Author Topic: Scanner Sombre – April 2017 [Score: 7.9]  (Read 268 times)

Offline bobdog

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Scanner Sombre – April 2017 [Score: 7.9]
« on: March 02, 2020, 11:20:16 AM »
One of the most breathtakingly gorgeous games I’ve played recently is Scanner Sombre. What makes this game so unique is that you are in a pitch-black cave, but you have a “gun” that essentially paints colored dots on surfaces using echo-location. This allows you to “see” what the surroundings look like as you try to return to the surface through a deep cave system. Upgrades to your scanner create “bomb” explosions, allow you to determine the wave and pitch of your dots, and even change the color scheme from psychedelic rainbow to muted browns and greens.

The cave system is incredibly diverse and massive in scale. One of the coolest things – even toward the end of the game – is to look back toward where you began, and you can see the whole route mapped out in exquisite detail! Painting the landscape will show you where the route lies, where crevasses and pits may cause your fall, and where water rushes past. You’ll also encounter various human dwellings, upon which you narrate who these people were, and why they lived so deep within the cave system. And very occasionally, you’ll come across “ghosts” of those previous people. You’ll also remark upon your own family, and your desire to get back to them.

At about the two-thirds mark, you encounter a large underground lake. Painting the lake with color shows the shoreline, but then the dots covering the water eventually dissipate. The lake leads to a stunning underground river, whose ceiling is covered with glowing fungi – it’s absolutely striking, and the music swells orchestrally during this moment. Right before reaching the surface, we come across man-made areas with mine tunnels and even an underground tour.

The ending is poignant and bittersweet, but it all makes sense. Scanner Sombre is a short but heartbreaking adventure, and I am the better for having experienced it. 7.9 out of 10