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Gemini Rue, is a point and click adventure game designed by Wadjet Eye Games. It’s been literally over a decade since I properly played one of these, I’ve never been a huge fan of point and click adventures but there have been a few exceptions. Would Gemini Rue scratch that itch for adventuring? Let’s find out…

The game is very “my Amiga years” in visual style, bringing back all kinds of fond memories from games like Beneath a Steel Sky, Simon the Sorcerer, Monkey Island etc. No 1080p, 60fps nonsense here, just good old fashioned story telling with a few smatterings of shooty bits and puzzle solving. The game interface is not entirely mouse driven though, which may put some adventure game enthusiasts off, you do have a few combat encounters where timing is required although it’s not particularly challenging.

The story is an interesting one, although it begins rather slowly and takes a while to really be compelling (at least for me). You get some character switching as you play, allowing you to play from two and eventually three different perspectives. The game activity doesn’t change though and aside from their situations the gameplay really doesn’t take advantage of the different characters much. Despite this it’s still a nice touch, potentially allowing the player to “mind flush” any puzzle they are struggling with temporarily, and continue playing as an alternate character. Later you can always switch back refreshed and possibly with new thoughts on what you were previously stuck on.

The voice acting is pretty decent, you can read the dialogue if you prefer but you get both anyway. I can’t really say the music is memorable really, in fact writing this I honestly don’t recall much about it. I do remember the sound effects are nice, especially notable is the rainfall which just as in the Blade Runner movie helps to give it a more grounded and gritty feel to the environment.

The puzzles are quite tricky, I resorted to an internet search for a guide several times when I got bored trying to figure out the right combinations of numbers. The general game progression was good though, mostly it makes sense and I always find that goes a long way to solving adventure games. If you can’t make the leap of logic, solving them becomes trial and error, leaving you clicking mindlessly for a solution.

There were a couple of early game graphical glitches I noticed when reloading a save point, these typically were cosmetic with strange artifacting and weird colour combinations. They cleared up as you changed screens and never hindered or blocked gameplay. I felt the number of locations was perhaps a little limited, reusing locations is always a design trick to get the most from the assets, but when the game is mostly 2d art, you’d think perhaps a few more wouldn’t be that expensive to create.

I wasn’t really a fan of the gun combat, it always felt a bit of a chore to have to take my hands up to the keyboard and work an excessive amount of keys, just to return fire. I’m sure the system could have been designed to work with the mouse cursor in a more fluid and comfortable manner. However I did like the convenience mechanics around the double clicking, always defaulting to your last action, that worked well.

Sometimes the conversations are overly complicated and result in silliness. There was a point where I had to convince someone via a phone call to show up and talk to me about something they didn’t want to. The number of options and myriad dialogue trees made this a chore, many many times I failed and he hung up, but since I had to progress this way I ended up becoming a nuisance caller repeatedly phoning him back each time repeating the conversation until I got it right. I felt this was disappointing and needed more refinement to prevent it become rather stupid.

Despite these small issues I did enjoy Gemini Rue, it’s not quite as good as it could have been but it is a decent and interesting story. Wadjet Eye have made several other adventure games since and I’ve already added Primordia to my wishlist. It’s worth playing for a budget price but your experience will be dependent on your expectation.

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