As an exploration game flaired with resource management and environmental puzzle solving, Ombrage shines brightly.
You’ll play as a rover left on a barren desert planet, tasked with discovering the myriad of mysteries that riddle the surface. However, the rover is powered by the sun, so moving in shadows will drain its batteries. Let the power drain completely, and the rover will die. There are many tools at your disposal that will aid in completing the objective. Different power-ups, or modules, allow for easier traversal of certain environments. For example, you’ll need a boost to traverse a dark, shadowy cavern, or wings to reach far away. The rover can only equip two of these modules at a time. In order to complete certain puzzles, you’ll need to abandon one of your previous modules.
Although maneuvering the rover is a blast (especially the wings), one of the biggest challenges in Ombrage lies within the controls. Letting go of the right trigger that accelerates the vehicle won’t necessarily stop it from moving. Slipping into dark areas at the wrong time could mean death. A combination of both braking and acceleration is key to not perish in the shadows.
The subtle, ambient soundtrack may fool you into thinking that Ombrage is a leisurely stroll through a forgotten planet, but it takes skill and intuition to solve the puzzles on the planet. The polygonal art-style lends itself well to the nature of the game, and the excellent lighting and visual cues are a necessity.
Ombrage is a challenging, yet rewarding experience, mixed with a beautiful art-style and a peaceful soundtrack. For a free download, it’s worth the time spent.
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