Basically you have this adventuregame with a pretty intriguing story and a very cool atmosphere. Sounds like it has a lot of potential right?
But let's talk about the controls. There's idiotic things like not letting you escape out of your inventory by hitting escape. You have to hit "I" again. And then there's the inventory itself. It's very awkward where you have to scroll through a bunch of stuff you have. The interface could use a lot of work.
And now let's talk about "pixel hunting". You know what's frustrating? Going into a dark room with a bunch of items scattered about the room. The thing you want isn't an more noticeable and hidden a certain area and it looks just like all the other stuff you can't click on. So the only way to find it is to move your mouse over every possible item on the screen. Ugh. I combed rooms and missed things before and I had to use a walk through a few times to find things.
And now let's talk about the worst part of the game. The puzzles. Some make sense, many do not. There's a very thin section of wall you need to break through. Maybe use a stone or something? Nope. You have this metal gear piece. Maybe you can use that to break through? It's metal and looks fairly heavy, should bust through. Nope. I have a full canteen, that should be kinda heavy... Nope. Solution? You gotta use a tree branch to break through.
Yes, that makes sense, right? The whole game is full of puzzles that barely make sense. The other use for a tree branch? Knife lodged in a wooden table. Your possible tools to get this knife blade out? Your hands. Nope, you''ll cut yourself, that makes sense. An axe! Let's just chop it out. Nope. A shovel? Maybe you can whack it out or pry it? Nope. Ah ha! A woodworking tool! That's gotta be it. HAHA YEAH RIGHT. Use that tree branch, silly.
Some of the puzzles are just utterly horrible. Good puzzle games, when you figure them out, you go "AHHHHH! That makes sense!" Anna, you can actually play with a walk through and be like "uhhhh, ok, I don't get it but sure whatever. I guess it might make sense maybe?" That's what made the Lucas Arts games so much fun. You might have NO idea how to pass a certain part of the game but if someone tells you the answer or you brute force the answer you think "Oh my god, that makes sense!" I remember in Monkey Island where I couldn't figure out what to trade the head hunter. So I offered him everything in my inventory until it worked. And when the item that worked was offered I had to laugh because it made complete sense once I thought about it. Anna, I used a walk through heavily after figuring out how terrible the puzzles were.
So basically, do not recommend this game in the form it is in now. Now, if they went through and fixed a bunch of things and redid a lot of the puzzles, I think this could be a very good game. It's just fairly minor things that need fixing, but a lot of things. Inventory fix would be very easy and then it's just fixing the puzzles. It almost feels like it would only take a week or two of work to fix the game completely.
It's a shame too because I think the story and atmosphere is great.