Belladonna Review (PC)
Belladonna is developed by Neckbolt and is your general point-and-click play style adventure game with a very modern-gothic art style and a promising storyline to it. It was touted as being dark and twisted and I was excited to get some gritty gameplay going, a pleasant change from my usual choices. Unfortunately the only grit that happened was that of my teeth when I discovered just how short the game actually was.
I went into this game knowing fully that it wouldn’t take very long to complete but I finished the game in less than 60 minutes. It was super simple, insultingly so to be honest. The exploration of the game was very one-directional. The only option in the entire game was choosing between one of three doors to go through after escaping the initial room. Even then, that decision made no significant difference as you couldn’t go beyond two of the rooms until you had been to the third and picked up all the bits available to collect.
There was really only one puzzle, and I use that word loosely, within the game to unlock a single door really early in the game. The other “puzzles” were figuring out how to use items that you collected in combination with each other to progress in the game, but they were so blatantly obvious that it wasn’t even a slight challenge. Also one of the “puzzles” requires you to kill a poor wee creature… Not impressed but it at least gave the game a moral dilemma. The story itself had so much promise and I went into the game expecting too much and I was left utterly disappointed.
The story, art and smoothness of gameplay are the highlights of the game. I have only one major complaint about the story and that is the fact you need to read about it via incredibly small, cursive handwriting that you can’t even zoom in to see any clearer. Despite it being so difficult to read I did thoroughly enjoy the plot of the game and do look forward to seeing how it pans out in future games, even if I won’t be purchasing and playing the game personally to find out.
As you can take from the previous point, the end of the game sets up for a sequel. The story was left on a complete cliffhanger at a precipice that could entirely captivate the attention of the player. It wouldn’t surprise me if the second game were only an hour long and left on a cliffhanger yet again and the pattern would continue on from there for all future releases. I am all for supporting indie developers and I do encourage people to give indie games a chance, but when material like this is what is returned to the consumers then it isn’t really a surprise that people sometimes give indie developers so much grief.
I am an avid player of point-and-click adventure games and I am probably coming across harsh but I’m just trying to be brutally honest as a consumer of games. I understand that this was developed by a one-man team and I can applaud the work and effort that would go into making this game but to ask for £4.99 for a game that gives you less than an hour of gameplay? That is asking more than a bit much.
4 reanimated corpses out of 10