Across the Moment is a single-player atmospheric puzzle-adventure game by Andrei Romanov. It is the Russian developer’s first foray into Steam. The game saw its release back on June 5.
It Demands Extended Concentration
Although the game enjoys a positive review score it’s safe to claim that it isn’t for everyone. What it does do is satisfy a very niche market space. This is because it is a game that forces you to concentrate for extended periods. It’s not a game that I would advise playing for short periods. It almost demands that players complete it in one sitting. Unfortunately, if you don’t it’s easy to lose where you are in the game and it loses its magic.
Part of this is because of the puzzles and the story lack explanation. It’s not a matter of the game refusing to hold your hand. Rather, it’s the type of game that would do very well with a tutorial. As a result, much of my first half hour of play saw me aimlessly searching for a container. Unfortunately, I believe that this is a turnoff for time-poor gamers. I don’t have a problem working towards progression, but I do ask that you throw me a bone!
Additionally, the game’s story constantly asks more questions than it answers. I appreciate that some players love games like this. However, a game should strive towards a balance. Every time you think you’re making progress you realize you know less than you think!
The graphical and audio presentation of the game is a mixed bag. It’s built on the Unity engine. Therefore, it is limited to typical unity indie assets. I do envision some players being fans. However, I am not. Unfortunately, I do not like games where you can fall off the map. It’s a frustration in games that want you to explore. Consequently, this is my biggest problem with the visual presentation.
Although times I never understood the thick Russian accent, I appreciated the voice-over work. It mixes well with the dark atmosphere of the game. The same can be said of the regular references to Friedrich Nietzsche philosophy. If you’re a fan, then you’ll find much to adore about the game.
My favorite part of the mind-bending presentation happens extremely early. As such I don’t mind spoiling it for you. When you’re walking through the train carriages they bend. As a result of this the player is put into a position to expect a mind-bending experience.
What It Does Well
This is an overly critical review. In all honesty, it is more reflective of where my own headspace rather than the game. It’s a game you need to be in the right mindset to enjoy. It achieves its target atmosphere very quickly. It makes you want to learn about its world and why it exists from the beginning. Therefore, it does a good job evoking philosophical thought. I envision this being a game that I will want to return to again in the future. This is good because it is the first of a four-part episodic adventure. Consequently, when my mindset is in a better position to appreciate all that Romanov attempts I believe I will enjoy the game more than I did.
Across the Moment has a set of Steam trading cards and 12 achievements to unlock. The game also utilizes Steam Cloud saves. Furthermore, there are additional episodes yet to be released.
If you’re a part of Across the Moment’s target audience you will receive a thoroughly rewarding philosophical experience. On the other hand, if you’re not then you’re liable to reach for the uninstall button. Such is the significance of the niche and the demands it will place on you. However, it is a solid game and deserving of your time. However, I’d recommend waiting until the release of subsequent episodes.