Developed by : Forever Entertainment                                                                  Published by : Forever Entertainment

Release Date : Oct 26, 2017

Mike Benton

 

Violett was one of the first titles that I spotted the day I got my Nintendo Switch. I spent hours on that first day skimming through every title in the store, looking for something I thought I’d enjoy to play. And every time I passed by this game, I stopped. I would slowly click through each and every image about this game, drooling over wanting to play this game. I had no idea whether or not I’d end up liking this game, I just knew I wanted to play it no matter what.

Our story follows the titular character, Violett, a young girl in her teens that is dragged and forced into a move by her parents into a large, spooky house. Her family has moved from the jam-packed busy city, to the boring and open countryside, and Violett dreads every moment of it. She’s forced to her room during an argument between her parents, where she ends up discovering a charm hidden inside of a hole in the walls of her room. Instantly, she’s ripped through a magical wormhole and transported to a completely different world. Violett finds herself to be only a fraction of her original size, and the personal prisoner of some sort of insect that traps her in a cage before going to stand over a pot to cook.

From the moment you gain control of her, Violett is a point-and-click puzzle adventure, one that can be played either with manual controls or by making use of the touch screen on the Switch. I personally found no preference of one over the other. Using manual controls brings up a cursor you can guide around the room, and it will change it’s symbol if you hover over something that is clickable. Or, you have the option of the touch screen which, if you like to randomly tap in these kinds of games and hope for the best, this option eliminates the seconds that it would take forcing the cursor from one end of the room to the other.

As you explore the game,  you’ll traverse a series of rooms, each with their own puzzle to be solved. What’s nice is this game eliminates the feeling of fetch-quests. All items needed for a solution are contained within the puzzle room itself, so there’s no need to commit anything to memory about which room you need to return to with which piece of the puzzle.

One thing that’s hard to put a pin on about this game is whether or not to label it as “cutesy” or “spooky”, because there are heavy elements of both. The environment in each room is filled with dozens of items, inanimate objects are scattered all over with beautiful bright colors, some personified with human characteristics like eyes that will follow you around. While at the same time, you’ll find bugs with eerie looking faces, usually centric to the puzzles you need to solve. (The bugs….not the creepy faces).

If you find yourself in a bit of a jam, Violett does offer a hint system as well. Since each puzzle and it’s solution pieces are always contained in the same room, each room also contains four hints, revealing bit-by-bit the steps you need to take in order to solve the puzzle. There’s also clues that you can find within the levels themselves, scattered pages from books with information on one of the bugs/creatures you will need to deal with. It not only provides you with more details on the mythology of that specific creature, but hidden inside those details just might be the key to figuring out what you need to sneak past them or to make them happy.

While the game draws on many narrative inspirations, there are artistic ones as well, with M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” being a clear inspiration here

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of in this game was that, other than the lack of text on the book pages you can discover, there’s no other text at all in this game. All your hints and clues are given to you in image form, and conversations you have with inhabitants of the world you’re exploring take place in little picture-filled speech bubbles. And the items that you can pick up to collect in your backpack don’t come with any descriptions to indicate what they may be used for, or if they even have any use at all.

Violett might not be a game for everyone, but it is such a hypnotic and beautiful experience that it is more than worth checking out on your Switch, whether you breeze through all the puzzles, or struggle to get through the first few rooms. No matter what, I guarantee you will enjoy this title.

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