X-Geeks

The Corruption Within Review

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

Synopsis:

The Corruption Within is a psychological thriller first-person point & click adventure game set in the Victorian era, with an emphasis on strong narrative, intriguing characters and puzzle-solving.

The game is a collaboration from indie game developers Dave Seaman (design and story) and Aviv Salinas (coding and graphics), and having played and some of Dave’s previous work, including the rather excellent Captain Disaster, I was very excited to see what this duo had created after putting their creative forces together!

At first glance, you could mistake The Corruption Within for a horror game, but this game has its feet very much planted in the psychological thriller genre. Now, that’s not to say there isn’t scary, creepy or unsettling moments in the story or with the characters or art style – there is plenty, but the game heavily focuses on those thriller tropes that makes the genre so enjoyable and engaging. You are dropped straight into the middle of a mystery and the entertainment and the suspense continues to build as your progress through the game. While the story does include familiar elements of the genre, thanks to very clever storytelling and an eclectic cast of characters you’ll have a lot of fun unravelling the mystery.

So what about the puzzles? Some point-and-click adventure games can go too far with their puzzles and become incredibly frustrating, others can go the other way so that there just isn’t that element of a challenge. The Corruption Within perfectly hits that sweet spot of offering a genuine challenge without becoming too frustrating. You’ll be tested, but in a fun and entertaining way and the sense of satisfaction you’ll get will spur you on throughout the game.

From a visual stand point, Aviv’s style immensely compliments the story and puzzle elements of the game. The colour palette of the game helps amplify the overall tone and the pixel art style really works for me. I loved the design of the environments and characters and fusing that style with the slick game mechanics just made everything ‘pop’ more.

So, stunning design work, an exciting story and engaging puzzles… what about the sound design? Well, this was another huge plus for me! Eric Galluzo’s original score is very distinctive and helps to really hammer home the atmosphere of the game. It was really, really good! You won’t be disappointed!

Right, so, onto the negatives! Well, I’m going to be ‘that guy’ and say there really isn’t any! Now, that is not be being disingenuous either, I just really struggled to find anything that I didn’t enjoy! Is there a fair bit of backtracking to progress? Of course, but show me a point-and-click game that doesn’t do this! It’s part of the genre’s charm! As the game allows you to fast-click, navigating around the various rooms and locations is a breeze! So for me, there is very little to single out.

Visually striking and with plenty of imaginative puzzles, The Corruption Within is an incredibly engaging and entertaining point-and-click mystery adventure! With a well fleshed out story and a host of unique and intriguing characters, The Corruption Within has all the elements to become an instant indie game classic!

The Corruption Within is available to buy on STEAM and ITCH.

We will have a full playthrough coming out on our YouTube channel at some point this year, but as this is an indie game, we feel it is only fair that enough people have the chance to buy it themselves first, as we believe it is very important to help support indie game developers.

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