Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but this beholder is unforunately blind.
Another Sight has finally surfaced on the Switch after being available on other platforms for the last 6-months or so. It’s a game which follows Kit, a girl looking for her father, who takes a fall down into a whimsical and surreal underworld beneath the streets of London. Upon entering this world, Kit’s vision becomes impaired, limited to only seeing glimpses of the world through reverberated sounds. Fortunately, a cat named Hodge is there to aid her on her journey, making use of his meow to resonate sound, allowing her a momentary break from the darkness. If this sounds like an interesting concept I’ve got some bad news for you.
The core gameplay of Another Sight is made up of walking, climbing and jumping. You know, standard video game stuff. You take control of both Kit and Hodge, switching between the characters with the right shoulder button, to make your way through the labyrinthian underworld. Hodge is quick, agile and more suited to climbing whereas Kit is slower and more tactile, being able to interact with various things throughout the game. Because Kit is partially sighted, she takes things at a much steadier pace. If there’s no sound, and therefore light, you can only walk. This also carries through to the vertical movement. Kit can only jump onto a ledge if she can see it. In theory, these are great little gameplay nuances which compliment the overarching narrative but in practice, they’re incredibly frustrating.
Backtracking and replaying elements after failing is a drawn-out process when you’re only able to move at a snail’s pace and you’ll undoubtedly be doing this a lot. You thought walking was slow? Wait till you navigate the room with an unnecessary number of ladders. Frustration is rife whilst tackling the puzzle and platforming elements in Another Sight, not because of their complexity but because of the game’s less than perfect controls. Jumping, in particular, is on poor form with Hodge’s vertical leap requiring awkward placement next to a ledge and Kit’s lack of surrounding awareness causes you to continuously plummet to your death. The number of times I ran towards a quite visible ledge only to be denied a jump doesn’t bear thinking about.
Whilst Another Sight has a somewhat unique concept, its gameplay is incredibly familiar and, unfortunately, fairly standard. The usual puzzle/story game tropes are here; platforming, memory puzzles, sneaking and a whole load of lever pulling. Even its key concept, using both characters to solve puzzles, feels like a well-trodden path and one that isn’t quite as well maintained as the others that came before it. The story is its only saving grace with a much-needed air of mystery and the characters you meet along your journey are often interestingly fanciful. But even the story is let down by some choice direction. A major plot point midway through the game is seemingly shrugged off immediately after it’s revealed and the ending, or should I say endings, don’t offer any satisfying conclusion. After I completed Another Sight I wondered what the point of it all was which is never a great thing to take away from a game.
Arguably the best feature is Another Sight’s art style. Cutscenes consist of largely static paintings with minor movement but they suit game’s whimsy to a tee. This style also flows into the environmental design, albeit with a last-gen muted brown and green Unreal filter overlaid. The only problem here is that half of the game is played as Kit who, with limited sight, can only see a within a small sphere around her so you’re mostly looking at a muddied and darkened version of the world. This is amplified more so when playing the game in handheld mode. The lowered resolution makes it extremely difficult to see where you’re headed and the subtle flecks of light reflecting off the environment are completely non-existent. Resolution issues in handheld mode also make a puzzle in the final part of the game nigh on impossible to complete correctly because the displayed symbols blur into unrecognisable blobs.
It’s fair to say that Another Sight isn’t without flaws but at its core, there is a competent puzzle/story game, albeit an incredibly basic one. I have a certain admiration for the game sticking to its guns with its theme but this unfortunately comes at a cost of the gameplay. Technically Kit should be taking her time to carry out tasks but it’s simply not fun to play. There’s very little to praise with Another Sight and at a price of £35.99, I can’t honestly recommend picking it up.