This is a really difficult game to recommend. If you take a gander at the negative reviews you will see the same sentiment echoed over and over "I wanted to like this game." And, I did want to actually like this game too, but there are some heavy flaws that get in the way of the experience. I think what it comes down to is that I am recommending this game because I think it was frustrating in the right ways more than the wrong. I will always appreciate a game that tries do something more or different and fails over one that suceeds at doing what every other game already did.
Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space is meant to be a first person adventure game. In that sense it has puzzles, action and storytelling all done in real time, first person. Think of it like a point and click (Walking Dead, Monkey Island, etc.) meets a rather nonviolent first person shooter. The meat of the game comes from solving puzzles to move on to the next area with small bits of action here and there. I play a lot of games in general, but as someone who plays both point and clicks, and puzzle games, these puzzles are arduous. I absolutely needed to use a guide to help me ge through the more demanding areas, even on easy mode. Difficulty is just a hard thing to measure. Games like Super Meat Boy. Hotline Miami, or IWBTG! make me think there is no such thing as too difficult, but I know that even those gems can turn off some players (I didn't dare waste more than 10 minutes on the opening level of IWBTG! before I moved on). But, if a developer makes a game too easy, players will get bored. So, while Albedo's puzzles can be incredibly hard, I think the solution aspect of the puzzles is fair and challenging. It's the execution that causes puzzles to be frustrating.
The inventory system, controls, and interface of the game are far from intuitive. As someone who uses a trackpad mostly, I can deal with a lot of wonky controls in games, but even Albedo made it unnecessarily difficult to do something simple like equip the right item for a solution I already knew. Some of the more classic point and clicks used to be frustrating because you would have multiple actions that could be attached to a large variety of items in your inventroy, making for a large number of combinations that could easily make progression nigh impossible. Thankfully, Albedo limits itself to a few per item and does not attach every action to each item. However, even with this saving grace, I still had struggle to combine item A with B many times.
Outside of mechanics, the game some great aesthetics. The style of the game is interesting and fits with the sci-fi feel. The aliens are wacky and the enviroments all look great and easy to tell apart. The ambient noises are a nice touch, and the soundtrack does well enough, but there might be a lack of theremin to help conjure up that 60s sci-fi b-movie vibe.
Overall, this is a really tough recommendation. The puzzles are challenging, clever and have some good variety (number sequences, multifaceted pipe arranging, picking locks etc.). However, the demanding puzzles come with the clunky controls that can get in the way. Those hoping for an even split between action and puzzles will find that there is more focus on puzzles than action sequences: they pop up more often, there is more variety, and they feel more rewarding.
This game is ultimately not the champion we needed to bridge the gap between first person shooters and point and click games, but I think it is still a game worth checking out. For those of you that want a film comparison, this is more Le Voyage Dans La Lune
than 2001: A Space Odyssey
. If you think you are up to the challenge, or are willing to swallow your pride and take just a quick peek at a guide, this is a strange and fascinating experience, and I hope to see more games like it.