for several years, but, we all hit a proverbial point that encourages us to move on, and that's what I've done; handing the reigns to the very capable Jamie. Want to keep in touch? My Gamertag is Kaloudz Peace! Love to you all, Mark!

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