“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.” – Philip K. Dick
Faded Stories: Greenberg is a series of abstract and surreal point-and-click puzzle adventures. Set in the city of Greenberg where time is meaningless and space is infinite, rich with endless history but now fading away. In a place of endless possibilities, it is impossible to tell reality from fairy tale.
Developer: Desert Fox
Released: 18th June 2022
Available on: Steam
Engine: Game Maker
Gameplay and Narrative
Faded Stories: Greenberg is made up of a series of short adventures. Each one has its own surreal narrative and theme. The tales are not as macabre as in some of the developer’s previous titles but they are just as abstract and intriguing, for example, the first story is about a lonely giant. Similar to a lot of point-and-click games, this one uses simple and intuitive mouse-only controls.
The puzzles are largely inventory-based and can be as abstract as the narrative, some are really rather tricky but there is always some sort of logic behind the solution making them very satisfying to complete. Some chapters include items that can only be used in the same scene in which they were found and another had items that could change into different things. There are a number of small variations to the gameplay and puzzle styles that help keep the experience fresh throughout.
Faded Stories: Greenberg offers a lot of replayability in that there are multiple paths, endings, secrets and some challenging achievements. Additionally, there are some paths that can’t be unlocked until certain information is gained in a previous playthrough.
The game’s art style is very distinct and along with the familiar gameplay, this gives Desert Fox’s titles something of an auteur feel to them. The background is like aged paper, yellowed and stained around the edges. Layered upon this is minimalistic black line art making up the varied scenes, featuring only the occasional splash of colour. There is no music in Faded Stories: Greenberg but there are plenty of sound effects to help immerse the player in the strange stories!
Faded Stories: Greenberg will only take a few hours to complete once but the replayability is vast making it potentially a much longer experience. The aesthetic is original and distinct and fits well with the brilliantly bizarre gameplay and abstract narratives. This along with the satisfying puzzles and many secrets make for a game that is both entertaining and rewarding. I highly recommend this title to fans of the point-and-click puzzle genre and anyone who has previously enjoyed a game by Desert Fox.
For more abstract puzzle games take a look at:
The Search – An Abstract Delve into the Barriers to Creativity – Magnus Imago – An Atmospheric and Abstract New Puzzle Game!