Quintus and the Absent Truth (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

You are a down and out musician and your daughter has been kidnapped.  Find items and solve puzzles in first person 3-D environments as you unravel the mystery.  Your only companion is your pet mouse named Quintus, who can help you by crawling into tight spaces to reach things you can’t.  Surprisingly, this game has some horror elements as well.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

You view the game in a first person 3-D perspective with a dot in the center.  When the dot goes over an item of interest, buttons will pop up to prompt you to interact with whatever’s in front of you.  You can read things, view them at different angles, and pick up items.  At certain points you can also send your mouse in to investigate tight spaces.  Sometimes he’ll just automatically get them item for you, and other times you must control the mouse directly.

Unfortunately, this game has a whole laundry list of problems.  At first I liked the simple hand drawn graphics, but the more I looked at them, the more they just looked lazy and amateurish.  I’ve seen better graphics on the PS2, and if this game had more realistic graphics, I think it would’ve been a lot scarier, since the horror element was something they were going for here.  It also doesn’t help that the mouse walks on its hind legs all the time!  The puzzles are also cumbersome and counter intuitive.  I have no idea how you get clues to solve a piano based number puzzle, and I had to use a guide on most of my playthrough.  Other activities are just mundane, like you have to find lost door keys multiple times, and that’s no fun in real life.

But the worst offender has to be how the game saves your progress.  This type of game SHOULD let you save at any time, but it doesn’t.  It seems to only save when it wants to.  The first time I got to the end of chapter one, I stopped and it made me start at the beginning again.  So I figured it only saves after you finish a chapter.  But nope.  When I got to the third chapter and stopped, it started me back halfway in chapter two, right before a couple of annoying number puzzles I had already solved.  After a few instances of that, I just stopped playing.  I don’t have time for nonsense like that, especially since the game isn’t very good otherwise.

Kid Factor:

Quintus and the Absent Truth is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood and Violence.  You’d think a game where you get to solve puzzles with the help of a pet mouse would be good for kids, but nope.  Most of the violence is implied, not shown, but there are sections where you see blood smeared on the walls.  The game also uses a lot of jumpscares and eerie music that would frighten youngsters, so this game is best for older players only.

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