Release Date: November 28, 2012
Developer: IonFx Studios
ESRB Rating: T
Miasmata is an indie survival game from IonFx Studios, and it proves to be unique, in a genre that has been littered with first person indie games. I didn't really expect much going in, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finished the game.
Story, Presentation, and Core Gameplay:
As a disease stricken scientist, you've been deserted on a secluded island called Eden, and you must find the cure for your life-threatening illness. On Eden, you have to survive long enough while you find items and clues left behind by previous scientists. Thats all you need to know, and thats really all you're given in terms of exposition. The game wants you to learn about the mysterious island on your own, and thats part of the game's magic. The mystique surrounding Eden is really captivating, after each clue, you learn just a little more about your surroundings. The graphics in the game are really impressive, especially for an indie title, even if you can't ramp up the game to it's maximum settings, the environments are all highly detailed and you'll rarely see a bad texture or any odd looking objects. The actual island itself is pretty big, and there are a lot of areas to explore. There really isn't any music in the game, besides the menu music. The sound design is still pretty good, you'll hear the wind whistling through the trees, and different sounds the wildlife makes. The lack of music creates a truly isolated experience, but it would have been nice to hear some emotional tunes as you traverse the island. The performance can suffer at times, the framerate can really suffer while you're walking through a specific area. Since you are alone, without any type of technology, you aren't given any type of HUD.
This can make the game feel a little weird. You'll only get the occasional prompt that tells you that you're hungry or thirsty. The name of the game is survive, as time passes, your body will need the essentials to survive. Food, water, and sleep are your big three. Apples, bananas, and conveniently placed pitchers of water will be your main outlet for sustenance. You always have somewhere to go, thanks to your trusty map, but you will need to find the most items to be successful. Abandoned cabins and camps all hold clues for you to find. Finding certain flowers and plants are the key to the cure, so keeping your eyes peeled as you make your way through island is imperative. As you pickup new plants, you can take it back to a camp and analyze it, this tells you some enhancements that it can give to your character. The pain your character goes through will keep you engaged as well. This game can really creep you out as well, not by huge terrifying monsters, just the feeling that you're truly alone on a deserted island. The game is definitely intriguing, and you'll want to see it through the end once you start it up.
Miasmata is a game like no other, it compels you to finish it right from the beginning. Indie games have been getting better with each new release, and this game proves just that.
S&S Rating: 8/10