IndieCorner

Indie Corner: Parascientific Escape – Crossing at the Farthest Horizon

Parascientific Escape is a series of puzzle games for the 3DS that has existed in Japan since 2015 but wasn’t brought over to Europe until 2016. Crossing at the Farthest Horizon is the third entry in the series and continues after the two previous Parascientific Escape game, Cruise in the Distant Seas and Gear Detective. The protagonists of said games, Hitomi Akeneno and Kyosuke Ayana, are back again in Crossing at the Farthest Horizon, uncovering more mysteries. They both end up in Witsarock, a small country in Eastern Europe, where they become trapped in prisoned rooms.

Unchallenging

Parascientific Escape – Crossing at the Farthest Horizon is one of those games that actually should be a visual novel but is made into a game in hopes of making more money. That might sound a little harsh, but after finishing it I can’t help but think that the gameplay element was tacked on just so it could be sold as a game instead of a VN. The gameplay consists out of escaping prison rooms by looking for certain items and using supernatural powers like telekinesis and chronokinesis. The problem with these rooms is that they are too easy to solve. Every item is easy to find and most of them also have some sort of riddle or clue that tells you where they can be found. The supernatural powers, in turn, try to make the puzzles a little more interesting, but fail to do so by not utilizing them in unusual ways. Using said powers is required to get one item in each prison room and don’t require a lot of thinking about how to use them. Chronokinesis, for example, let’s you travel back in time up to five days and manipulate certain things that will affect the present. This could offer some unique puzzles, but sadly it doesn’t. All you have to do with this power is pick the required item and put it in the required place in order to possess that item in the present. It doesn’t require you to pause and think about what to do next. All it does is create another step in the puzzle to stretch out your time playing the game. That is when it actually allows you to play the game since there are only three escape rooms.

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“It’s just for decoration” applies to a lot in the puzzles

Basically a visual novel

The biggest issue with this game is that it’s clearly not designed to be one. Like I said before, there are only three escape rooms in the entire game which are the only parts where you get to actually do something. The rest of the game consists out of story exposition that is told like a visual novel. You’ll spend most of your time reading endless lines of dialogue that eventually makes you turn on the skip button, just to get to the next puzzle. I finished the game in four hours and I’m more than certain that three of those was spent on reading text boxes. There is also no spoken dialogue throughout the entire game, which results in hearing the same annoying background music over and over again until you turn down the sound volume.

Conclusion

Technically, Parascientific Escape – Crossing at the Farthest Horizon can be called a puzzle game but the reality is that it’s a visual novel with three unchallenging puzzles scattered throughout. It’s a good thing that it only costs €5 otherwise, I would have given it a lower score. Avoid this ‘game’ unless you enjoy reading and dislike videogames.

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