Title: The Starship Damrey
System: 3DS (download)
Release Date: May 16, 2013
Publisher (Developer): Level-5 International America
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Fantasy Violence and Suggestive Themes
The Starship Damrey is filled with mystery. The game starts by informing you of its unwillingness to assist you. It doesn’t tell you how to play and it doesn’t hold your hand. At first blush, you may view this game as a difficult-for-no-reason Japanese creation. But as you actually play the game, you’ll realize there’s no need to provide instructions. The Starship Damrey is simple to understand because it’s essentially a first-person point-and-click adventure game. Its main hook involves unraveling the events that occurred aboard the starship.
Trial and Error
It’s difficult to talk about specifics in The Starship Damrey because so much of it is tied directly into the story. The story also happens to be about 2-3 hours long. I can however talk about what you’ll be doing in general.
Your character’s brief adventure will involve solving a series of environmental puzzles. For example, locked doors can only be opened with with key cards. There’s also a time when you have to travel through vents, but can only do so once you’ve acquired a type of light. You’ll spend most of the time just figuring out how to get into locked doors and clear obstacles. While you’re doing that, you’ll gradually uncover clues as to what happened on the ship.
The controls are simple. The directional pad moves your character and pressing the “A” button activates a reticle. The reticle highlights the things you can interact with. There aren’t really any visual clues that tell you what can be examined ahead of time. You’ll just have to scan around and see what works.
An Enticing Mystery
The atmosphere aboard the ship is eerie. There are no signs of destruction, but the emptiness and relative silence aboard such as huge vessel is naturally unnerving. The screenshots of the game also add to the suspense by showing a ghostly girl wandering the halls. You’ll find out what the deal with her is eventually. You can also learn a bit more about at least one other character by completing an optional side quest. The side quests aren’t made apparent. If you pay attention to things you read, you’ll be able to decipher what you can do to rectify the situation. Completing one of these quests will unlock an archive story that can be read through after the credits roll.
So should you buy The Starship Damrey? I think part of that choice depends on whether you believe there’s a direct relationship between the amount of money you spend on a game, and the amount of content it offers. This game can be completed in a couple hours for first timers. For $8, it may not be enough to satisfy some gamers. The only really interesting thing about this game is the mystery surrounding the events on the starship. I knew a twist was coming, and it was the only thing pushing me forward. Everything else is barely average.