Degrees of Separations is the last work of the people of Moondrop, a Norwegian specialist studio is doing beautiful things in the form of videogames. Inspired by the hypothesis of The Six Degrees of Separation by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy and his short story, Chains, the good people of Moondrop speak to us of two opposite extremes, two characters to whom the hazards of fate force us to meet to save their extreme worlds .
Tell me a story
Degrees of Separation tries to narrate a fable in a beautiful hand-drawn environment in which we will meet two characters condemned to understand each other. On the one hand we have Amber, a young girl with a facic aspect who lives in a world of fire that moves away from the classic volcanoes to offer a beautiful forest in a constant fall . On the other hand, we have Rime, a handsome young man who lives in the ice kingdom in a frozen cave on the heights of a snowy peak … come on, it’s cold in the face. One day, both characters discover that their worlds are beginning to disappear. The kingdom of Amber is extinguished, while that of Rime melts. In a vain attempt to discover the reasons, both characters are in the middle of a bridge and discover that they will have to collaborate if they want to recover their lives.
With a simplistic animation that is not up to the work of illustration, many piano-evocative melodies and a soft voice-over that narrates old legends and the reality of both new allies, Degrees of Separation proposes to play with a friend in a local cooperative or alone alternating the handling of the characters while we try to solve various puzzles with the help of the powers of both young people, fire and heat it, ice and cold it. Unfortunately it is not clear what is the function of the game or why these puzzles beyond the need to get some scarves that tell us about characters and old stories.
Too many readings
Just start playing to realize that the title and inspiration of the game are not the most correct. The video adage of ‘the world is a handkerchief’, translated into science by this hypothesis of Karinthy that ensures that between a human being and another from any corner of the planet there are only five acquaintances that separate them, it is blurred when we find only two characters in the game and a mission, to collect a series of scarves on the stage to understand the history that has united these beings and why the problems that have occurred in their respective realms.
Degrees of Separation tries to drink from Unravel and Child of Light, but offers nothing that comes close to these two titles. The absence of a life bar and those first piano notes are a clue , and soon we find a game in which the puzzles are not so interesting, the scenarios are beautiful but little more, and what the voice-over tells us , in the end, it does not matter in the least.
A pity, because the work of the illustration and the approach is quite interesting in power, but is wasted by a game that is not attractive in the playable part and a mise en scène that does not quite explain well and that plays with too many concepts The hypothesis of degrees of separation, the need to seek relief from strangers and the fear of big changes among other transcendental topics are relayed in a skein, in a hodgepodge of intentions that cause the message to be diluted in a pretentious show of plastic beauty that is not enough to justify the hours required by the experience you offer.