Tormentum – Dark Sorrow

tormentum2Score: 8.0

Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a puzzle heavy adventure with very traditional gameplay and incredibly beautiful art style. Every screen is a piece of art. The journey through this dark fantasy is definitely worth playing.

Tormentum plays very much like a casual game: the surroundings are sparsely animated slideshow screens and the gameplay mostly consists of easy puzzles. But the dark theme and atmosphere as well as the lack of handholding makes the game definitely feel like more than a regular casual title.

There’s plenty of gorgeous – but violent and disturbing – imagery which indicates the game is aimed for adult audience (I haven’t found an actual age rating). Then again the rather calm and casual gameplay without gameovers steers the whole experience towards gloomy rather than scary. If the theme of monsters and death isn’t too much, I could recommend the game even for youngsters and softies.

Tormentum’s protagonist is an unknown hooded figure, who is been transported into a castle to suffer a penalty of some sort. He needs to escape by solving a variety of puzzles. On the way he tries to discover what the place is and why he is there in the first place.

The puzzles are really rather easy, I’d go as far as to say none of them are actually hard. On a certain few points the player can make a choice between two alternatives, and these choices will impact the outcome of the game. Some of the choices are presented directly to the player, some are built within the puzzle solutions.

Tormentum autosaves to a single slot, so there’s no going back on choices. Unfortunately there are no profiles available for multiple simultaneous playthroughs either, so one must finish the game before another can start it (or erase the progress so far). The playthrough itself doesn’t take more than three hours or so, and replays obviously even less.

The aforementioned choices are rather black and white, as is the story itself. It is interesting, but not terribly profound or surprising. Though it really doesn’t have to be, since just exploring the grotesque yet beautiful surroundings is clearly the best part of the game (and there’s also the sexy jester).

In short: the superb art and atmosphere more than make up for the mediocre story and gameplay, making Tormentum: Dark Sorrow a significant recent adventure.

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