Distraint – Review – Sell your morals?

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Distraint is a 2D psychological horror adventure game for the PC, from developer Jesse Makkonen creator of “Silence of the Sleep”

You step into the shoes of an ambitious young man named Price, he works for a law firm and has his eyes set on the “big promotion” at McDade, Burton & Moore

The big bosses send young Price out to the property of Mrs. Goodwin in order to repossess it, kick her out and show them that he is capable of being a ruthless bastard and worthy of climbing that corporate ladder.

Distraint is the story of Price’s inner battle with his conscience and morals, he wants the money and the power… but can he live with the choices and decisions he will have to make it get it?

After Mrs. Goodwin’s property is seized, the big bosses give him a list with 2 more names and properties to claim for the company. It is at this point Price starts to descend into madness.

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You are tasked with repossessing Mrs. Goodwin’s property, Mr. Tailor’s log cabin and Mr. Jones party pad, Mrs. Goodwin’s is fairly straight forward and serves as the tutorial for the game, but Mr. Tailor and Jones.. They get increasingly trickier to get them to sign the paperwork. Ranging from working out ways into rooms, hunting down missing dogs and persuading a band to play a party. As the difficulty increases as does the descent into madness, visits from Price’s deceased parents, blood slowly oozing out of the walls, washing machines that spring to life full of gore, to the slightly bizarre undead elephant that chases you at various points.

Distraint looks gorgeous, the 2D art style and audio manages to capture the haunting atmosphere, there is no voice acting in the game, but this does not take away from the experience.

The game plays like a point-n-click adventure, except instead of using your mouse to click and interact with the environment and items; you use the keyboard or a control pad. Similar to Lone Survivor.

The puzzles are never overly simple, nor are they head-scratchingly difficult, although I did miss something at one point and spent far longer than I should have to try to work out one particular puzzle…

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Distraint is the product of one man, and created in only 3 months, part of me really wants to see what Jesse Makkonen could do if he had a Triple-A game budget and a full sized team behind him, Distraint impressed me that much, and I eagerly wait to see the progress being made on his other game “The Human Gallery”

If I had to find fault with Distraint, it would be the length. From start to finish it took me 2 hours of play time to finish the story. For most games, this would be a major downside for me, but priced at £3.99 on Steam, this is an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Score: 8/10

Pro’s:

Entertaining

Creepy atmosphere

Con’s:

Short

Limited Replayability