Close to the Sun

After a long time spent on developing Close to the Sun, the developer Storm in a Teacup are finally letting us play their brand-new game. In this horror/puzzle/adventure experience, you have the opportunity to play as Rose and board the Helios in order to go out and search for your sister Ada. But not everything seems to be normal around at the Helios and things quickly start to change. Will you succeed in this new game from Storm in a Teacup? Or did they burn their own fingers while getting to close to the sun in the developing stage? You are about to find out.

‘’The starter room, where the graphics start to shine’’
  • Visuals: The developers of Storm in a Teacup managed to make the game look so realistic. The characters that they have created are beautifully designed with a great eye for detail, and the same thing goes up for the different settings that you will find yourself in. With the fantastic look of the game, you really get into a vibe where you just want to keep playing to discover even more about the place. At least, that’s what my experience was. You still have to love the style of which everything is in, else I can understand that it might not be your thing.
  • Story: Where the beautifully designed visuals were one thing, another great factor to the game is the intriguing story. In the story, you will quickly find out that you play as Rose who has aboard the Helios in order to search and rescue her sister Ada. While playing it won’t be very long until you notice that things might not be as straightforward as they look to be. And just as with the visuals it keeps grabbing your attention and makes you want to progress in further and further in the story. It’s clear that the developers had a goal and that they did everything to make it worth it. Yet, the game has some flaws…
‘’Switching ships, Helios here I come’’
  • Short game: The game is very, very short. It takes roughly 4-5 hours to complete it. The fact that the game is so short will probably leave you behind with mixed feelings. As I have mentioned above, the game is very intriguing and really makes you want to play more and more, with a big chance that the playtime won’t feel that long. However, story-wise and graphically wise the game delivers in almost perfect ways but on the other hand for a game this big, it is really, really short.
  • Controls: Another factor that will probably leave you behind with mixed feelings are the controls. Where at some point in the game they work alright at other points they just simply suck. Like in the parts where you are being chased, When you have to jump obstacles it just doesn’t work and you will most likely fail. At some points, I even got the feeling that the developers even did it on purpose to make the game more exciting. But in the end, I’m still not sure if it is a good or a bad thing.
  • Easy: While exploring and progressing through the many puzzles and secrets that Close To The Sun has, you will quickly find out that everything is not difficult, heck you can even say that the game is very easy. While at first, it will take some effort to get the hang of it, but once you know that you are doing it’s fairly easy. It almost feels like the developers wanted this to be easy since almost every solution is right under your nose. Yes, of course, some things will still be tricky but what did you expect it is still some kind of puzzle game but in my opinion, the developers really should have made it a lot harder. This would also increase the duration of the game so it’s a win-win situation.
  • Not scary: For someone who is easily scared by the most stupid things (like butterflies, dammit I hate those) Close To The Sun isn’t that scary at all. Where the developers at Storm in a Teacup describe the game as a horror adventure game it’s actually really really really soft! They tried to scare you at some points but even I didn’t fall for it. When I first started playing I was expecting the worst and then I found out two hours had passed and nothing happened. Until my dog, unnoticed walked into my room and started barking from behind me.
  • Running around: So what do you do when creatures are coming your way in this game? Well, one of the first things that popped up in my mind is smashing their heads or something like that. But of course, the developers had other things in my and the only you can do is; RUN. Like literally when something is creeping up on you just have to run towards the next safe zone. You don’t have the ability to turn left or right just follow the given path until your safe. And in my honest opinion, this sucks a lot. When something like this happens it takes the whole adventure away and it kinda feels like it doesn’t belong there. Do it good or leave it out but not this…

CONCLUSION

Score: 60%
Close to the sun looks beautiful and is perfectly designed, this in combination with an intriguing story gives you a game that you just want to keep playing. But there we already reach the first flaw of the game. Close to the sun is a very short game for how big it is. With a playtime of around 4 to 5 hours, you will quickly finish it and then it’s just over. And with the puzzles that you will encounter being really easy, it probably won’t feel like a challenge to complete it. At some point, the game feels like it’s just some running around without being really scary.

Developers: Storm in a Teacup Publisher: Wired Productions
Played on: PC Time to beat: 4 to 5 hours
Perfect for: If you want to play a horror game without the horror game
Epic Games game store link: click here

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