Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4
Point and click games always remind me of playing my Atari ST in my youth. Playing games like ToonStruck and Monkey Island really propelled me into gaming in the early days and even now, I do like to play an old school point and click adventure now and again for a change of pace. So onto my review for Irony Curtain, a funny little adventure filled with pop culture references and a good sense of humour.
Artifex Mundi is usually known for their hidden object games, which I also play on occasions when I fancy something different. It was a nice change of direction to see them tackle a satirical point and click game. In Irony Curtain you play the role of Evan, a hopeful reporter who gets thrust into the middle of a standoff between two powerful factions. This game is part spy thriller and part cold war political adventure, it has a good story even if its nothing groundbreaking or unique.
The story is told from Evans viewpoint, he is very naive and soon learns that you cannot believe everything you read or hear. The game is set in Matryoshka, but it is Russia in all but name. Even the title of the game is a parody of a Russian James Bond Film. The communist country and the capitalist empire are at each others throat and you, Evan, green behind the gills, must uncover the secrets, face the twists and turns and reveal the truth behind the enigmatic Supreme Leader.
Irony Curtain is very funny, there are loads of jokes and the writing is brilliant. There are also loads of references and Easter eggs littered through its six or seven-hour campaign. It made me laugh a lot and the characters and situations are all very funny and light-hearted, despite the serious tone to the overall story. It's not in your face comedy, its clever, witty and very enjoyable.
Gameplay wise Irony Curtain plays just like every other point and click adventure you have ever played. You move Evan around with your left analog stick and use your right stick as a pointer to select objects in the environment. Once selected you are presented with a context menu with all the familiar options in games of this ilk, talk, pick up, use and a few others. Its all very familiar and easy to play and that is great. The game does not re-write the rule book for these games and that's fine.
One thing I did like about this title is that the gameplay is not too abstract. Everything I had to do made sense. I have played a few of these games in the past where the tasks required to progress made no sense, this made it difficult to get through the game without looking at a guide. Fortunately, this was definitely not the case here and I really enjoyed working out what to do next. There are also telephones dotted around the world that you can use for hints, which provide help when required and minimized frustration.
I really admired the animation and art style to this game, it's extremely beautiful. It's like a cartoon on the television, very crisp, bright and smoothly animated all the way through. I really enjoyed Evan's mannerisms and the many characters quirky personalities. It's a very pretty game and deserves a lot of credit for its art direction. Soundwise, the game is very good. The soundtrack, sound effects and voice acting are all good and kept me immersed in this comedic tale.
Irony Curtain performed admirably, I had no issues with bugs, hitches or any problems to report whatsoever. This should be the case with games like this though to be fair, point and click games hardly push the hardware and are hardly resource heavy in any way. That being said it's still a credit to the team shipping a working, well-performing game and they should be credited for that. It's a game you can sit back and enjoy without worrying about its performance in any way.