Since I’m super skint and a major tight-ass at the moment, I’m just playing and reviewing FREE games on steam. Despite the price tag, or lack of one, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few titles. Missing Translation is one of them.
The narrative is light but basically you get pulled into an alien world and have to find parts to fix the portal that transported you there. To do that, you need to explore (in a very linear way) the world and solve puzzles. Apparently you can also try to figure out the native dialect by talking to people in the world and ‘studying’ at the school, but that is optional and frankly, I didn’t bother.
The puzzles are pretty cool, in my opinion. Although there are no hints or any explanation of what to do (or why), I found them fairly intuitive and very rewarding. For a while there I felt like a flipping genius!
You have to solve 25 levels of three different types of logic puzzles. Note: 15/25 in the first set of puzzles set my brain on fire for a while there… There is no punishment for failure and often it is a mix of trial and error and puzzle planning that gets you through within a few minutes. One thing I did find annoying was that I had to ‘re-engage’ with the puzzle every round (e.g. 1/25, 2/25 etc). I guess this was to give you the option to leave the puzzle without having solved all 25, but it mostly just created dead space between rounds and unwanted extra clicks.
The whimsical ditty playing in the background made playing through so many rounds… kinda nice. The simple art style and black and white palette worked with the game and the simple narrative. There was enough detail to pull me in but not take up too much of my time (I have a 2 year old, I don’t have a lot).
Final thoughts – definitely worth a casual play.