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The Rewinder Review

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Playing games can allow you to learn new things about distant parts of the world or various cultures – and that can only be a very good thing. That’s the case with The Rewinder; a game in which the design is based on Chinese ink paintings. This led me down an internet rabbit hole, looking at how the art form was developed, how it has been part of culture since the Tang Dynasty over a thousand years ago. 

But The Rewinder is a game that is full of other surprises as well, as it mixes a host of game mechanics, mini-games, and mythology. 

The Rewinder review 1
A new world and new cultures

The Rewinder is a point-and-click 2D adventure with amazing pixel art. The story that plays out is nothing short of epic, and the opening cutscene is told through Chinese paintings. There has been something called the War of Apotheosis that has ended, yet instead of creating a world of peace, something is seriously wrong. The whole cycle of death and rebirth is broken, as ghosts and demons run wild in the world. It’s here where special heroes are sent from heaven – Rewinders. These characters can go back into past memories, changing the fate of people in regard to their death. 

You play one of the Rewinders: Yun, who looks like he is retired but is called back into the fray by a sidekick called Light. Yun goes out to help some lost souls find their way back into the afterlife and work out what’s been going wrong. The story is brilliantly strange, but wonderful and funny at times. And there isn’t any hand holding here, as you’re thrown into an unfamiliar culture. I found it fascinating and the best part of the game. 

The gameplay itself works like a normal point-and-click adventure. You walk around the levels talking to the array of characters, both living and dead. You take on tasks, moving from one place to the next, collecting items that you can use and give to people for other quest stuff. It’s very much the usual fare of a point-and-click adventure. 

The Rewinder review 2
World-building is on point

But in The Rewinder there are also an amazing number of mini-games and puzzles to try and complete. There are combination puzzles in which the clues are left lying around. There is an amazing abacus puzzle, a weight and scales puzzle, and some wonderful dexterity puzzles. 

Then there is the actual rewinding mechanic itself. This allows you to go into certain people’s past, all by activating a memory shard. Here you get to live out a section of their lives; a moment that affects how they would die. You can pause and rewatch this section if you like and your goal is to change the future, done by examining clues around the area, turning those clues into thoughts that can be used to change the person’s direction of action. So for example, you might have a thought to chop down a tree that, later on in life, may kill someone. These sections are very clever and it means that The Rewinder is fantastic to play through as you work out the answers. 

The game’s visuals are awesome, mostly as they are based on those Chinese ink paintings. Running as a pixel game in style, there are some great effects, lighting, and imagination shown here. Brilliant characters and backdrops are the highlights of the game’s visuals. 

But sound-wise, The Rewinder is a shame, because I would have loved to have taken in this world with fully voiced characters. Instead we are left to some decent effects and a pleasant soundtrack. 

The Rewinder review 3
Who will you meet?

The Rewinder may well transport you into a different world and culture. I doesn’t explain too much, but does provide a great piece of storytelling with some excellent world-building. As with most point-and-click games, occasionally the puzzles can feel a bit obtuse. but the other superb game mechanics like the mini-games and rewind skill make up for it. 

If you are after a journey into the East with a great story and unusual mechanics, then The Rewinder could be up your alley. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Story and world-building
  • Rewinding mechanic
  • Puzzles and mini-games
Cons:
  • Obtuse solutions at times
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC
  • Release date and price - 29 April 2024 | £11.24
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Story and world-building</li> <li>Rewinding mechanic</li> <li>Puzzles and mini-games</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Obtuse solutions at times</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC <li>Release date and price - 29 April 2024 | £11.24</li> </ul>The Rewinder Review
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