Sightline Demo Review

Posted March 14, 2014 by in All

All Demos: ,
 
 
 
 
Developer: Tomáš "Frooxius" Mariančík
 
Demo Release Date: 10-10-13
 
Version: 1.1.1
 
Type: Puzzle
 
Platform: PC
 
HMD: Oculus Rift
 
Download: www.sightlinegame.com
 
Control Schemes: Xbox Controller, Keyboard & Mouse
 

Best Part:

Avoiding dangers by looking the other way!
 

Worst Part:

The spinning lifts can be discomforting.
 
Bottom Line

Sightline is smart game that makes good use of the technology. The Narration is well written and carries the experience.

Rating

Graphics
 
 
 
 
 


Sound
 
 
 
 
 


Controls
 
 
 
 
 


Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


Comfort Level
 
 
 
 
 


Immersion
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

3/ 5

by Edmund
Full Article

Sightline is an innovative puzzle game that toys with your preconceptions about the permanence of the unobserved.

Aside from philosophers, we all take for granted that when we turn away from an empty room, the room and the objects within it will continue to exist. Such is the nature of reality. It is not, however, necessarily true of virtual reality. Sightline is all about this simple insight. In Sightline, when you look away from things they change without cause. If you turn your back on a room, the table may have become a sofa, or the room may not even be there at all.

While other game worlds strive to make you think that they are real, Sightline is constantly trying to convince you that it is not real. The magic of VR means that you keep doubting the unreality of the game, even though it consistently refuses to conform to your expectations of how reality should behave.

The game is carried along by the narrator, who’s poetic monologue provides prompts and clues as to the nature of each puzzle. The soundtrack adds a certain gravitas to proceedings and compliments both the thoughtful narration and the unsettling nature of being in a ‘broken’ reality. It is a shame that your avatar is just a blob with giant cartoon eyes, as it’s inconsistent compared to the rest of the art style and tone of the piece.

Sightline is as much an experience as it is a puzzle game. You don’t really learn any skills that are transferable from one puzzle to the next. There are no rules or visual cues as to what might change when you avert your gaze. Most of the puzzles are quickly solved if you are attentive to the narrator. A few require a bit more lateral thinking and may have you stumped, but the solution will also have you kicking yourself – usually for missing a hint that was hidden in the narration. The game allows you to skip to certain scenes, though, so even if you do get stuck you can move on.

There are a couple of places near the beginning where Sightline can be a little nauseating. I’m sure that the brain-bending puzzles and the occasional need to make sweeping head movements don’t help with this. Mild discomfort notwithstanding, Sightline is worth a try. It’s fair to say that it would be relatively unremarkable as a non-VR game but on the Rift it comes alive. It is a smart game that has a lot fun creating and intentionally breaking your sense of presence.

The VR Jam prototype for Sightline feels like a complete and satisfying experience. There are plans to expand it further and, although I am not sure if there is a lot of room left to take the concept, when a full version does come out I will definitely taking another look – if only to see what’s changed!

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About the Author

Edmund

Edmund Ward is a philosophy graduate who has focused on aesthetics and cultural critique in the information age. He grew up with 'the dream of the holodeck' and is prone to get very excited by new innovations in natural user-interfaces. Edmund is currently looking for volunteers to look after the glucose drip that will sustain his "fleshform" (as he insists on calling it) when he migrates permanently to VR.

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