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The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories review
by JustCozzie

Few games manage to marry narrative, gameplay mechanics, and level design quite like The Missing. It's a concept that takes full advantage of games as a medium to tell its story in an extremely smart way, and show off SWERY's impressive writing talent in the process, as he tackles with finesse and thoughtfulness a difficult topic that normally sees neither. Despite solid level design, a pleasing artstyle and such an inventive (and effectively unsettling in all the right ways) core mechanic, the puzzle-platforming gameplay is best at average - suffering from stiff, janky movement controls that have no place in a platformer - and the one-shot styling of the game doesn't quite live up to its inspirations - marred by obvious stuttering chugs whenever the next area is loaded in. The phone system is excellent and even makes receiving story snippets as collectable rewards (the most overplayed of concepts) feel fresh by giving them alongside concept art and cheats (cheats, in 2018! Yes!) as well as the excellent character writing in those texts themselves.

Overall though, just how much the story resonates with you is what carries this game and because of that I could see ratings from "Skip" to "Game of the Year" all being completely valid. While I enjoyed the narrative it didn't grab or enthrall me, but for someone more personally touched by its themes I can see this game being a resoundingly powerful experience. On the other end of that spectrum I have seen some downright disturbing story interpretations from people brought up in less accepting cultures, but that room for interpretation is part of what makes this game's story a success: overall it's not a subtle game, by any means, but it knows just when to wield subtlety with PRECISION to encourage contemplation of it's points, and I haven't felt so keen on diving in and looking at a game's hints and subtext since I first played Hyper Light Drifter.

Other reviews6

Because of the central game mechanics, there's probably only a certain number of people The MISSING is really meant for. It's a puzzle platformer with a very stressing element core to all of its puzzles. There were definitely some times that puzzles felt kind of obtuse to me, most frustrating when they occurred in the middle of a high-paced moment and resulted in death, but they weren't so annoying as to bring down the whole experience.

The MISSING is a little bit disconnected from its own central story, as you can probably guess that the plot does not revolve around freak moose genetics. But it's still told well, with extra bonuses for collectibles by expanding more side conversations with J. J.'s other friends. Most of the real dialogue in the game comes through text conversations on J. J.'s phone. To me, this wasn't a big deal because it left some of the delivery of this information to the imagination (something I've been good with in Ace Attorney or Final Fantasy).

I felt like I had a pretty good handle on the meaning behind TMJJMATIOM's story, but I honestly had things wrong, which made recontextualizing things after the ending a very valuable experience. It feels unusual for such personal topics to be brought up by Japanese game developers in this way, which makes this game pretty valuable in my opinion.
«That ending!»
Translated by
Microsoft from French
Cool, really cool. The gameplay is not extra ordinary but rather well thought out, the level design and the puzzles are nice too but what really makes the strength of the game for me is the writing of the characters, very varied and really detailed I advise you warmly to catch everything Donuts. As for the scenario, it is really nice and the end although Ultra predictable (and it's done on purpose) hides a twist really well brought that I had not collat predict. In short, very good game, I recommend.
Translated by
Microsoft from French
Really a very nice game, which really does very well the metaphor and the images to tell a difficult and interesting story. Perched, touching, soft: it is clearly and it is the great Swery... But like all Swery games it is also awkward at times, which can make it quite painful (the dialogues/cinematics impassables, the animations very long and slow, the lack of checkpoints that forces to redo again and again some passages for something badly at the end...). However, it would be a shame to be missing this little gem for such small causes. If you have a heart, go for this game.
Translated by
Microsoft from Russian
The Game, which, for a long time, tightened and did not release to the final credits. For the most part its history. And saving a friend in a crazy nightmare is just an emotional backdoor to what happened in the real world with the main character. And it reflected a sovereign society with current problems. And This I did not expect from the game, for which it is a huge thanks. The game Itself is not bad, puzzles are solved by loss of limbs, self-arson and not only-new, interesting and even the gray matter. Here only sections with Platformingom and chases are made not so successfully and sometimes noticeably irritate. Fortunately, such moments for the game a couple of three. As a result, the game is the same as those who love the creativity of Sveri, as well as all lovers of unauthentic and a little gloomy things.
Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
This is a Puzzle Game by Developer Swery65. The Puzzles are solved using the Protagonists ' Ability (they have the Ability to separate their Body Parts and place them). The Puzzles will be quite challenging in the Course of the Game but never so that you should get stuck big. The one Thing that bothers me Playfully is that sometimes it can get a bit long-winded. So you know how to solve an puzzle, but you have to take an extra Step more often to solve it, that you could have done better. But that's not the Main Point, it thrives on the Characters and the Madness of what happens in it. I don't want to give too much away here, but at least the crude Plot goes clear. Our Protagonists have to look for Your Girlfriend who has been lost, which:P a Miracle with This Title. Groups of people are shown that are otherwise portrayed rather negatively in video games and that is one Thing that I very much reckon with the game. It has my full Recommendation.