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The Rewinder Review: A bizarre and bizarre story game

The name of “The Rewinder” sounds very artistic, but it is a real monster-themed game. This game incorporates many elements of Chinese folk myths and legends, including well-known characters and settings such as Earth God, Meng Po, Three Lives Stone, and resentful ghosts. The relatively dark and gloomy art style, combined with the “earthy” elements of gods and monsters, easily reminds people of previous domestic monster-themed works, such as some old-fashioned Hong Kong films or Li Bihua’s strange novels.

Despite the use of pixel style for presentation, the handling of scenes and objects in the game is still very delicate and exquisite. From the Prajna mask that rotates its eyeballs outside the residence to the symbol formation in the leads, to the ghost market where ghosts gather. In addition to more effectively creating a strange and eerie game atmosphere, the rich presentation of details also helps players intuitively understand information about various items, such as their shape, appearance, location, and so on.

At the same time, sufficient leads in the early and middle stages create a good suspenseful atmosphere for the game. Why was the Land Temple, which was worshipped and protected by others, sealed? The fragmented announcement information seems to have a close connection with the wandering women in the village… These contents can fully arouse players’ curiosity and association.

Crazy women, incomplete announcements, long-sealed land shrines, and ghosts occasionally poking their heads out of the river… At the beginning, a large amount of information was presented, which forced me to choose to make some additional written records for easy reference at any time.

However, I soon realized that it was not necessary. Because the key content will be mentioned or displayed at the necessary stage. The overall process of the game is very linear, and the leads and puzzles are also in a “one radish, one pit” relationship. Players do not need to think too jumpily, and the hints are often in the current area or scene.

The types and gameplay of puzzles in the game are quite diverse. For example, there will be different puzzles to test players before entering the altar of the four-value gongcao.

The puzzle themes of the altar are mostly related to “order”. Some require memorizing the lighting order of the stone tablets and then moving them in reverse. Others test the player’s hearing, requiring them to remember the order of playing music and then reinterpret it, etc.

Another major feature of game puzzle design is the combination with traditional elements, such as weighing with a scale, spinning with a spinning wheel, and beading with an abacus. These traditional tools are rarely used in our daily lives. For current players, trying them out can also bring a certain amount of fun and freshness. At the same time, it fits the background setting very well and does not feel abrupt

In addition to incorporating various traditional elements, the production team has also created some new backgrounds and settings for the game.

For example, the protagonist’s identity as “Anti-Dream Master” is a special group of people selected by the Four Value Gongcao to endow them with the power of Anti-Dream. The power of Anti-Dream is passed down through bloodline. Whenever demons are rampant, Black and White Impermanence will find “Anti-Dream Master” and ask them to come out of the mountain to exorcise demons and defend the way.

Simply put, ‘Reverse Dream Master’ is an exorcist with the abilities of’telepathy ‘and’time travel’. Of course, achieving these abilities requires certain conditions and media. In the game, Qiyun has to collect villagers’ memory items and enter their’memory level ‘through the altar.

The Four Value Gongcao often appears in novels such as “Journey to the West” and “Dream of the Red Chamber”. They are the four little gods in folk and Taoist legends who are responsible for the year, moon, day, and time. They can be seen as symbols of adding personal touch to time. Therefore, the production team associated them with the Dream Master.

The gameplay of “Memory Level” is similar to Chaomeng in 2077 or Detective Mode in Batman. Players need to collect “perceptions” (i.e. key leads) in the memory context of villagers to guide their behavior and change their fate, which is called “reverse dream” in the game. After the success of “reverse dream”, it will affect the real environment, which can further promote the development of the plot process.

Nodes where “perception” appears will be marked on the Progress Bar at the bottom of the screen.

Collecting “perceptions” is the key to completing “reverse dreams”. Players can obtain “perceptions” from objects, characters, or animal thoughts. When a character appears in a “hesitant state”, the player needs to choose the appropriate “perception” to put into his thinking, so that his behavior will change.

Collecting “perception” on general items is very simple, just locate the time node and find the glowing point in the scene. As for “perception” in character ideas, players need to choose from the answer pool. Whether they choose correctly or incorrectly, it will consume inverse dream points. If the inverse dream points are consumed and the correct “perception” is not collected, then players can only choose to start over.

Selecting the wrong perception will display red, and the correct one will display yellow. After selection, it will consume the points on the right side

Compared to the trial version, there have been some changes in the interface and interaction of perception and thinking. However, the design of the thinking interface has a strong sense of technology, which seems to not match the overall style of the game.

In the game, except for a few “memory levels” that have branching options, most of them only have one storyline. The player’s main task is to clarify the plot logic, determine which “perceptions” need to be collected, and put them into the appropriate character thinking. However, the connection and logical design between the “perceptions” of some characters and the plot are somewhat far-fetched. Sometimes I really can’t judge, so I can only choose the correct answer by trying one by one, which also makes the rhythm of some “memory levels” appear rather sluggish.

The plot content of “Memory Level” is basically narrating the daily stories of villagers, although there are not too many twists and turns. However, after completing a story, the real environment will change, and players can obtain more information to push the plot closer to the truth. The experience can be said to be progressive and interconnected.

Additionally, it should be mentioned that there are some small details in the game that suggest the identity of the mastermind behind the scenes. Looking back at these prompts after completing the game, I personally feel that they are a bit deliberate and sometimes affect the player’s judgment in the process.

The Rewinder has done a very suitable job in creating atmosphere and integrating traditional cultural elements. If the game is regarded as a series of supernatural novels, this work can be considered a relatively outstanding opening story. For players who love mythology and supernatural themes, The Rewinder is still worth a try.

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