Posted on September 17, 2017
Elude is a mystery survival horror adventure game, that in Gambit’s own words they hope will raise awareness to the ill effects of depression for friends and family alike. Something that may not be immediately apparent, not to do the game a disservice as there’s an air of mystery that will be sure to befuddle and leave you intrigued. Though also likely wondering what on earth the game has got to do with depression in the first instance. More of which a little later
As you set off shrouded in darkness there is no defined objective to speak of or back story to sink your teeth into. The only instructions given to our hapless little fella are to use what is known as resonate by hitting the space bar. An ability that allows you to communicate with the local birds, who help guide you in your quest. It’s not long until you stumble upon and must scale a winding set of trees that seemingly reach up into the heavens and beyond? couldn’t say nudge nudge. Much like the film Ink (if you’ve never seen it I highly recommend it) each area of the games landscape represents your current state of mind via a variation in colour scheme and setting. From the initial forest as you make your way to the trees summit. This area is said to symbolise a sense of normality an even keel, meaning you’re fine buddy. To what resides above with it’s vibrant colourful heavenly pastels signifying a state of euphoria. Then there are the murky depths below in the fording darkness, no guesses to what this is representative of. It’s a journey through states of mind culminating in a feeling of unbridled happiness and then total despair as you fall from the heavens and are literally dragged into a nightmarish world below only to rise again if you succeed in your quest.
Does Elude succeed in what it sets out to? well mostly yes. Though it was only through reading the producers own take on the various concepts put forward that I finally understood what they were trying to accomplish. In striving for the heavens as our little friend did, it could be said he was fighting for the right to be happy and contented. Each branch he reached on his accent was marking this ultimate objective. With depression there is a need to rise above it, to strive to beat it and the sights the sounds which accompanied this ascension did indeed give the game a sense of the euphoric. As does the quite wonderful opening soundtrack and decent if unspectacular graphics, this is a fun little adventure. All be it a very short one, with a running time of roughly 10 minutes it won’t win any awards for longevity. Most certainly would have benefited from an extra 20 or so on top of the messily 10 we’ve been given. Nevertheless it’s a polished and well meaning game that is well worth your time.