AR-K: Episode 1 (PC) Review

By Joshua Goldsmith 16.07.2014

Review for AR-K: Episode 1 on PC

Gato Salvaje, an independent video game start-up based in La Coruña, Spain and founded in 2010, gives birth to a new adventure into the point-and-click universe of old with AR-K. A small team of just six keen fans of the genre are behind the idea of this title, which is set in the future, and has the residents reside in a floating space station known as the AR-K. One of those inhabitants is the protagonist Alicia Von Volish, an ex-cop turned journalist who is soon thrown into what seems to be a deep conspiracy involving a one night stand and mysterious golden sphere that will become the source of a thousand questions about Alicia's past and a key element in the future.

AR-K begins with Alicia waking up in a dorm room, hung over, tired and late for class. Alicia was once a promising cop, until a mysterious golden sphere was found in her handbag, and without being able to provide answers Alicia was let go from her training and took up journalism to help hone her deductive skills in a different way. After that short but intriguing opening the basic 3D rendered character that is Alicia takes a walk to class to pick a final assignment with the guiding point-and-click mechanism. The background graphics, however, are wonderful and really set the scenes well, especially as the chapter progresses and the sun begins to set, giving a real visual treat as Alicia moves between areas.

The game is simple in its makeup of a point-and-click adventure and does nothing too original in its rendition of the genre. Key components of the game will be puzzle and problem solving using the bottomless bag and PDA that Alicia owns in almost all situations. If that, however, seems a no go then it is safe to assume that Alicia's furry pooch friend Ambar will be the solution to the problem at hand. Able to bark, chase and throw up, Ambar is quite the asset, and funny to boot.

Screenshot for AR-K: Episode 1 on PC

Starting the journey is no problem - continuing it, though, is another story. AR-K causes real problems in full screen and windowed modes where sudden and inexplicable crashes are frequent, usually after dialogue scenes. The puzzles in Episode 1 are as outrageously obscure as they are brilliant in a twisted way, more often than not solving problems by accident due to the illogical pathways laid out. For example, at one point Alicia is required to get a cup of coffee. Upon getting to the coffee machine, instead of simply buying the drink, Alicia is forced to throw an object at the machine, smashing it to pieces, which then allows Alicia to fill a cup from the debris flowing from the wreckage - both needless and bizarre when a can of soda is easily bought from the machine next to it.

The dialogue is also two dimensional and falls victim to the regular spelling mistakes that are probably a case of it not quite translating well from Spanish. Episode 1 also fails to flesh out many of the characters Alicia meets, which is a shame given their wild looking demeanours; ranging from a giant bull that owns the local bar to a walrus who works on the front desk at the university. Although the episode is short with only two hours or so in gameplay, the player does get a good feel for Alicia's character, and some of her inner conversations are laugh out loud funny and brilliantly witty. Hopefully this same fleshing out will be used on some of the other main characters in Episode 2.

Screenshot for AR-K: Episode 1 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


On the whole, AR-K has a likeable lead character, an intriguing storyline and some wildly fantastic looking characters, but is let down in its gameplay and puzzle structures. It sometimes leaves the player fumbling at every available item in every available area before finding the most illogical solution possible, leading to huge frustration. Episode 1 seems like a slow start, but with the feedback from the playing public Episode 2 may go a long way to fixing the problems and answering the questions about the golden sphere and Alicia's mysterious one night stand. Unfortunately, none of those hopes can excuse a game that is constantly being a victim to crashes and restarts, and so it leaves with a lower score than its story and protagonist deserves.


Gato Salvaje


Gato Salvaje Studio





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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