AR-K: Episode 2 (PC) Review

By Joshua Goldsmith 21.07.2014

Review for AR-K: Episode 2 on PC

Gato Salvaje, the independent video game start-up based in La Coruña, Spain and founded in 2010, produces Episode 2 of the story on AR-K, a space station made up of seven districts, and with a wide variety of citizens. The plot follows Alicia Van Volish once again in the campaign to get some answers about the sphere she can't seem to lose, and her mysterious one night stand who is not quite who he seems to be.

AR-K: Episode 2 begins much as Episode 1 did: with Alicia waking up in a bed, hung over, tired and... Not alone. Alicia has woken up in Blaine's bedroom, the name of her multiple night stand, only for the man to insist he's late for work, and that Alicia has free run of the swish bachelor pad. After that short and snappy opening Alicia is plunged right back into the story, but with a new twist; this time Alicia is introduced to a new friend - the Narrator - who sits pretty in the top left corner of the screen, and is more than happy to berate Alicia's destructive and morally questionable behaviour at every turn. The Narrator provides a welcome addition to the team; unfortunately it is at the cost of Ambar - Alicia's doggy friend who takes a back seat.

The game is yet to display the "twist" aspect that has been advertised in its point-and-click spiel as it is once again a case of collecting items, combining items and solving puzzles. For returners from Episode 1, however, the puzzle difficulty is much improved, with a lot less leaps in insane logic and much more simple pathways to the solution, while still presenting a very thorough challenge to even the most practiced puzzlers. With a simple right-click on items in the PDA, it will give a summary of what could be done next, not often leaving the feeling of helplessness like its predecessor; a huge improvement.

Screenshot for AR-K: Episode 2 on PC

The introduction of the Narrator, however, seems to fall flat at around the halfway mark. The witty banter traded between the two characters - along with some classy breakings of the fourth wall - disappears almost without a trace, leaving some questions as to why the Narrator has suddenly gone quiet. Episode 2 certainly suffers for that, as the Narrator is a welcome breath of fresh air. The one thing that really should be implemented, and would be a perfect role for the Narrator, is a hints system. Perhaps after a certain amount of time with no progress it would be beneficial for a simple click on the Narrator to provide a hint or direction of where to go or what to use, as there are still a few moments of feeling completely lost.

The addition of four new areas in the game makes it feel much bigger, and it presents Alicia with multiple quests to complete all at once, with all needing to be finished to reach the end of the Episode. No particular combination matters, however, as long as they are all complete, which causes a lot less frustration and is a good decision. The game has also improved hugely on its stability, with the number of crashes able to be counted on one hand; although not ideal, it is a large improvement over the constant stop-start instability of the first Episode. The story also keeps up its intrigue, and although the fleshing out of some characters did not happen as much as it could have, the main story takes a nice The Hunger Games-type twist halfway through, and follows it on right to the end of Episode 2's big cliff-hanger.

Screenshot for AR-K: Episode 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Overall, AR-K: Episode 2 is a marked improvement on Episode 1 and has addressed many concerns that came along with the first chapter, being updated accordingly. The story is still the strongest reason to keep playing, and although the graphics won't set the world on fire past the year 2001, underneath is a charming point-and-click adventure getting closer to its full potential. A little more time spent on fleshing out some side characters and a hints system to keep players from turning off out of frustration, along with some work on smoothing out the cut-scenes, and Gato Salvaje Studio is onto a wonderful little gem worth the investment.


Gato Salvaje


Gato Salvaje Studio





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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   


Comments are currently disabled

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?

There are 1 members online at the moment.