Adventure Jam 2018: Alluvium

“Alluvium” by Dave Lloyd, Barney Cumming, Louis D. Meyer, Adrian Vaughan & Sally Beaumont.

“After his plane crashes on a remote stretch of Papuan coast, civil engineer Ian Forrester is left stranded, hungry, and alone. He must survive the untamed wilderness, wait for rescue […] and pray [that] his dark secret [does not] catch up to him.”

There are so many things about “Alluvium” that make it very worth playing. For example, take a look at the pixel art, as the entire color palette follows such a strangely intriguing style without falling for heartless neon kitsch. The sound design is also convincing: The howling of the wild dogs, the engine noise of the plane, the ship in the distance, not to mention the fact that at every dramatic turning point in this adventure a tension-filled background music is getting played. However, not only the audiovisual presentation of this game is important, but also its grandiose puzzle design.

Each riddle is neither too tricky nor too easy, as the solution will not be presented to you on a silver platter. Furthermore, “Alluvium” allows its players to try out the ‘wrong’ options as well: Whenever the protagonist Ian makes a decision that would result in his death, the subsequent path is briefly discussed by Ian himself and he explains why this plan would fail. After all, as an experienced engineer, he questions all possible scenarios. The voices behind the characters make a tremendous contribution to the atmosphere of this work. Adrian Vaughan in his role as Ian just fits perfectly. His distinctive voice acts as a perfect witness to the thoughts and moods of the protagonist. One feels his hope, his despair and later his determination. But all of this gets only completed when Ian meets Anna, spoken by the magnificent Sally Beaumont.

She manages to play with her voice in a fantastic way, plumbing the border between childish naivety and sinister witchcraft with her tonality. Thereby the character Anna can act as an ingenious counterbalance to Ian’s personality. Anna does not care about her situation on the island; she even seems to enjoy it in a perfidious way. The interplay of those two vocal talents unfolds the gripping adventure experience inside of “Alluvium” that you do not want to let go so quickly for sure. >>PLAY