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The Librarian

The Librarian

 

    The title screen.The title screen.
Developer: Octavi Navarro
Released: 2018.04.04
Genre: Fantasy
Graphics: Pixel art / 2D
Perspective: Third person
Gameplay: Point-and-Click



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Libraries aren't the usual place for games to take place in, nor are librarians the most common protagonists. All this is challenged in the short point-and-click game named fittingly, The Librarian.

The somewhat bizarre and open plotline is that something is wrong in the library, and the protagonist librarian must make her way to the library and try to fix whatever seems to be the problem. The game never explains the story, so it begins without any introduction, and also ends somewhat abrubtly, leaving the player to wonder what the slice that was delivered was actually all about.

During the short gameplay the player, through the protagonist, is going to have a fight (no action) with spirit animals, come to locked doors (who would have guessed?), see visions, meet a giant bird, and so on. For a short game, there's actually a good variety of content, including a couple of puzzles which are not that straightforward. There's minimal amount of backtracking, most puzzles can be solved where they are encountered, assuming the player has picked up all available inventory items, and as for those, there's never more than four items in the inventory, because there aren't that many objects to interact with.

The librarian leaving home.The librarian leaving home.
One charming, albeit somewhat confusing aspect of the game is that it never really explains what is going on. For instance, at one point the protagonist librarian will encounter a form lying on the floor, very dead-like, with the description "former librarian". The protagonist doesn't seem to be much bothered finding her colleague presumably dead, but keeps on adventuring as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened. And perhaps that's the case, as already mentioned, there's no lead-in or lead-out narrative.

The strongest point of the game is its animation, which is superb. While the pixel graphics look very nice as they are, what really makes the game stand out is its smooth and visually pleasing animation. There's not much of that, given the scope of the game, but whatever is offered is really well done. Other technical aspects work as expected. There's nothing that hasn't been seen in the genre before, but everything that has been implemented is problem-free and easy to use.

While not necessarily a problem, the way the story is more suggested than actually told can be considered controversial by some. It does make the player wonder about the motivation of the entire thing. It can be obvious that the goal is to enter a locked area, but as there's no real defined purpose to do that, there's not much feeling of fulfilment for successfully completing that either.

The game is good, there's no doubt about that. Who are its target audience is a bigger issue to ponder. For casual gamers some of its puzzles may be too challenging, but for an experienced adventurer they may not be challenging enough. The setting and characters are nice, creating a good starting point for a fantasy mystery, but as the story is then practically speaking never told, players who want to experience a narrative and reach its conclusion are not going to find that here.

To turn things around, there's nothing to really dislike about the game, so in that sense it should be suitable for everyone. It is free and takes less than an hour to complete for any player with some adventure experience, so the bar is temptingly low for everyone to give it a try. Considering how the developer clearly has talent for game creation, it would be nice to see another game with a bigger scope in the same universe, possibly with the same protagonist. Or maybe some other unusual profession for another protagonist? As long as it's not a plumber, Nintendo did that decades ago, orthodontist and vetenarian may still be untried in video games. We'll be waiting.

The door is locked.The door is locked.

 


 

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