I love the puzzle genre! Being tested from beginning to end is both rewarding and tough. Consequently, it gets the grey matter going while allowing you to be smug about your achievements. Alongside this, developers normally use outrageous and whacky themes. Accordingly, you don’t know what to expect. This is exactly what happened when Quintus And The Absent Truth hit my inbox.
Developed by Wreck Tangle Games and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter, this is an adventure horror title. Further to this, there are plenty of puzzles, classic jump scares and a strange story to unpick. The creepiness is enhanced thanks to a unique art style and the first-person perspective. What’s more, the excellent audio will make your spine tingle and your skin crawl.
Quintus And The Absent Truth is a story of loss and companionship.
The story of Quintus And The Absent Truth revolves around Alan Shaw and his pet mouse, Quintus. After losing his wife, Alan is the sole carer and provider for his daughter. However, one day she goes missing. This incident sets off a chain reaction of events as Alan and Quintus undertake a journey to save her.
The theme of the story isn’t unique, but the delivery is. You control both Alan and Quintus as you explore each of the 4 chapters. During your adventure, you’ll encounter well-trodden jump scares, claustrophobic environments, and logic-based puzzles. Many of the problems require a keen eye and the ability to think outside of the box. What’s more, you must decide which protagonist to use in order to be successful. Will you need to push switches and buttons or grab something up high? Alternatively, is there an object out of reach that only a mouse can reach?
The clues are right before your eyes.
Like all great puzzle games, Quintus And The Absent Truth doesn’t overdo it. Subsequently, the answers to every problem are simple and right before your eyes. Now, this was wonderfully infuriating, as the lack of complexity has you chasing your tail. Talking of tails, the solutions normally involve Quintus and small spaces. Therefore, a thorough inspection of every room is a must if you wish to proceed.
Some may not like this finicky approach, but I really enjoyed the challenge. Whether you are distracting a cat, twisting valves, finding keys or unravelling clues, it kept you thinking. Alongside the traditional puzzle elements, we’re the supernatural undertones. These surreal moments enhanced the horror theme, even if they were a little hammy. With blood-soaked messages hidden by poor lighting, or creepy apparitions just out of reach, it screamed “I’m a cliché”. However, I didn’t mind this as it broke up the puzzling mechanics while keeping the absurd story alive.
Quintus And The Absent Truth has a strange style.
Though the story is weird, it has been gazumped by the strange art style. The first-person perspective is extremely claustrophobic and well-thought-out. Flitting from Alan to Quintus’ viewpoint is often entertaining but also disorientating. As a mouse, everything is bloody enormous and overbearing. Yet, as a human, it’s a little more “normal”. But, the use of a bland colour palette and supernatural imagery takes it up a gear. Unfortunately, though, the finish is somewhat rough.
Because of the unusual 3D style and the simplicity of the environment, it is a little underwhelming. I would have preferred there to be more detail and larger areas to explore. If this had happened, the gameplay would have been more open and expansive.
Improvements could and should have been implemented visually. However, the audio was pretty much spot on. The music is dramatic, suspenseful and matches the action. Moreover, its shrill and abrupt style is timed perfectly with each jump scare. I also enjoyed the basic sound effects and the laughable acting. With a really wooden delivery, you couldn’t help but chuckle throughout.
The controls didn’t help matters.
When the action and puzzles rely on you finding small holes or obscure openings, you expect light and responsive controls. Sadly, this wasn’t always the case, as it made some exploration elements unnecessarily tedious. Yet, even the helpful indicators couldn’t resolve the issue. Instead, there were some moments of trial and error where you spam the A button. This is disappointing in a puzzle game, as it undermines the challenge.
Control issues to one side, and you get an interesting story that you want to explore. Alongside this, once you exhaust the 4 chapters, there is a museum of secrets waiting to be explored. Consequently, there is both replay value and longevity.
Quintus And The Absent Truth is an unusual title.
Quintus And The Absent Truth excels because of its unusual delivery. Thanks to its shifting perspective and horror elements, it is very strange. I liked its blend of observational and logic-based puzzles, as well as its supernatural horror moments. Furthermore, the music was great, and the acting was laughable. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, but the shortcomings were forgivable. All things considered, I recommend you to buy it here! Will you save Alan’s daughter? Work together, solve the puzzles, and live with the past that haunts you.