Life of Delta Already Has Most Of What A Great Adventure Game Needs

Still Work To Do

Life of Delta

 

Point and click adventure games are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment, with excellent titles like Norco, The Case of the Golden Idol, and Return to Monkey Island reminding players why this genre was beloved in the first place. Brain bending puzzles, interesting stories, and a bit of charm can go a long way in these games and the bite sized piece of Life of Delta I was recently able to try definitely has all three. My question ultimately is whether the puzzles are going to bend my brain in the right ways.

Life of Delta starts out with a little robot named Delta being hidden by his friend Joe as soldiers appear at their door. They take Joe away, leaving Delta all alone. Delta was a service robot in a Megacity factory scheduled for decommission before Joe saved him, but that seemingly wasn’t something he was allowed to do. Now he’s been dragged off to Megacity by those soldiers and Delta wants to repay the favor and save him.

 

Life of Delta

 

When it comes to those three elements, Life of Delta has a ton of charm. Delta is adorable and the whole look of its world is fascinating. Apparently this is a future version of Japan and while I didn’t necessarily pick that up in the small amount of time I was able to play, I’m intrigued to see how that will impact things moving forward. I also really latched onto the story, I want to see more of what’s going on with this society and find out if Delta is able to save Joe.

The main difference between a visual novel and an adventure game though tends to be the puzzles though. You want things that are going to make you think, but which you also ultimately have the tools to figure out, preferably without needing extra help. There are three main puzzles in the Life of Delta demo and two of them capture this pretty well, especially for early game puzzles. First you need to figure out how to get a bird out of its cage, which involves retrieving a key from a safe. The answer you need is hidden in the environment and will make players get used to finding visual clues. The last puzzle, involving the need to retrieve a flag that will convince a trader to help you get to a local village where they might be able to find a ship for you to use also makes excellent use of the various resources you collect throughout your brief time in the game. It requires you to consider your options and progresses well.

 

Life of Delta

 

In between those two though there’s another puzzle which I found downright maddening. Delta needs to use a battery charger to refill his batteries before heading out on his journey. This requires you pick the panels on a triangle shaped grid in the right order. Missing a few resets the whole thing. Players are given no direction in what they’re supposed to be doing here. Instead, visual clues on screen are supposed to clue them in as to what panels to pick.

In a vacuum that sounds doable, but the pattern is not particularly intuitive. Those visual clues are absolutely how you’re meant to solve this. The issue is that the visual clues are only a slight changing of certain panels from black to grey, a minor adjustment which is incredibly easy to miss. It’s poorly designed and while this puzzle wouldn’t need a huge change to work a lot better, its concerning that a puzzle so early in the experience, one meant to give players a taste of the game, already has such issues.

 

 

Still, it would only take a minor change, and everything else about my time with Life of Delta I liked. The full game promises 28 hand painted levels and more than 50 mini-games so there should be plenty to do. I may not be completely sold yet, but I’ll absolutely be keeping an eye on this one.

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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