Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
The subject of this installment: Nemezis: Mysterious Journey III, developed by Detalion Games S.A. and published by Playway S.A. and Detalion Games S.A.
In my writing I’ve been wont to call out games for their strained relationship with intellectualism, literature and contemplation — they are far more likely to establish simpler connections to gore, greed, bombastic explosions and narrative spectacle.
To players who share my sentiments, Nemezis: Mysterious Journey III might initially seem to be a peaceful adventure with a focus on the cerebral, but there is a general tendency for ambitious titles to overdo things and sacrifice gameplay polish, audiovisual pleasantries and general accessibility in service of intellectual sophistication. In such cases, these titles may repel players that desire a more rounded experience. Nemezis: Mysterious Journey III is a perfect example of this type of project.
In this puzzle/adventure title we play as two protagonists, Amia and Bogard, both stranded on the planet Regilus in an alternative sci-fi universe in which teleportation is a reality. They seek each other out in this strange land while solving abstract puzzles and learning more about their predicament along the way.
Regilus is a colorfully-realized environment with extraordinary wildlife (or so we are told) but we have little means to explore it, as we are mostly contained to linear paths leading from one puzzle to the next. However, I quickly started to wonder whether the real difficulty was figuring out their solutions or trying to wrap my head around the logic needed to do so.
I found little context to the puzzles, and was left to figure things out for myself with only a hint tool that spouted nonsense and absolutely failed to clear things up. I was stymied by things like hints assuming the player already had knowledge of the problem at hand, or by other puzzles which refer to landmarks which weren’t distinctive enough to have warranted notice. Nemezis isn’t so much about challenge as it is about obscurantism, to the point that the challenges were so difficult and cryptic that they were almost a parody of the puzzle genre itself.
Nemezis is frustratingly obtuse to the point that I felt like it was wasting my time and injuring my mental health. It’s an impossible thing to recommend to anyone other than those craving the most annoying head-scratchers possible.
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