Menu Close

Rauniot Review – Isometric Point-and-Click Adventure

Rauniot is an isometric point-and-click adventure game developed by Act Normal Games and released on April 18, 2024. Set in 1975 Northern Finland, this game takes you on a haunting exploration of a post-apocalyptic world, weaving a melancholic narrative through beautifully desolate landscapes. While playing I was reminded of playing the early STALKER games with the setting as well as Metro 2033 with bullets being a precious commodity.

A mysterious natural disaster has ravaged civilisation, leaving behind a broken world where humanity struggles to survive. Rauniot doesn’t shy away from portraying the harsh realities of this new reality. You encounter the remnants of a shattered society, from abandoned settlements to desperate survivors clinging to a semblance of normalcy. Act Normal Games masterfully crafts this atmosphere through over 70 meticulously detailed environments.

There are lots of puzzles to solve, and each scene requires some pixel hunting to find interactive objects. I liked that the objects only glowed slightly different to the environment around them, there was no key to hold down to highlight them, and they played a subtle sound when you mouse-over them. Even still, I missed many of them in my visit to new scenes, so I did a lot of backtracking. Once you visit a location it is added to your map, and you can fast travel back and forth between known locations with ease.

There are a couple of achievements that I realised that I did one thing ‘wrong’ in the first 30 or so minutes of the game which is really annoying for someone like me that likes to complete as much as I can in one run. It’s not game breaking and doesn’t change the outcome of the story, it’s more that I only have a couple of achievements left to get. It reminded me of similar achievements in similar games like Monkey Island 2: Special Edition and Full Throttle Remastered. This means eventually I will come back and replay the game just to get that achievement done, but I’ll wait for a rainy day to so do.

While Rauniot adheres to the core mechanics of point-and-click adventures, it offers a depth that may surprise veterans of the genre. You’ll interact with objects in the environment, gather useable items, and solve puzzles to progress the story. The puzzles themselves are a testament to the developer’s creativity. They range from cleverly logical to delightfully obtuse, with some even offering multiple solutions, encouraging a sense of discovery, and rewarding you for thinking outside the box. A notebook is included to help you organise your collections of images, jot down clues, dossiers on people you meet, and track changes to map zones with fast travel.

The game’s true strength and what kept me exploring further was its unique blend of atmosphere, narrative, and the setting. It steps away from the typical post-apocalyptic tropes, offering a fresh perspective steeped in Finnish culture and folklore. The soundtrack and Finnish voiceovers, imbued with regional accents, further deepen the immersion. If you’re not one to like reading subtitles, then this may be a sticking point, but I enjoyed it and it added tension to the atmosphere, not knowing who you can trust on their word. This isn’t just another Fallout wasteland populated by generic raiders (though one character looks very much like a ghoul from Fallout); it’s a world with its own distinct identity, steeped in an eeriness of mystery around every corner.

Overall, Rauniot offers a compelling and immersive experience whether you’re a seasoned point-and-click adventurer or a newcomer to the genre. It’s a game that lingers in the mind long after you’ve logged off, prompting reflection on resilience, the human spirit, and the enduring beauty of a broken world. The puzzles were also a decent mix of difficulty and made you think.

This review utilised a key provided by Pathway PR and Rauniot is available now on Steam.

Related Posts