Eric Kelly On June 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

Monochroma 2013-06-30 16-56-28-62Every once in a while, you will run across a game game on Kickstarter that promises to be a unique experience, but then you hear the concept and see gameplay footage. You get the sense of where its inspiration is drawn from, with the promise of something more as well. Unfortunately for Monochroma, its prospects are almost as bleak and colorless as the title implies.

Monochroma is about a game set in the 1950’s, in a dystopian city. But the game actually starts on the outside of the city, on a playground, which forms the tutorial for all of the game’s mechanics. Soon afterward your character and his brother fall into a building after its rooftop caves in. Your brother is hurts and can’t walk, so you need to carry him on your back at times. Of course this makes jumping harder due to the added weight. So you will need to temporarily leave them behind at designated spots where light shines. This is because they are afraid of the dark. You can’t go too far though, so figuring out the best way to traverse a room and solve its puzzles before moving on will be your task for most of the game. Its puzzles are rather simple, and there are some secrets to find for achievement hunters. But don’t expect a long list, as the game is only about 3-5 hours long.

The game is pretty much set up like LIMBO, with it being a large influence on this game, right down to the 2d gameplay with a mostly monochromatic filter. The only primary color you will see for most of the game is red. The game doesn’t even really explain why it’s like this, as it tells its narrative through the visuals. The game itself is rendered in polygons rather than sprites though. There are some issues with the game though. For one, the game’s description promises unique gameplay, but aside from the escort mechanic, it couldn’t be any more different from LIMBO if it tried. This leaves us with a game that’s still enjoyable, but brings nothing new to the table. Only for some reason it’s not as competently done. The jump height for piggybacking your brother seems to be too severe, and can make some jumps hard to pull off unless you are pixel perfect. The game also suffers from some optimization and control issues. The game has some pretty relaxed system requirements. But despite this, the game seems to give even decent rigs a workout. I could hear the GPU fans whirring loudly. The game also has load times, which it should only really happen during the initial start-up. At least they are only at certain points, but it does break up the flow a bit. As for the control issues, the game had controller support, but there was a problem and the feature was disabled as of this review. I’m sure that these things can be fixed, but maybe the game could have sat in the oven a bit longer.

As it stands though, Monochroma is just an above average experience, and at $20, it’s a bit hard to recommend. And for those looking for a console version, you will have to wait for them to be be made. But you can expect them on the following formats: Ouya, Wii U, Playstation Vita, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game takes up just under 5 GB as well, so make sure to spend some time doing something else while you wait for the download to get done.


Wander through a 2d plane and solve puzzles much like in LIMBO, now with an escort gameplay.


Not particular great looking, nor is the art direction anything special, right down to the mostly monochromatic hue.


There’s barely a soundtrack, but it’s not bad when it does show up, just unmemorable


The game tries to much to beat Limbo at its own game while not doing enough to set itself apart from it. An average experience.

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