For better or worse High Strangeness wears all of its inspirations on the sleeve of its mid-90s rocker inspired leather jacket. Unfortunately the results range from a close nostalgic feeling for Secret of Evermore (the least good Secret Of game) to making the one original thing the game does, transition between 16 and 8 bit worlds, interesting enough that you almost forget the rest of the game was two steps away from being copy and pasted from an handful of other places. The one thing that is clear is that it does borrow a lot from a ton of things that came before it and it makes no apologies for that.
Watch our live stream of High Strangeness below:
The problem isn’t the inspiration that motivated High Strangness’ creation (I like stories of the occult and reading John Dies at the End as much as the next guy) the issue is that most of the time there is normally something beyond the surface of those stories; High Strangeness stops at the part where it sounds most cool. What the game ends up lacking is the depth of everything that it seemingly held it in such high regard while only copying so much of the surface level to make it functional. That is where a lot of the problems come in, that it never feels like most of the game received more than a first pass before being completed—leaving sections feeling uneven an overall sense of being just held together.
High Strangeness is a successful KickStarter campaign, something that very few things in the world can actual say they have managed to do. Entirely in the game’s defense the dev did exactly what that service was always intended to do – get new ideas out there and give them the funding the otherwise wouldn’t find to be completed. For that end this is a great first game even though it does have weird rough patches throughout. Honestly the worst part of the game is that they are expecting the average person to pay 10 dollars for it, and even with the decent amount of content included is entirely too much. If you can hold off for the game to hit a Steam Sale you will be fantastically happy to grab it for around 2 bucks.
Also on Wii U eShop.