This adventure game is a reminder of how enjoyable the genre can be with a good story. Made by Acke Hallgren in the Unreal Engine, this brief point-and-click allows players to explore an attic that has some unexpected items. With puzzles that are just challenging enough, it is both relaxing and frustrating in a way that only adventure games can be.
There is no mistake that the game looks beautiful. The number of objects a player can interact with and hear feedback on is surprising. There are some small issues in the user interface and level design, but these do not detract from the core concepts of the game. Perhaps the biggest frustration is when left-clicking or right-clicking on objects. Typically, a left-click means to interact whereas a right-click is an observation. Not only is this is reversed in What Never Was, but it is also never explained in the game.
The premise is that you’re a young woman named Sarah who is clearing out the belongings of your recently deceased grandfather. All of this is through an opening scene where Sarah is on the phone with her mom. The screen is black, and the usage of sound effects along with the conversation sets the scene. The voice acting is all right, but some lines sounded hollow. Once in the game, exploring the level brings light to the relationship Sarah and her grandfather had. Other in-game observations made show the protagonist to being whimsical as well, and that makes her likable.
Even though it was a game I beat in less than an hour; I still enjoyed it immensely. I love that it is an actual adventure game in every sense possible. From the puzzles to Sarah’s remarks to the intriguing story that we don’t get enough of, I am excited to see what Acke Hallgren develops next. Hopefully, it is more of the above with polish.