Illusion: A Tale of the Mind (PC) Review

By Adam Riley 27.06.2018

Review for Illusion: A Tale of the Mind on PC

Playing with shadows is something that everyone has done in their lifetime at some point or other, more often than not linking thumbs and using both hands in front of a projector to make a butterfly shape that flaps about, or even a simple crocodile snapping away along the backdrop. It is simple fun, but can actually be translated extremely well to videogame format, as proven by the fantastic A Shadow's Tale on Wii. Now, Frima Studio is going one step further, playing with numerous concepts that will twist your brain around and around, as well as test your mettle in Illusion: A Tale of the Mind.

The core concept is so impressive, with a young girl named Emma being driven around various locations, interacting with her surroundings, manipulating angles, light sources, different shapes, and even coloured switches to help progress to the next area. Rather than this merely being a one stage and done situation, though, the developer has interwoven a story that is...well, somewhat intriguing and plenty confusing in equal measure. Emma is somehow in her father's psyche, where another chap resides as the main evil that is trying to steal away mother/wife and cease Emma's existence. It carries the action along well enough for the most part, but there are times where it gets super creepy with a large, scary eyeball covered in what looks like tar chasing after Emma on several occasions, and then it goes a bit too far to the other extreme, becoming rather tiresome as more exposition on the relationship triangle element is provided, and sadly the father's accent is such a thick French one that relying on the subtitles is necessary at times.

Screenshot for Illusion: A Tale of the Mind on PC

Those story elements are where Illusion: A Tale of the Mind stumbles slightly. The rest of the game is wonderful, from the presentation to the clever gameplay tricks, although it does also sometimes rely too heavily on coloured switch hitting towards the end, plus there is a frustrating chapter that revolves around Emma's little floating rabbit companion alone, merely zipping around a maze-like area, hitting more switches, and even just going through endless doors in a catch-Emma scenario. What was originally a highly engaging puzzle adventure, and still manages to keep its head above the water, does become a bit of a chore as time passes. Thankfully, everything is over at around the four-hour mark, so it does not outstay its welcome by much.

Focusing on rotating objects to cast shadows to form a particular object, changing the orientation of seemingly random paraphernalia to craft devices to help out Emma's spirit form out, and even some smart applications for boss battles, whereby panels must be shuffled around to allow lights to be spun around, tweaking ever so slightly to cast light upon the darkness - these are the areas where Illusion blows your mind. Kudos to the developer for trying to bring some emotional investment to the table, but it bogs itself down too much on that front to be a worthwhile addition, instead proving to be the main aspect that hold this experience back from greatness.

Screenshot for Illusion: A Tale of the Mind on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Illusion: A Tale of the Mind is a marvel to look at and enjoy from a puzzle standpoint. However, it starts to bog itself down with a quirky storyline that carries the action along well enough to start with, but becomes increasingly convoluted and eventually downright boring, to the point where the ending will leave most sighing with relief, which is a massive shame as the core gameplay is very intriguing to start with, but is dragged down by an over-reliance on switch-hitting towards the end.

Developer

Frima

Publisher

Ravenscourt

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Ben Clarke, Ofisil

There are 2 members online at the moment.