Va­ri­ety-packed macabre puz­zling

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Alex Cox

$6.99 From Punch Punk Games, punch-punk.com Needs OS X 10.8 or later

Some­times things are bleak. And they don’t get much bleaker than Apocalip­sis’ com­bi­na­tion of a 15th Cen­tury wood­cut aes­thetic with a black-as-night sto­ry­line. At its core, it’s a se­lec­tion of one-but­ton, point-and-click, com­bine-the-ob­ject puz­zles, which range in dif­fi­culty from the very easy to the cryp­ti­cally ob­tuse.

Vir­tu­ally ev­ery one of those puz­zles is smoth­ered in bleak and fan­tas­ti­cal im­agery – you be­gin, for ex­am­ple, by fir­ing up a rit­ual via a handy pen­ta­gram, and quickly progress to pulling the code-cov­ered tongues from tor­ture victims or hack­ing off a corpse’s arm to feed a sea mon­ster – but Apocalip­sis is con­sis­tent when it comes to giv­ing out clues. Ba­si­cally, it doesn’t: it’s up you to find so­lu­tions, and ap­ply lat­eral think­ing to rid­dles that of­ten don’t make sense.

The puz­zles are var­ied and cre­ative, but they’re also in­ter­spersed with awk­ward ac­tion se­quences which, due to the sim­pli­fied con­trols, are more frus­trat­ing than en­joy­able. Apocalip­sis isn’t a bad game, but you may not want to fin­ish it twice to see both of its end­ings.

the bot­tom line. Apocalip­sis is dark, dis­jointed, and in­con­sis­tent, but ab­so­lutely worth your time.

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