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Analysis of The Sojourn, puzzles in two realities

The Sojourn
Written by Kamran Haider

In this world, there are two very different realities: light and darkness. A perfect scenario to solve a good handful of puzzles that will test our spatial and temporal capacity. In The Sojourn’s analysis, we check how original his challenges are, while we delight in his dreamlike and colorful world.

I think the puzzle is the genre that shows me to be the most imaginative year after year. In more prolific ones such as adventure or role, many of the central mechanics are identical or, at least, very similar. But in this field, getting inspired by another game is the first step to fail. Its premise has to be new, even if it uses elements already seen, as this Sojourn does with teleportation or redirection of light beams. And, after presenting a few fresh mechanics, delving into them and taking them to the extreme of their possibilities predicts a good future.

But of course, if you present it in such an attractive packaging that is what The Sojourn does, it is a real pleasure to go through each of the rooms and enjoy the bright colors and surreal landscapes while you squeeze your brain for a while. He also tries, as they seem to want to do all the puzzle games lately, to sew a subtle narrative thread, although it is possible that he is the only one who leaves this matter unharmed because it does not disturb or hinder the development. Its premise, so ethereal, so ephemeral that it speaks to us in very weak lines about reality, what is seen with the naked eye and what is hidden in the veil of darkness, is an easily ignorable structure that moves away from the claim. He knows that it is a puzzle game and, therefore, does not use this resource more than as a driving element to take you from one place to another with a little more meaning.

Once the levels begin to accelerate and increase the challenges, the game catches you

Because here what matters are the puzzles, forgive the truism. And those of The Sojourn always try to play with these two faces of reality, in which we can interact with certain objects from a plane of the same, the luminous one; and with many others from the darkest side. Thus, we can teleport to certain places, exchange our position with that of key objects, rebuild collapsed steps and bridges using musical notes that last a while. or build dark roads through projectors. I know how it sounds on paper: strange. Simple. Bored. In the video game, which is what matters, you will be caught quickly once the levels begin to accelerate and the challenges put your neurons into operation.

The laws of this world become clear when we begin a new level and a new rule applies. For example, once we come into contact with a platform that takes us to the world of Darkness, we have a time limit as we move before returning to that of the Light. That limits our movements and forces us to look for creative ways to move and stay in the dark world, which is usually where we can interact with objects the most. The game seeks to take each of your ideas to the fullest, to the point that many of those “eureka moments” come exploring less orthodox ways.

The Sojourn, the reality is a puzzle

It is possible that in a few challenges you will not be able to find the right key since some solutions seem somewhat complicated. Sometimes I had a feeling similar to those moments in Breath of the Wild, in which it seemed that you were breaking the game, taking advantage of a little neglect of the developer (only not). But in The Sojourn, unlike what happens in The Legend of Zelda, here there is only one possible solution that is what you are expected to find, and it is not always resolved with the same elegance.

Of course, you can not say that this dream puzzle is not condescending to the player. The main road is very well balanced and although in some moments it can be somewhat forced, in general, you will advance in it at a good pace. That does not mean that the title is not challenging, but that the most complex puzzles are often accompanied by the main route in the form of extra challenges. There are completely adjacent; that is, new levels that will really test our logic and understanding of the principles learned in the video game. There are also other ways to meet some of the mandatory levels, which include picking up a completely optional scroll. Of course, to do that you will have to solve the puzzle in a different order and it is not easy.

Visually it is very pleasant to contemplate. The choice of colors is always evocative and you are not afraid to explore other palettes and very different environments as the adventure progresses. It could be, as it happens in other words, that in certain progress a less attractive design is noticed, but I think that of The Sojourn remains very well worked. Music is something more environmental and that is basically his job: to stay focused without stealing the true prominence of the enigma you have in your hands or distract yourself too much from your task of solving it.

The Sojourn has been very pleasant, always stimulating.

The version released for Epic Store is also well worked. I have not had any problem configuring the game for the ultra-panoramic monitor nor to enjoy its good visual design to the fullest without any technical errors. Its control with both the keyboard and mouse or with a control in the hands is well implemented, since many actions are not required either, although I have to emphasize that some very fast movements that I had to perform, especially of camera, seem to be more effective with the mouse than with the second stick.

There are four chapters in The Sojourn that do not make it an excessively long challenge but in the average of what these types of games of the genre usually offer. I have to insist again on these extra challenges, especially those that make up a level in itself, which lengthen the hours of play a lot because they are the ones that have made me squeeze my head until I find the solution. Taking away the fact that some solutions for very specific puzzles are not as elegant as others, the other obstacle I have encountered is that the movement of our character is somewhat slow and that can slow down those moments of trial and error when you have to move a lot through the levels. It is something that cannot be altered, because the speed of our character is a determining factor for some solutions, although it is still true that it can lose some rhythm in the process. In any case, the trip through The Sojourn has been very enjoyable, always stimulating and I am not expecting more or less from a puzzle than that genuine ability to invent an ingenious system, an action/reaction, and take it to the maximum of its possibilities.

Recommended: Analysis of Little Misfortune, the naive childish look

Conclusion:

The Sojourn manages to catch thanks to a creative puzzle system that stays fresh and deepens to the fullest. To highlight the magnificent addition of really challengingreality is a puzzle extra levels, but worth completing. It is accompanied by a splendid artistic design and although its riddles are not always solved with the same elegance and its speed can hinder the dynamics of trial and error, it achieves that you reach the goal with great satisfaction.

  • Ingenious mechanics for the puzzles that maximize your possibilities
  • Additional challenges that really test the player
  • Very attractive, colorful and beautiful artistic design
  • Some solutions to concrete puzzles that are not very intuitive
  • The speed of the movement is somewhat slow and can affect the playability

About the author

Kamran Haider

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