Last year I played How to Build a Planet made by Hexagon Blue for a Game Jam. It seems that each year they create a new game in a matter of days for this competition, and this year is no different. For 2018’s offering those clever chaps have created Where Others Lie, an adventure game set on a distant planet. Hexagon Blue seem to have an interest in science fiction adventure games, having created Unloop a little over a year ago. Anyway, let’s take a look at this year’s effort!
We begin by being informed that we are orbiting a planet where a research team are investigating the local area. We are able to direcly communcate with members of the team, but that we will be assigned to the team’s medic, Sebastian. We’re instructed to order Sebastian to visit nearby locations and provide the crew with a vaccine, before heading back at the end of the day. Waking up the next morning though, we find that things aren’t going as well as we had hoped.
The characters aren’t particularly fleshed out (this is only 30 minutes or so long after all), but it was nice to see the android Beasley from How to Build a Planet make an appearance. The story is mostly told through brief conversations and observations made by Sebastian. There are a few logs and e-mails to be found late on that explain a little more about what’s going on. The story is quite enjoyable, but it does end rather abruptly. In terms of the game’s scale, it’s certainly more ambitious than Unloop, but I feel the plot is weaker by comparison. There is more to explore in terms of the story though, and I’d be interested to know who some of the players we never meet are and learn about their agenda.
The game plays like a standard point and click game, with a left click moving Sebastian as well as activating different items in the world. The puzzles themselves are fairly light and shouldn’t tax anyone who has played a point and click game in the past. Having said that, if you don’t spot an object in the environment then you may miss an item that you need later on. An option to highlight things that can be interacted with would be nice.
The visuals are rather good, and match up to what Hexagon Blue in the past. It has a voxel style that reminds me of 3D Dot Heroes once again. It suits the game nicely, especially when the camera zooms out and allows you to see the environments more clearly. The shadows in particular look fantastic in motion. Some of the characters had rather odd idle animations that seemed a touch silly when looking at them closely, but these were only seen right at the start. Regardless, it runs very smoothly, with no loading times whatsoever. It’s very polished for a game made in such a short space of time (although I did notice one or two typos).
Where Others Lie was developed by Hexagon Blue. I played the game on PC and would recommend you give it a look. At only around 30 minutes you can certainly do far worse than take a look at this interesting little project. It’s always fun to see what these guys manage to put together, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they make next year. I’m certainly up for a sequel to Unloop!
You can download and play Where Others Lie free of charge at Game Jolt as part of Adventure Jam.