Sunday, December 01, 2019
"Strange Telephone" Review
Since the telegraph introduced the prospect of long-distance communication, humanity has wrestled with the juxtaposition of isolation and instant connectivity.
The advent of the telephone and internet brought different media into the equation, further muddying the landscape, and presenting opportunities for romance, exploration and horror.
Developer HZ3 Software's "Strange Telephone" uses the awkward communication conundrum and mines it for its branching storytelling potential. A port of the 2D adventure game released on PC in January, the oddly entrancing "Strange Telephone' dials up the Switch.
Taking on the role of Jill, you are trapped in darkness. Her one outlet to the outside is Graham, a sentient digital assistant and telephone she uses to solve, cause and ruminate on all her problems.
You use Graham to enter various realms, each of which contains puzzles that unlock items you can use to unlock new passageways. With the end goal of finding your way through the dark labyrinth to make your way home, you sink into the increasingly murky cross-dimensional catacombs.
While the puzzle difficulty ranges from insultingly simplistic to find-me-a-walkthrough-right-now impenetrable, the storytelling remains consistent enough to keep pulling you along.
Appealingly offbeat, the one-note tale leans on its intrigue to draw you back for multiple playthroughs to see where different choices take you. A slim, spirited package, "Strange Telephone" keeps you guessing as you meander your way through its sprawling telephonic web.
Publisher provided review code.