Another Sight is a title by Milanese Developer Lunar Great Wall Studios that combines the allure of Steampunk London with an Alice in Wonderland twist. This 3D puzzle-platformer takes place during the end of the Victorian Era in London and follows an Alice clone, Kit and her new found feline friend, Hodge. After falling into the underbelly of London, Kit loses her sight and her father. It’s up to her and Hodge to figure out where her father went as well as try to regain her site in the process, while also trying to find their way back tot he surface.
The game has an interesting premise, though not completely fleshed out. It has a habit of just dropping you into situations and expecting you to not ask questions about the why’s or how’s. A perfect example being the very beginning of the game. Kit just falls in a hole and loses her site, poof, just like that the game begins. Some digging reveals she was searching for rocks with her father… in London’s subway? Aside from that though, there isn’t really any rhyme or reason for her being there other than it suits the story.
Similar approaches are taken to some of the game’s later puzzles which can drive you absolutely mad with their complete lack of how to proceed at all. There are quite a few puzzles that just expect you’ll know what to do, but when it involves cryptic symbols that don’t seem to correlate with anything else, or requiring you to play back specific tones that have no inclination what tone matches with what button, things get frustrating real fast.
Thematically, this game has a lot going for it. The settings and locations get crazier the deeper you go, and it’s an interesting take given you’re not sure what is really there and what Kit could possibly just be imagining. The 2.5D environments add a great deal of depth to this side scrolling adventure and they’re really dense and well put together. Even the voice acting is decent and you’re treated to some truly inspirational historical figures like Nicholas Tesla. As you delve deeper the locations become more fantastical and it’s here that you’ll find most of the allure.
The reliance on Hodge to help Kit feel her way through this dark world is a very cool premise. While playing as Kit, you generally only see a small portion of the world around you. This is enhanced depending on how close you are to Hodge, who can illuminate areas further for you through his meowing. There are moments during the game too where louder sounds like a subway train will really brighten up area for her. This adds an additional element to navigation, and it was cool to play around with the duo and see what you could uncover this way.
Where this game fails, and does so often, is its gameplay. From Kit’s painstakingly slow walking speed, to the imprecise jumping precision, this game just feels clunky and rough around the edges. Countless times I would get stuck at a ledge because Kit or Hodge couldn’t respond fast enough to my button command to make it over a hole in the floor. You’ll plummet to your death quite a lot in this adventure, and it’s confusing how this made it past QA testing without anyone saying “this doesn’t work right.” It can really suck you out of the immersion, and for a title that relies on puzzles and platforming, for neither to work as well as they should, that’s a serious problem.
Then there is the ending, which I typically don’t like to discuss in a review, but this one was bonkers. It’s not “bonkers” in the sense that you’ll be floored by some crazy revelation. It’s bonkers because it makes absolutely no sense at all. Through the entirety of the game Kit is making comments and voicing her concern about finding her father. That and making your way to the service are your primary driving factors, along with a later story beat that gets into the more occult, but NONE of those mean a god damn thing in the end. Instead, Kit must make a choice that completely derails everything you thought you were working towards.
She can use “the Node” (that mystical occult thing I just mentioned) to bring back her long lost mother which would ultimately doom the entire population of London, or sacrifice the chance to ever see her again, but London would be saved from the Node’s destructive power. The issue from this choice comes from the fact that we know NOTHING about Kit’s mother! All we know is she left when Kit was young. That. Is. IT. She isn’t a driving force behind ANYTHING we have done in this game. Up until the end, Kit is only ever talking about finding her father, so why all of a sudden is reuniting with her mom so important?? We have no idea, but since I had no emotional connection to this random woman, you can bet your ass I opted to save London and it’s inhabitants instead.
Like much of the game, the lack of any pertinent information left me baffled why this choice was included at all. Thematically, this game nails a certain aesthetic that at least gives you an appreciation for what this game could have been. Sadly, some poor, important, game design choices will leave you with a stale taste in your mouth. Another Sight, could have used another round of QA and polish.