Friendships can materialize unexpectedly, such is the bond shared between Kit and Hodge in Another Sight.
Companionship lies at the heart of Another Sight, a side-scrolling narrative puzzler from Italian developer, Lunar Great Wall Studios, as a young girl is forced to adjust when she suddenly loses her sight.
With only a cat to guide her, Another Sight offers a fresh and intriguing take on exploration through echolocation while also weaving a compelling, heart-felt and memorable yarn.
I played Another Sight at Rezzed for a good hour, chatting extensively to the developer about the inspiration and influences behind the game, and was probably the twentieth person that day who told him this reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Carol’s classic, however, wasn’t always at the forefront of his mind.
Despite a clear reference to Alice in the game, the developer opted for multiple inspirations, particularly wanting to create a faithful recreation of the struggles people face with blindness. He’s certainly captured that.
In Another Sight, you can’t just tap a cane in order to illuminate your immediate surroundings, Kit has to rely on Hodge at all times. Hodge has full vantage of the gameplay scene and can also leap high distances, clamber up walls, and when called upon, scare away rats.
The most important thing Hodge does though, is meow. While that sounds like the most basic cat-like function which every cat ever can do, the use of sound helps Kit to see things in her immediate area.
Kit can only see a fraction of her environment at all times, essentially walking around in a permanent forcefield-esque bubble. The rest of the environment is totally black, though she can still make out some stray colours and nebulous outlines. As such, navigating is rendered almost impossible without the cat’s support, even though Kit can climb walls and ladders.
For instance, only if Hodge meows near a ledge can Kit jump across. She will also break into a run if the cat has already walked a path and illustrated the way. Without that, she’ll walk very tentatively and gingerly. Their teamwork is essential.
And it’s so easy to transition between them with the tap of a bumper button, the environment changing seamlessly as you do. With fun back and forth exchanges between both Kit and Hodge, as well as access to areas one can reach over another, Another Sight works wonderfully.
The elegant steampunk world really glistens on Unreal Engine 4, genuinely suiting the games’ hand-drawn aesthetic with the vibrant lighting and spectacular water-pastelled cut-scenes. One scene in particular, sees you walk through a garden that is absolutely jaw-dropping and stunning. It might actually be one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen in any game this year.
All accompanied by a calming orchestral score and first class voice acting, Another Sight gives the impression of an independent studio focused on class and quality as opposed to a team who have rushed to slap together a finished product.
My main criticism with Another Sight is that the game takes a bit too long to get into the narrative. You have to spend about 45 minutes of crate pushing and jumping around until you actually get to the crux of the narrative. Which is fine as you do get a better feel for the game, but the pacing is ever so slightly off and can be a bit off-putting as the game does become a bit aimless and goes a little off-track.
But once you do get into the core of the story, the game flows by – almost too quickly – and sees you make some genuinely interesting acquaintances and discoveries.
There are a few glitches in the game as well. Towards the beginning you have to bring Kit down on an elevator using Hodge, but somehow I was able to go off the beaten path in a completely different diection, then fall out of the bottom of the world.
Then when I restarted, I had to backtrack to the previous screen in order to reactivate the cutscene so I could progress to the puzzle. There are also a few graphical hitches in the game as well, including a constant white border beneath the subtitles which never seems to properly go away. Still, none of it really detracts or breaks away from the rest of the experience.
Another Sight has launched in one of the busiest periods of the year but it’s not a game that deserves to be / nor should get lost in the shuffle. Lunar Great Wall Studios have crafted a thoughtful and lasting experience that defies convention and pushes new boundaries. A fantastic achievement.
+ Stunning visuals
+ Intriguing mechanics
+ Compelling characterisation and narrative
– Quite pacey to begin with
– Subtitle glitching at bottom of screen is a little distracting
8 out of 10
Tested on PC
Code provided by the publisher