Project Solace is a 2D side scrolling action platformer with some survival elements. You play as a young woman named Sophie, you and a bunch of other people have been brought to an island that’s not on any maps to take part in a Survivor styled TV show. Shit goes sideways though as zombies appear and start munching on a motherfucker left and right. Now it’s not a game show, now it’s real life, and she has to survive and try to keep all of the other contestants alive as well.
The game has various levels, they can be long, especially at first when you have shit for gear. The first level is one of the hardest ones simply because you don’t have anything of any real value. You can go back to any level you’ve finished, however any boss type enemies and doors you’ve opened stay dealt with so you don’t have to redo any of that shit. That being said though, all the rest of the normal enemies still respawn though so you do have to deal with that over and over again. You want to replay levels regularly because you can get items from them, food, ammo occasionally, and scrap which can be used in the shop. The shop lets you buy food, fishing line, ammo for every type of gun you’ve obtained, skill books, crafting books, and a few other things.
There’s three to five levels in every area, you start in the forest, go to a city, a mountain… something else, and then the beach. Every area has a bunch of hidden stuff, though it takes a while before you can interact too much with these areas because you need a couple items that you find later, be it gear or keycards. There’s not a lot to say about the game honestly you complete levels by getting to the end, sometimes there’s a boss but most of the time it’s some enemies that are generally pretty easy to deal with and a lot of platforming which is also generally just fine, not too hard.
There are different endings though, based on how many people you keep alive, and some other hidden stuff, which I still haven’t managed to do yet. The game takes a few hours to finish generally. And your character will always respawn at the last save. However there are sections where you have to use the other survivors to complete sections, in these if they die, it is auto-saved, you do NOT get them back, and if they all die, Sophie just gives up and dies. That is generally how you’re going to lose the game. After you all of them die, or you get to the end the game is over and you need to restart the game from the beginning which is a pain in the ass as I’d rather just have a manual save that didn’t get saved over when characters died so I could keep trying until I succeeded. Also when you lose a character in one of those sections, your next character starts at the start of doing it, even if they other character was almost done, well now it’s from scratch which is infuriating. Sometimes the mission is collect X amount of an item, sometimes it’s kill X amount of enemies. If ten enemies need to be killed, and I kill nine and then die, why isn’t there just the one more that needs to die? If I collect coins and put them in my pocket and I die, are the coins still in my pocket? Yes. I hate when games do this, if I already lost my best character, making me redo everything from the start as another character is, shockingly not going to fucking work.
I don’t really know what else to say about it, Sophie was an interesting character, in every new area you can talk to the other survivors which gives you insights about them and they change a little bit over time which is interesting. The story isn’t super there, you can find some background stuff that explains the gist of this island via emails and notes found around the island. But the overall story is get to the end of each level, fight the boss on boss levels, move to the next area, repeat, until you get to the last area which is where you were supposed to get to the last remaining boat.
Overall it’s not bad, but for me, I’m clearly not the targeted audience for this. This is something if you like pick up and put down games, pick this up play a level or two and set it down. You’ll love it if you play that way. However, conversely, if you’re like me and you choose to just sit down and play until it’s done… well… you won’t enjoy it as much because it’s mostly mindless, and you can only play like that for so long without lots of big explosions and such. If you don’t mind replaying it over and over again before you beat it, you’ll also like it. If you just want to play it, beat it, and be done, this isn’t a game for you, like at all.
A review copy of the game was provided by the dev hrok.
darkmikasonfire does not award Project Solace the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.