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Bold and unusually complex mystery
Based on a series of mystery novels, this is an intriguing and haunting game that will appeal to followers of adventures like Myst and Amerzone. It's certainly not for everyone but if you are after a narrative-driven experience that touches on themes unusual for video games then it's certainly worth checking out. The story is a complex one, revolving around an artist and his muse but who are separated by thousands of miles and which unfolds through a series of postcards exchanged between the two. To progress, the player must explore these postcards and solve the abstract puzzles which are contained within and which thus allows the exchange to continue, the story to develop and further puzzles to be encountered. The gameplay is minimal so anyone looking for an action-packed experience will be sorely disappointed, but Ceremony of Innocence goes beyond the usual videogame cliches to create to create a mature and compelling experience that stays with players long after they have finished it. The game has clearly had a lot of attention paid to it, with imaginative and multi-layered visuals that bring the two vastly different worlds of the main characters to life and which are surreal and thought-provoking. The script too is intelligent and emotional and which is brought vividly to life by a fine cast that includes the likes of Paul McGann, Isabella Rossellini and Ben Kingsley. The subject matter might come across as pretentious and overly artsy and the gameplay is certainly minimalist, but if you are after a challenging and bold slice of alternative gaming, then this is a compelling experience.