DECAY: THE MARE
By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on February 16, 2015
I, a console gamer from the get go, have the opportunity to review Decay: The Mare. Iíve never played this type of point and click games. The closest I ever got to this type of games are the Telltale games Like The Walking Dead and they arenít even that close to it. I havenít touched my desktop computer for gaming once, and having a Mac makes it even harder to find games to play. But since it is Friday the 13th and Decay: the Mare has reached its full release, I will put my fears aside and trade in my beloved console and its controller for a mouse and keyboard.
First up, Decay: The Mare is an episodic 3D point & click horror adventure, consisting of 3 episodes. Developed by Shining Gate Software, known for titles like: Battlefield Heroes and the in 2010 released Decay, the predecessor to Decay: The Mare. Decay: The Mare is published by one of Germanyís most acclaimed publishers: Daedalic Entertainment, known for (among others) the Blackguards-, Deponia- and the Silence game series. Daedalic Entertainment more recently has started its own twitch channel, which you can follow here.
In Decay: The Mare, you take control of Sam, an addict who ends up in an institution named Reaching Dreams to get rid of his drug problem and clean up his miserable life. But during the first night, something goes awry and he gets stuck in a nightmare that never seems to end (which of course feels like a drug-induced trip on its own...).
Now let me ask you a slightly existential question: What is a friend? Well in Samís case it's a bag, a talking bag. I befriend the bag and the bag turns out to be a hand. My friend the hand. I donít want to go to deep into the story featured in Decay: The Mare , thatís something you have to experience for yourself. It will give you the scares youíre after when playing this type of game and maybe, just maybe, it might make you jump up from your chair. If you're more like me though, you just get the tiniest of goosebumps. The story is slowly revealed by various means, like small clips and hidden notes. At first, I couldn't quite determine where the story was heading, but as time flew by the story became clearer and clearer.
The puzzles featured in Decay: The Mare are actually not that hard and donít involve too much investigation and manipulation in order to solve them. The intractable items are limited to a few objects and furniture. Due to the lack of storytelling itís not always clear what to do with certain objects, but through trial and error you can solve the puzzles anyway. Going from one room to the next though, is most definitely rewarding. Each area looks great and has its own creepy vibe to it. But when solving puzzles, youíll have to revisit some rooms more than once, and the rooms will lose more of their creepy charm the more often you visit them. Revisiting the same rooms over and over again may cause a loss of interest in the overall game design. It is however needed (as you may suspect) to solve the puzzles. The fact that Iíve never played a point and click adventure before didn't seem to be a disadvantage at all. I managed to recover some hidden coins and even managed to collect all hidden coins in episode 2. I definitely believe that there are harder point and click adventures out there, but for me Decay: The Mare was just challenging enough to make it a fun experience.
Decay: The Mare is a fun little game that you can click your way through in just a few hours, you could even go the extra mile for an alternate ending. My ending was the one I promised to my friend the hand. It was worth it.
Decay: The Mare the complete episodes is available as of the 13th of February 2015 on steam for PC, MAC OSX and Linux