Developed By: Axon Interactive
Published By: Axon Interactive
Release Date: 08.07.2019
Quench is a puzzle-strategy game in which you help a young elephant leader bring her tribe to the Elder Tree where every generation makes a long journey across the country to meet up with the other animal tribes. Utilize god powers in order to clear the path for the denizens of the forest and try to discover why things seem so weird for this journey compared to the ones of generations past. Unique art and a great soundtrack add to a title in which you must do whatever it takes to bring the animals to the promised land; it must be done.
You are Shepherd, a god-like avatar of nature that is meant to aid the animals of the world on their journey to visit the Elder Tree for their generational meeting of the various groups of the animal kingdom. Shaman, the young elephant who has requested your help in this journey is there to teach you the ways of the elephant tribe and to help you learn through your new-founded abilities. Things seem extra difficult and strange happenings are occurring for the animal friends this time around, and it is up to you to make sure they arrive safely, and to find out why all of this is happening.
The basic gameplay loop consists of starting out with a group (or groups) of animals and having to lead them down a linear path with several obstacles. It can be something as simple as the necessity of food and water, to thick patches of dry thorns or deep water, but nonetheless it is your job to find a way to get the creatures to the finish line. You use a vast array of god powers in order to complete this quest, and those include lightning abilities that allow you to start forest fires to clear the bramble to wind powers that let you speed up the group or clear out sand dunes to reveal a life saving oases. You also have rain powers that allow you to reinvigorate the landscape so the animals have a means of survival. FInally, you have a quake power that lets you clear out piles of rocks to let a path open up.
With all of this you have to manage the health and number of animals remaining in the groupings as well as the stamina left before they cannot continue due to starvation. This is why it is critical to get oasis’ built up on the path so that your animals can get back to tip top shape, and from there you just have to manage the obstacles we have discussed here making it possible for you to move through the game at all.
You have a limited number of god powers on each level as you progress, and so you must make the right decisions on how often to get oasis’ made, or whether to take the north path where there are a ton of brambles, or the southernmost path where you will have to pass through two rocks clearings and take a swim across a river. You can gain more powers by using your rain power on the oasis/tree areas that let you rest and heal, and when this is done on areas that also have special looking stones you gain extra uses on these powers. This is where the strategy comes into it as you need to scan the whole landscape and see what powers you can gain on the level, what you start with, and which path seems the easiest to get through based on the powers you have saved up.
All of this makes for an interesting puzzle game that is unique compared to most others in the genre. God games are making a little bit of a comeback as of late, and the way they are implementing those mechanics into various stories and with interesting side genres is really a cool thing to see. Quench is not a difficult puzzle game as everything is pretty much laid out before you with very little in the surprise department. You also have very little strategy necessary outside of trying to decipher the best route. None of this makes for a title that excels in either genre, however paired up with all of the unique decisions makes for enough of a change that this is one I was happy to have played through, even though I was able to plow through the game with little resistance or skill necessary.
The art style in this game is quite nice, and as is a recurring theme in this title, is unique in several ways. The papercraft style that gives the game a low poly aesthetic matches perfectly with the top-down perspective, and is very colorful and pleasing aesthetically. You also have a soundtrack that pairs up well with the art and gameplay and made the experience all that much more enjoyable.
Quench is an experience I was glad to have tried out. There are a lot of good things in here and the unique ideas and changes to the genres used make for something that brings a lot to the table. However, the lack of difficulty and depth in the puzzle and strategy sections make for a game that won’t make you try very hard and isn’t going to be all that satisfying for those that love the rush of finally besting a tough puzzle or planning and executing the perfect way to get through a challenge, The story is fantastical, and is an interesting idea, but doesn’t really go as far with it as it needed with the lack of serious gameplay elements. It seems like I am downing on this game, but I really don’t mean it. The game is fun, and interesting, and brings forward a lot that I think can be taken forward by a sequel or another game to bring forth something truly great, but the renaissance of god game experiences hasn’t found its messiah yet.
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*The Switch Effect was provided a review code for this game*