“You realize that our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Underground Blossom is the latest title from Rusty Lake and is set in a series of puzzling underground metro stations that each represent a different stage or event in Laura Vanderboom’s life.
Developer: Rusty Lake
Released: 27th September 2023
Price: £2.99 – £4.99
Narrative and Gameplay
Underground Blossom is set across different metro stations with names such as crib lane or child lane, each depicting a different event of Laura Vanderboom. Players start at Crib Lane with Laura’s mother and baby Laura, who gets older as the player progresses through the different locations. At each station, the player must solve puzzles to reveal the story and also obtain a ticket and train time in order to get to the next station.
The point-and-click gameplay is typical of any Rusty Lake game, full of strange items, locked boxes and conundrums! There is a good amount of variety among the puzzles, which are largely inventory and logic-based. They have a good level of difficulty and surrealism meaning they are highly satisfying to solve but the challenge is not so great that it detracts from the casual pace. Despite the unsettling nature of the narrative and visuals at times, this title remains a relatively relaxing experience overall.
Underground Blossom features the same stylised cartoon art style that graces the rest of Rusty Lake’s games and uses familiar muted colour palettes and bold outlines. The visuals fit the game well and do a good job of depicting the more sinister and creepy elements of the experience.
The music is a highlight of the game and utilises evocative strings and melodic piano in minor keys to create a dramatic atmosphere and emotional connection to the game. Simple but immersive sound effects such as locks clicking and trains moving also add to the ambience and help bring the scenes to life.
Underground Blossom will take around 2 hours to complete, it is a fantastic example of a point-and-click game and a Rusty Lake title. It lives up to the previous games with the stylised illustrative cartoon visuals, emotive and dramatic music and most importantly, satisfying and engaging gameplay. I’d highly recommend this title to Rusty Lake fans but also to anyone looking for a top-quality point-and-click puzzle game.
Looking for more lightly creepy point-and-click titles? Check out these reviews:
Rusty Lake Paradise – or is it? – Birth – A Delightfully Gruesome Point-and-Click Puzzle Game – Children of Silentown – A Sweet and Spooky Point-and-Click Adventure