I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #214, and today’s game is “Decay – Part 4 (Final)”.
The Decay series is one of the best on the XBLIG channel (here are my reviews for “Part 1”, “Part 2”, and “Part 3”). Part 4 steps it up in a few key areas and ends the series on a high note, even offering 8 possible endings depending on the decisions you’ve made (and what objects you’ve found) by the end of the game.
Perhaps as befitting the final installment of a series, make the wrong move and you can actually die in Decay – Part 4, something you didn’t have to worry about in the previous iterations. That made the game more legitimately scary for me, important given this is a horror/thriller game. You can save and re-load, though, ensuring that you don’t need to lose all your progress should you meet an untimely end.
First, from the developer (Shining Gate Software):
“This is the last game of the Decay series. With multiple endings, it’s up to the player how the story will end. Unlock all the extras and get your personal code for the new soundtrack.”
There are two possible things that you may notice first: one might be the new freedom of control, letting you look everywhere rather than forcing you to stare at static screens; the other is that the sacrifice for this camera control appears to be a little less going on in each area. Overall it’s a step forward for the series, though, with the new controls and the ability to look around enhancing the feeling of exploration and discovery.
The number of puzzles on offer seems higher than any of the previous games in the series, which is appreciated. Most of the puzzles are interesting, and none seem brutally hard (though, as before, there are walkthroughs available for those who get stuck). Replay value is enhanced by these multiple endings, which will appeal to those (like me) who read and re-read Choose Your Own Adventure books as children and tried to reach every single possible ending.
The first game in the Decay series is only 80 points, just the right price to get people hooked, and the remaining installments are a very fair 240 MSP each. That means the entire series of four games can be had for 800 Microsoft Points, less than most Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) games launch at, yet with the ability to try the first installment at a fraction of the total price to see if it’s your bag. Can’t argue with that kind of value. I recommend giving the first one a try if you’re new to the series, and the fourth one is definitely a satisfying end for those who’ve kept up with the series as it’s developed.
Click here to download “Decay – Part 4 (Final)”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.
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