REVIEW: The Secret of Tremendous Corporation

REVIEW: The Secret of Tremendous Corporation

tsotc logoTitle: The Secret of Tremendous Corporation
Developer: Sebastian Krzyszkowiak , Konrad Burandt ,and Paweł Radej
Publisher:  Steam
Platform:  PC
Genre:  Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Adventure
Release Date: October 12, 2015

 

Description via Steam:

In the near future, thanks to copyright and patent law abuse, all of the gaming industry became controlled by one corporation, producing low quality but highly profitable casual freemium games and ceasing development of any other more ambitious genres. Any game development outside of the company became outlawed, ending the era of indie games.

Assist young Max Burton, a mighty gamedev wannabe and enthusiastic fresh intern on his first day at his first job in the only gamedev company out there in this short, (soon to be) award-winning free point-and-click adventure game. Explore the deepest SECRETs™ of the Tremendous Corporation®. Find out what happened to indie devs and save the gaming industry!

Setting

After years of copyright, trademark, and patent abuse one singular company now holds all of the rights to create video games. Indie games are now illegal, and those interested in working as a game developer must seek employment at Tremendous Corp. Tremendous Corp has watered down the market with addictive freemium games, pumping out hundreds of thousands of new games every day.

Story

The game opens up with the player character, Max Burton, arriving at Tremendous Corp for his first day as a temp. Everyone at the company is irritable and unhappy, and you are told your job is to fetch coffee. While plugging in the coffee maker, ninjas from The Rebellion drop from the ceiling to kidnap the Tremendous Corp’s developers. From you hiding spot, you gather that The Rebellion is a rogue group of indie game developers in search of The Secret. Where were your co-workers taken? What is The Rebellion hoping to accomplish? And, most importantly, what is The Secret of Tremendous Corporation?

Art and Sound

tsotc screenshotThe graphics are simple hand-drawn figures in greyscale. At certain points, the art is pretty impressive, but during certain scenes it tends to look a tad unfinished, namely in the Development Room. Overall, the art had a simplistic charm to it.

The soundtrack is enjoyable and changes often enough to not get annoying. That being said, I wish there was an option to either change the volume or turn the music off. I found the music to be quite loud compared to other games, and had to manually adjust the volume on my computer to compensate.

There is no voice-acting for the dialogue, but the characters mouths move as if sound should be coming out. This would not be an issue if you could continue playing the game, but you cannot move or interact with anything else until the dialogue is completed. This can take several seconds and get a bit frustrating after a bit, especially when you find yourself in a particularly wordy conversation.

Gameplay

The Secret of Tremendous Corporation is a simple point and click puzzle game that makes for an enjoyable play through. The game is fairly easy to navigate, but there are a few small issues.

No menu exists after the game is launched, which seems to be a common issue for indie games. If there is no voice-acting for the characters, I really wish that there was an option to skip the talking animation and just have the text appear. The silent film effect detracts from the game more than it adds, and can lead to confusion. Because an hourglass appears and you cannot interact with anything, it almost appears as though the game is freezing, especially when the character’s back is turned to the camera.

There is also a bit of delay with some of the puzzles. While all of them are fairly simple and clever, sometimes a sort of delay seems to occur and the exact same solution must be tried two or three times before the game seems to register what you are trying to do. This did not happen often, but I could see how this could frustrate some players.

Overall

The Secret of the Tremendous Corporation was made in just 48 hours by a team of three developers for the Global Game Jam in 2015. If I were to completely ignore the circumstances of the game’s development, this would still be a decent short point-and-click puzzle game. I enjoyed the art style and the way the game riffed on not just the game industry but on itself.

tsotc screenshotThere are some problems with the game’s spelling and grammar as well as the issues listed above, and for that I have to dock some points. However, when the amount of time Sebastian, Konrad, and Pawal had to complete this game, it becomes thoroughly impressive especially given that they did not know each other or the concept going into the event. Regardless of any score, the three of them should be proud of their work.

My overall rating for this game is 5.6/10. While you did make some alterations between Game Jam and its rerelease on Steam, the game still lacked the polishing it needed to stand up in the big leagues. That being said, I hope this team sticks together, because it’s be great to see just what they could accomplish when they aren’t shackled by time constraints.

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