Title: Master Reboot
Platform: Windows, Mac, PS3
Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Horror, Puzzle, Scifi
Players: Single Player
Written by Whistler 31st October 2013
Wales Interactive are a small bunch of indie developers who have mainly stuck to smartphone games but are slowly breaking into the console/PC market.
Their recent creation is titled Master Reboot; a first person psychological horror puzzle game with sci fi and abstract themes thrown into the mix.
Master Reboot tells the tale of the Soul Cloud, a large server where peoples souls are pre-
You the player take control of an unnamed mute employee of the Mysteri foundation, the company that owns the Soul Cloud; whose job it is to make sure every dead 'residents' memories are A-
Of course things are amiss and Seren.exe is mysteriously set to kill mode, so now it's your job to go through the memories of a particular person in order to figure out what's wrong.
I find myself a bit conflicted when it comes to the visuals of Master Reboot, on one hand the use of lighting with bright vivid imagery is amazing, but on the other hand I can't help but feel the 3D modelling of environments and characters to be severely lacking. There's been some very nice work done to the game environmentally, with vivid lighting effects really catching your eye; I even found myself just looking around each area in awe of the simplistic beauty of some of the scenery and even though the modelling wasn't great I still found myself tensing and jumping at moments due to good use of said lighting when combined with other elements like the use of brilliantly timed sounds and claustrophobic level design.
The Sound production quality of Master Reboot's soundtrack and sound effects are amazing, often using very subtle cues to increase the tension with a hint of horror ever looming. However there are certain moments where I felt the sound effects were overused such as the occasional creepy laughter during the park memory or the circus memory as they just keep happening over a certain time in a loop which lessened the experience for me.
Gameplay of Master Reboot is much in the liken to the Portal and Amnesia series respectively, where you must solve a series of puzzles to progress through the story in a first person perspective. The puzzles range from simplistic yet entertaining to outright mind benders with later puzzles requiring a bit of that 'anything with everything' mind set from the good ol' point and click games of yonder. I genuinely enjoyed the puzzles in this game as they often required a bit more thinking and logical thought processes and felt very rewarding once you cracked the code to each of them like my personal favourite; the colour coded lights in the library that require you to read a very simple yet cryptic riddle in order to solve.
The story is a nice fresh take and a welcome sight, without ruining any details just take my word for it; it's a good thought provoker that has you guessing every minute up till the final moments. I did however get annoyed with the use of 2D animations in between section that tell parts of the story, while I get that this is a common trope that indie developers use and is in no means lazy or cheap, but I couldn't help but feel that using real imagery or different visual cues could've improved these.
All and all, Master Reboot is a very impressive indie title that shows some true promise and potential that Wales Interactive have given time.
While visuals aren't for everybody they truly show that subtle horror can be very impressive when combined with particular attributes. I couldn't help but feel like horror was taken a step back in favour of visual imagery this however isn't bad per say but it would be nice to see Wales Interactive take this and make a far more horror focused title. If you’re looking for a good puzzle game with some impressive imagery then give this a go for sure given the price, I myself do not regret the purchase and look forward to seeing more from Wales Interactive and what they take from this.
Subtle use of good horror,
Good range of puzzles,
Nice use of sound effects.
Horror elements feel pulled back,
Clunky 3D modeling,
Master Reboot uploads a total of 7.5 out of 10 from me.