|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Work Jam||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Aksys Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 30, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Perhaps Theresias most enjoyable moments, however, come from the bits of story the game reveals as you progress. The tale is paced well, and as you successfully complete small portions of the adventure, youll be made privy to more facts about your character, her past, and where and why she is where she is. The cutscenes are also some of the more beautiful elements of the game, and though Theresia may not be a big-budget outing on DS, the developers did a fine job of creating a cinematic experience from start to finish. The game also gives you different points of view with which to experience the story, though we wont spoil anything for you.
The actual gameplay visuals, though, are something of a mixed bag. When moving along the map, youll traverse 3D halls and environments. The graphics here are serviceable, but theres not much to look at along the way. Upon entering a room or engaging an action item, however, youll experience some of the more visually appealing aspects of the game. Again, Theresia consists mostly of point-and-click gameplay, but the 2D artwork is attractive and detailed. Its also worth noting that, though the 3D hallways are somewhat plain, the lighting adds an element of apprehension that aids in keeping this experience from ever quite losing its frightful edge.
The aural elements of Theresia are pretty much on par with the rest of the games presentation, as themes and sound effects lend an extra bit of tension to the hallowed halls youll trod through. Though there is little variety with the musical themes, they are intensifying loops that fit well alongside Theresias dread-filled environments. Additionally, your character will grunt and groan when using tools, or shell bellow in pain when injured by a trap. A host of other subtle effects also lend mood and immersion to the adventure.
Theresia: Dear Emile is an engaging, morbid, and somewhat heart-wrenching tale. It does, however, rely upon a few weather-worn story conventions that will likely ring familiar to experienced adventure gamers. The game stays well within the confines of an age-old, point-and-click formula, though its sure to prove entertaining for fans of the macabre. The grid-like movement along maps often slows down progress, dulling the tension the game attempts to muster, but its strong adventure elements, as well as intriguing story, do a fine job of keeping Theresia elevated above mediocrity. Though the monologue falters occasionally, the storys thrust should inspire most players to see this tale to its end.
CCC Freelance Writer