Scanner Sombre was definitely a weird one, but worth playing as a palette cleanser

Anything and everything about our LIDAR cave explorer.
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:13 pm

Scanner Sombre was definitely a weird one, but worth playing as a palette cleanser

Postby niklaus » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:18 pm

Hello everyone,,

I've been furloughed for about a month now and have been trying to finish a good variety of things instead of hammering away at the same things as always. As far as I recall I've finished Mad Max, SteamWorld Heist, Distance, Watch Dogs 2, Mirror's Edge and Sniper Elite 4 so I thought I'd go a bit weird with my next game and chose Scanner Sombre.

I knew absolutely nothing about it going in except that it has a pretty cool LiDAR scanning "gimmick" as your window into the world. This works really well and is fun to play with because you can just about see where you're going if you walk around while scanning but to fully appreciate the cave you're in you have to stop and slowly move the scanner around so it can properly sweep the area, and even then anything occluded by objects like rocks will be in shadow, so as soon as you start moving again you quickly run out of detail. That may not sound all that interesting but I guess you just have to trust me!

It's a very short game, I finished it in two hours, and it's billed as a horror game but it isn't really - except for one or two things, including one truly blood-curdling scream that caused me to rip my headphones off because I thought it was coming from outside, it's more suspenseful and creepy than scary, kind of like SOMA. It's an experimental game for sure and one that I think doesn't outstay its welcome, had it been much longer it would've been too much. You unlock upgrades for the scanner as you go which really help prevent the gimmick from getting too tedious, if you were to play start to finish with the scanner as it is when you start you would get tired of scanning the larger environments pretty quickly.

The story is told through captions that represent your character's internal monologue, there's not really much to it and it doesn't really work IMO if I'm honest, but it does a good job of keeping you on edge throughout.

To be honest I think it's worth it because it's super cheap right now, the scanning mechanic is really cool, it's very short and while it doesn't go in the direction I expected it to, the story does at least wrap up reasonably well. It would be a great palette cleanser if you're looking to try something new between games.

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