“I am alone and miserable. Only someone as ugly as I am could love me.” – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature is a beautiful adaptation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. Players follow the monstrous protagonist on an emotional journey in this point-and-click walking sim and interactive fiction.
The gameplay in The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature is quite minimal, with the emphasis placed on the aesthetics and the narrative elements. However, the walking-simulator-style gameplay is sporadically broken up with simple mini-games. These include chopping wood, playing musical instruments and solving a puzzle. There is not a lot of challenge in the mini-games but the added level of interactivity helps immerse the player and strengthen the narrative. The only minor downside is that the movement controls (mouse-only) can be a little awkward at times making the protagonist’s movement feel stiff.
The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature has a strong narrative based on a classic and well-loved piece of literature. It does justice to its source material and using a few direct quotes and providing an emotive and intriguing tale that keeps the player engaged throughout. The story is one of isolation, rejection and loneliness and is told mostly through beautifully written first-person narration that is both descriptive and evocative and a stand-out feature of the game. There are several choices to be made in the game, including dialogue choices, that can have an impact on how the narrative plays out meaning there are multiple endings available which adds some replay value.
The impressionistic, painterly art style of The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature is very unique and fits the story and gameplay well. The game begins in black and white and as colour is gradually introduced the palettes range from vibrant and saturated to dark and moody. The sound design is an absolute highlight with immersive and atmospheric sound effects such as the wind howling or birds tweeting, there are also instances of some very visceral sound effects that are incredibly effective. Similarly, the music is exceptional ranging from ethereal droning and delicate twinkling to evocative intense melodies on strings and stunning vocals. The combination of audio and visual elements really brings this game to life and helps it to be a poignant and meaningful experience.
The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature is quite linear overall and will take around 2.5 hours to complete one playthrough, though there is some replayability due to the different endings. The gameplay is minimal but has sporadic instances of interaction beyond moving through a scene such as dialogue, choices and mini-games. The aesthetic of this game is by far its strongest feature with stunning painterly visuals and moving and immersive sound design. The narrative is the primary focus of the game and the interpretation and rendition of the source material are both effective and satisfying. I’d recommend this game to anyone that likes casual and emotive interactive fiction and fans of Frankenstein!
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