Wales Interactive – Wii U eShop (also available on PSN and Steam) – £9.99
The Mysteri Foundation has the unique technology that allows the souls of the dead to be uploaded onto servers, allowing people to spend time with their departed loved ones in cyber space via Soul Cloud. The user is able to revisit memories of those loved and lost. A morally ambiguous venture, but a seemingly popular one. However, pardon the pun, there’s a ghost in the machine. To divulge more of the games’ plot would be to spoil the experience. Master Reboot takes the player through a host of memories, with each one unravelling why the player is there, who they are and what the final goal is.
The best way to describe the experience would be Inception directed by Michel Gondry. Each memory seems to pick up without introduction and throws you straight into your task. The twisted dream like memories are very reminiscent of Gondry’s style, also imagine FEAR and The Cave had a Welsh love child. There’s a problem with these memories, they all seem to be stalked by creepy kids or ladies with glowing blue eyes. Some will harm you, some won’t, but they build a very creepy and tense atmosphere, with jumps a plenty. Some of the levels lull you in to a false sense of security, with one moment you’re in your comfort zone, the next you’re being chased by one of these ghost kids. The sound design serves well in assisting this, creating a very uncomfortable atmosphere that plays tricks on you. The last game that springs to mind when the sound was as affecting as the gameplay was Silent Hill 2.
Although it may be in the perspective of the first person, the only shooting you do is at a fairground. A lot of the gameplay is puzzle orientated, despite it being pretty much a survival horror with a hint of Tron, you’re required to solve a series of tasks in each level, which reveals more and more of the story as you work your way through, with random blue rubber ducks dropping plot hints in each level. It’s a game that toys with the emotions too, it’s serene, scary, exciting and melancholy,with some environments being welcoming and relaxing, while others are terrifying.
Master Reboot is one of the surprises of the year, being one of the most emotionally involving games in sometime, which, with it’s slow revelation of the story, will have you hooked and wanting to keep on playing through to reveal more of what’s going on. It’s an oxymoron that works on many levels, with some unique features from a perspective that’s been done to death. It’s not the longest of games as it was completed in a few sittings, but with an alternative ending, there is the incentive to play through again. It’s got to be one of the best indie titles I’ve played this year, it’s more than a game, it’s an experience, and is worth every penny of the asking price. An absolute must have.