Puzzling point and clickers have had a bit of a revival lately, especially in the indie market. The retro feel to games that hark back to the golden age of gaming – the 1990s – have suddenly become ever so popular again. However that does mean that games which first launched many years ago are now coming back to the fore, looking for a second chance at glory. Violett first graced our screens back in 2013, yet now is back with a remastered feel in the visuals department and in terms of design with some new levels, new music, and more great puzzles. So let’s dive into the world of Violett Remastered.
The story found here is told visually, without any words or voice-over narrating what the hell is going on. Violett is a young emo-type teenage girl; a rebel at heart. She and her parents move away from her friends and city life to a scary old home in the middle of nowhere. Very quickly Violett’s boredom from her new surroundings suddenly takes her into a strange new place, as she explores something bright in a mouse hole. Hey presto, she isn’t in her world anymore. Like Alice in Wonderland, she goes down the rabbit hole and into a land of giant creatures and abstract landscapes. Oh, and she now has supernatural abilities too.
Violett Remastered isn’t a game that holds your hand or gives you a whole lot of lore and backstory. The narrative is up for interpretation and you will decipher what the world means through each level, mostly thanks to the visuals. I don’t mind this way of storytelling whereby nothing is handed to you on a plate, but others might find this frustrating.
The game works like a point and clicker, letting you move Violett across each screen, interacting with objects and dragging items to solve puzzles. Violett has gained the superpower of telekinesis too though, and this means she can float any object anywhere on the screen. At times you can see an object that you can interact with high up and you just touch it from wherever you are and, hey presto, it’s in your inventory or can be used.
What is tricky to get your head around is the level of difficulty in Remastered; the abstract world you are in is like a Salvador Dali painting and can feel a tad overwhelming, especially to begin with. When you’ve settled in after the first hour though you become used to the gameplay and the experience. It’s from there where you can really start to enjoy yourself.
Throughout Violett Remastered you’ll find moments in which you will be uncertain about what to do. When you hover your cursor over an object, for example, a grabbing hand gesture means you’re able to use that item, however if Violett shakes her head then that means it can’t be used – at least not yet at that point of the game. There are clues that can point you in the right direction, but they won’t ever find you the solutions – you’ll need to do that bit by yourself. I personally think the puzzle designs are very clever and intriguing, and the beautifully designed world is a lovely one, full of surreal characters that are straight out of Alice in Wonderland and a Neil Gaiman crossover.
There are issues though and the controls are sometimes tricky to use and master. I imagine this game would be more intuitive to use on a PC or tablet, especially with a touch screen that will allow you to point where you want and drag. It’s not terrible, but this Xbox port is not the most optimised way to play the game. However, I’ve loved the puzzles, the strange solutions, and the whole world.
Violett Remastered’s visuals come with a nice sheen to them. The colours ping from the screen and immediately draw the eye, as the colourful and unique world full of unusual creatures, crazy physics, and wonderfully inventive game design plays out. It’s a world that borrows from Lewis Carroll, the paintings of Escher and Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam, but it also forges its own path. The soundtrack is very good too and there are some nice effects in play throughout. Personally, I’d have loved some kind of narration as well, as that is sorely missed.
On the whole Violett Remastered is a pretty good game and certainly a very challenging point and clicker that will put your brain into overdrive. The control system doesn’t feel great at times and the lack of hand-holding or any kind of instruction make the first moments tricky. But as things progress and you get into the swing of things, this is a very enjoyable and very unique experience. It comes with a great price too and so is worth taking a gamble on if you fancy following the adventures of Violett Remastered.
Violett Remastered on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One is now available from the Xbox Store