A dark and creepy point and click game with an atmosphere that is held together well by its soundtrack and presentation throughout, Decay: The Mare is short at length, but the offering price is not too bad. Steam Trading Cards, 42 Achievements, and Steam Cloud Saves are included features – but if you’re not in it for the demonic and demented feel the title gives off you’ll probably be disappointed. I was told to take my medicine before I went to bed, everything would be better in the morning they said. But it wasn’t. Now I’m trapped in this hell hole.
It should be noted immediately that graphically speaking this game will be described by many as very terrible looking. The screenshots are very misleading, it does not look like that in reality. To me, it seems the development studio Shining Gate Software has intentionally struck a nerve in order to provide a throw back, old school computer gaming vibe. This is something I deeply enjoyed about Decay: The Mare and the aesthetic provides a lot of nostalgia for me that I feel will sadly be overlooked or lost completely on the majority of gamers out there. For mass marketing reasons, Daedalic Entertainment probably shouldn’t have approved the game without having some dev firm somewhere touch up the resolution and provide an option for higher quality textures (if at all possible).
The controls are simple, as with most point and click adventures, but for some reason it seems really easy to get turned around and end up going the wrong way too often. Navigating becomes a bit tedious and harder than it should be. Luckily, the game itself is good enough to keep players pressing forward. But they are met with puzzles that seem to make much sense even after they are completed, hints that are not useful in a meaningful way, and this really holds back the experience.
Speaking on the navigation problems one more time before we move on, I can’t count how many times I knew what I wanted to look at and ended up turning around in circles dozens of times before clicking the right part of the screen. Every door looks the same, every hallway looks the same. To the point that players will be frustrated and fail to get around in a timely fashion. This is definitely a problem, even for those who are willing to forgive the lackluster looks or even appreciate them the way I do for their computer gaming nostalgia.
The character you play as is a recovering drug addict who seems to be grappling with inner demons which are represented by this experience overall as well as frightening figures that are just out of reach and taunting his every waking moment. Is he alive still? Is this a dream? Did he die from withdrawals and this is some form of hell in the after life? It’s not quite clear, but the vague fog and haze players find themselves in is part of the charm of Decay: The Mare.
The soundtrack to the game is great. Sound effects leave a lot to be desired but the musical score is impressive and adds a cinematic layer to the whole entire situation. Engine Performance was fine with no noticeable glitches in our play-through of the game but that any glitches in a game this simplistic would be hard to tolerate anyways. The replay value of the game is very questionable given how quickly players would be able to run through after playing the first time, but there’s always the Achievement hunters out there who will want to do more and more and there are some hidden moments for them to discover.
Decay: The Mare has so much going for it, it’s sad that it falls short of being a good point and click adventure but instead ends up being a fairly mediocre one. If you are a fan of the genre, pick this up. If you are not then there isn’t enough here for you to become one and you’ll probably walk away thinking that you just wasted your money.
I personally love the computer graphics approach from days of old, but most will see that as a cop-out statement and call this game horrible looking. I sincerely hope that Daedalic Entertainment uses their immense power as a quality publisher to push this development studio to do better next time around and possibly even sequel this exact title or give it a spiritual successor. There’s a soul here, and a functioning game, there’s just not enough polish.
Overall Score: 5.9 / 10
RGN Rating: Below Bronze
Developer: Shining Gate Software
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Played On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.