Indie games are really taking a hold of the industry; whether it be the latest iOS craze or the unstoppable force that is Minecraft there certainly is not shortage of compelling gameplay experiences to be had out there if you go searching for them. Gemini Rue is one of those experiences.
Gemini Rue is a point and click adventure game that is stylised as one of the greats. Using a great mix of colours with the retro graphics, paired with an amazing soundtrack and a compelling storyline, it will command your attention from start to finish and possibly even a second play through.
Check out our extremely short video review, or keep on reading
Gemini Rue Got Right
Tone Is Everything – The future is very bleak in Gemini Rue and the tone of the game sets the story perfectly. Whether it is the use of the neo-noir jazz soundtrack, the dark yet gorgeous colour palettes or just the way a character responds to the situation it is dripping with the essence of despair. That’s exactly what a game like this needs and the team has done it exceptionally well.
Great Story – Gemini Rue functions purely because of the story that propels it. From beginning to the very end it hooks you in and demands your attention. The mysterious tone that surrounds main characters is what begs the player to continue the adventure. This would have to be one of the better stories we’ve seen in gaming this year, and definitely one of the best stories in the genre.
Without breaking the plot too much you fill the roles of two characters – Azriel Odin; a police officer gone rogue who is in search of a close friend on the planet Barracus. There he stumbles upon a drug-ring that has unleashed hell on the city run by a clan known as the Boryokudan.
The other is known as Delta-Six; a resident of a mysterious testing facility who has had his memory wiped after an escape attempt. Players will need to piece together his lost memories and discover who his true friends are, and how he is connected to Azriel.
It’s All About Scope – Gemini Rue has an impressive scope – this isn’t an adventure you’re going to blaze through in a lazy play through. It packs in overlapping stories, two main characters to control, and roughly about eight hours of gameplay. During those eight hours, hardly a minute is wasted, and every minute is just as memorable as the last.
The story comes to a thunderous climax that is uplifting and leaves you satisfied. There is no denying that the game takes inspiration from Blade Runner or any of Phillip K Dick’s novels for that matter, but still manages to create its own sense of identity.
Audio – Gemini Rue features some truly fantastic music and sound effects that helps to create this dark and eerie mood. Nathan-Allen Pinard has composed some really fantastic neo-noir tunes that wouldn’t feel out of place if they were released as a soundtrack CD, but unfortunately, they aren’t featured enough during the game.
What Gemini Rue Got Wrong
Too Easy – Gemini Rue has some fantastic puzzles that keep the game moving along, however for fans of the point and click adventure genre they are going to find them too easy. More often than not the solution to a problem is simply common sense and very rarely does a puzzle offer any satisfaction from solving it.
Retro Not For Everyone – While the great use of colour with a retro graphical style really makes Gemini Rue stand out, it could also be one of the reasons some gamers will be hesitant to try it out. Thankfully the gameplay is strong enough that graphics aren’t an issue, but paired with the old school verb mechanics system (hand, foot, mouth) it could scare away newcomers to the genre.
The Final Verdict
Gemini Rue is a thrilling ride from start to finish, creating a dark and ominous story that is stays with you long after the finals screens, almost seeping into your subconscious. The great use of neo-noir music along with a retro style really makes it stand out, and the mere fact you’re getting 8 hours of gameplay for $15 is reason enough to check it out. The only downside is that it could offer a little more challenge, but this is one hell of a ride.