Community Reviews of Perfect Tides by Doom – Adventure Games
What could go wrong with a game modeled after Sierra classics? A lot, as it turns out. I know Meredith Gran, who is a well-known comic book artist, is also a longtime adventure fan, and the retro design of Perfect Tides is intentional, but I couldn’t find a game here. I read a few comments after the release, and many praised it for a) the nostalgic era of the early internet, and b) the protagonist they can relate to. Not the actual story, gameplay, or even possible message behind Mara’s experience as a teenager – and for good reason, as there’s a surprising lack of plot, puzzles, or moral behind it. , em, the media. Yet somehow it’s generally accepted as a great game.
Which is all the more surprising since I found Tides to be a failure both as a character study and as a nostalgic trip. Even though I also grew up in the 1990s-2000s and spent a lot of time surfing the internet rather than socializing, I can’t and don’t want to identify with the character of Mara – barely a teenage writer misunderstood with a heart of gold, but rather a lazy, autistic, selfish, and simply boring girl with no skill or ambition. She constantly checks a forum and chats with a few friends online (and that’s all the nostalgia you’ll get, don’t expect anything even remotely resembling the magic of Hypnospace: Outlaw), but only writes never. And I doubt she can write: her messy room shows no sign of literature, she has limited interests and a poor sense of humor, she hates classes, forgets to do her homework, and doesn’t participate in activities. school unlike her close friend, and at the end of the day (of the year, to be exact), she hardly learns anything.
The story begins (and ends) on a small, isolated island near New York, a gay resort inspired by the real Fire Island where not much else happens after the summer ends – and we will witness this as we play through all four seasons. A group of locals spend their lives either sitting at home and waiting for another holiday season, or pursuing careers in “the big land.” There is hardly any community to speak of, this strange landlocked society consists mostly of lonely, unmotivated people who show no signs of social life, including Mara’s own dysfunctional family.
Mara herself is ready to break up with those few friends she has as soon as she learns that they are leaving this boring island. Although his friends aren’t much better, whether it’s a gay writer who lives on the outskirts in a huge mansion and spends days lying on the floor doing nothing, or some mainland punks wandering around – you’ve got it guessed, doing nothing. In fact, most people she meets are either misfits or thugs who are primarily attracted to Mara in a sexual way. Which usually sounds more disturbing than comical since it’s a 15-year-old looking 16-year-old girl we’re talking about here.
To be honest, I didn’t think any part of this game was funny at all, even though people tend to find it funny. While some of the pixel animations made me smile simply because they were so good (kudos to the animators!), Mara’s awkward mumbles as she tries to keep dialogue or Nazi jokes tired at every opportunity ( she’s Jewish, so she’s scared of nazis, get that, get it?!) are examples of bad writing in my book, and the rest of the game consists mostly of empty talk, conflict, and Mara’s inner experience , not even remotely funny. All of this really hurts the game, because, as I wrote, there is no game to speak of.
While visually Tides approximates a mediocre Sierra adventure (the art is haphazard, with some well-detailed screens, and some – very generic), gameplay-wise it lacks challenge, and it feels a bit surreal with the oldschool interface attached. If it wasn’t for a few puzzles and instances of pixel hunting, it could have been easily misplaced for a visual novel. A novel without plot, that’s all. There is virtually no story development! Our protagonist creates a stupid situation out of thin air and tries to solve it (but usually suffers and cries in pain) or, like his friends, wanders aimlessly. You could say, “Duuude, that’s what teenagers usually do.” But I have to disagree since me, my friends and many other people I know were also young.
Even this game features at least two characters who are always busy doing something useful, be it part-time jobs, various extracurricular activities, or just simple friendly gestures. Why are we stuck with this boring girl? We’re not even allowed to influence important events, although that’s supposed to be part of the gameplay. Yes, we’ll make a bunch of choices along the way (some of them influence next to nothing), but the scenes crucial to Mara’s relationships with her family and friends are still played as cutscenes where she starts immediately. to act as a shower. By the fourth season, I was so fed up with her and her surroundings that I didn’t care if she would fix anything in her life or not. There are no victims here, really, just a stupid teenager.
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Time played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Very easy