Day 73: Decay – Part 2

Posted: 2011/01/21 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #73, and today’s game is “Decay – Part 2”.

The Decay series is doing one of the best jobs at episodic gaming of anything I’ve seen in the industry. The first installment came out May 1st 2010, the second on July 12th 2010, and the third on November 30th 2010. Now that’s what I call quantity, and by its appearance on this website you know I also consider it quality. This is no Mithra – Episode 1, Chapter 1, a great game that has unforunately not had a sequel. This is no HL2 Episode 3, where the first few installments came out regularly, but the next promised installment has been missing in action for ages. This is no Penny Arcade: Rainslick Precipice of Darkness where strong sales for the first one, but lacklustre sales of the second, meant the story had to be finished in regular fiction on the Penny Arcade website, rather than in interactive fiction through a video game.

No, the developer behind Decay seems to have a formula that works: bite sized pieces of gaming, regularly released at an attractive price. Each time a new installment comes out, the previous one re-enter the sales charts, so they’re doing something right.

Now, from the developer:

“The story continues in the sequel to Decay – Part 1. Decay – Part 2 is a thriller/horror adventure game with a very creepy atmosphere and challenging gameplay. Beat the game and unlock the extras section to get your personal code and download the amazing soundtrack.”

There’s more that this series is getting right than just its episodic nature. I also love the fact that each game benefits from having played the others, but they are also stand-alone enough that you could jump into one if you’ve never played the previous ones (or did play them, but simply don’t remember them well due to the ravages of time during the few months in-between).

If you have yet to play Decay – Part 1 (and if you haven’t, I’d get on that), the game is more Myst than it is Silent Hill (or, perhaps most appropriately, it’s Myst with the atmosphere of Silent Hill). And that’s not a bad thing at all, Myst has captivated millions of players on several systems. But where Myst had wide-open spaces, Decay is comparatively cramped which is all the more appropriate given it’s thriller feel.

There is at least one puzzle here that you might have to hit the online walkthrough to get past (especially if you’re tone deaf), but there’s still a lot of enjoyment to be had and the price is insanely good for puzzle and/or horror fans looking for consistent production values and a creepy world to explore.

For a second opinion on the Decay series, check out Kobun’s review of Decay – Part 1.

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  1. This post was originally supposed to say: “Yoday’s game is Decay – Part 2. Full review later when I’m healthy, right now I’m unfortunately fighting a bad flu.”

    That “Yoday” was symptomatic of how I felt at the time. It was tapped into my smartphone while I did bed rest. Unfortunately, I did manage to create and update the post, but didn’t manage to actually publish it. I wouldn’t want anytone to think I’d let anything like an illness stop me from buying an Indie Game yesterday! :)

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