Developer: Tom Heek
Publisher: Tom Heek
Subject A-119 is a first person puzzle platformer inspired by the Portal series. The game starts off with an AI-like voice talking to you. You are a clone, and you wake up, and break out of your storage container. From there, you move from one level to the next through the facility solving puzzles with the voice guiding you. What little story there is seems to be ripped out of other games, and there isn’t anything special about it.
The gameplay is made up of puzzles and platforming. The platforming feels kind of floaty when jumping, and some of the puzzles are almost entirely made up of jumping. These puzzles were easy to solve, but the platforming made them a bit of a nuisance.
There are 15 different levels in Subject A-119. You have six different spells available to you, although one of them seems bugged and doesn’t appear to do anything at all. You can shoot projectiles, pull object, warp through time, rewind time, and carry objects. At first, I thought it was neat to have multiple abilities, and change between them. However, using abilities feels so delayed, and it can be annoying to try and cast them quickly. There are multiple levels where timing is important, and the slow casts and floaty movement amplify the annoyances.
As for the difficulty of the puzzles, figuring out what to do was fairly straight-forward. With that being said some puzzles took longer to solve because of the character movement or finicky objects not co-operating.
- the music is fine, and the voice acting is okay
- the controls are fully customizable, and there is partial controller support
- movement and platforming feel kind of floaty, and some of the jumping puzzles can be a nuisance
- objects can be very finicky, and not co-operate with what you’re trying to do, which makes the straight-forward puzzles take longer
- casting abilities feels very slow and delayed which makes it irritating to try and chain abilities together
- [bug?] one of the six abilities seemingly did nothing
- (nitpick) it’s possible to get stuck in some levels if you screw up the timing, but most levels don’t have a quick way to reset them (having to exit to the main menu and reload a save is an inconvenience)
- (nitpick) the simplistic/minimalist style falls short with the presence of overly reflective surfaces on just about everything, making it quite hard on the eyes
- (nitpick) there is a known bug with audio tracks overlapping, (but I don’t think I encountered that issue during my playthrough)
It took me less than 1.5 hours to 100% the game. There were a couple levels where I struggled with jumping and object placement, so it could have been even quicker.
As someone who loves puzzle games, I found Subject A-119 to be very underwhelming. The puzzles aren’t very difficult, but the challenge often lies in getting your character or the objects to co-operate with you. Simply put, I didn’t really have fun playing it, which is quite unfortunate.
Press copy was provided for this review.