Microsoft from Deutsch
Microsoft from Deutsch
To me it's clear that A House of Many Doors is a title worth recommending. It's a weird, textheavy RPG in a kafka- and lovecraft-esque universe filled with odd characters and locations and merges mechanics from textadventures, roguelights and turn based strategy. The writing is reasonably strong and has a few unique ideas tossed in. It comes with a few caveats though, and one can't avoid comparisons to the tonally and mechanically very similar Sunless Sea (I heard that some of the Failbetter games devs helped out a bit with this one) as well as other games like FTL - Faster Than Light . So let us pull out the sting before we talk about the good stuff. It is not quite as polished as the previously mentioned titles. The map for example slows down the framerate significantly. the interface is a bit of a mess (to be fair, same goes for Sunless Sea ) and typos and grammatical errors are frequent enough to bother me a wee bit. It also has a habit of stepping on its own toes in an attempt to improve some of the issues present in Sunless Sea . It shows nowhere more strongly than in the way it handles map traversal. You see: in SS, traversing the Unterzee is slow, grueling and dangerous. AHoMD in comparison ups the tempo, strength and maneuverability of its craft and is more forgiving with its resources than SS, but loses some of the tension that hammers home the fragility of your vessel and the cruelty of the environment. To me, this makes the traversal through The House actually more tedious than cruising through the Unterzee, even though it is much shorter. Not helping are the repeating and oftentimes samey looking rooms of the house and the overall less vibrant setdesigns. Personally I also think that the writing here isn't quite as strong and varied as in SS. It is by no means bad though. So, now that's out of my system, I can talk about the improvements over its spiritual predecessor. Personally, I think the sanity system is much better visualized in this game. In SS, decreasing sanity would change the music and trigger appropriate events, but that was it for the most part. AHoMD is a bit more creative in that regard. The music changes as well, but also puts details like font changes and a glitchy hud in the mix. Those are small details, but they add a lot of atmosphere. The combat, while being a rather clunky reimagening of FTL, is also more interesting and demanding than just cruising around in circles and pressing a button. But the biggest improvement are the interactions with your crewmembers. SS had those as well, but the ways you could interact with them were rather limited and required often a specific items or events. AHoMD gives you way more options to chatter with your simply but solidly written crewmates. Your various relationships with them can also trigger special events and overall give you a reason to stick with your statswise rather rubbish startercrew. tl;dr: A House of Many Doors is a very ambitious reimagening of Sunless Sea . While it doesn't quite stick the landing mechanically and writingwise, its take on the formula is certainly refreshing and brings some welcome changes. If you haven't played the title from Failbetter Games and can deal with a few kinks, I can recommend this game without hesitation.