Adios Review – See You Around, Friendo
Developed By: Mischief
Published By: Mischief
Price: £13.99 /$17.99
There’s something comforting about stories that are purely emotion. No heavy story, lore to follow, or names to keep track of; just discussions and feelings. Paired with a great set of VAs, and you can create something that people will think about more so than the latest big release. Some might think stories like that don’t belong in the games industry, but I believe it has the right place here, offering interactivity, even the smallest of kinds. That’s what makes games like Adios, developed and published by Mischief, is trying to go for.
The premise of Adios is that you play as a pig farmer in a deal with the mafia to help dispose of bodies by feeding them to the pigs. For years, he’s been used to this song and dance, until finally he just wants out. The hitman knows what this means for him, and tries to convince him to stick to the job. For his own good.
Now, I’m going to get the rest of the stuff out of the way and leave the most important part, my thoughts on the story, for last.
Adios is much like your average short narrative-driven indie game. Most of the game you will be walking around from point to point, interacting with parts of the environment while talking to your murderous buddy. There’s plenty of stuff to actually mess around with, and you can explore to your heart’s content. However, you can’t interact with all of it at the same time, only when it’s time to.
What I enjoy though is being able to do these tinier interactions. Things like throwing a can over to him while talking about the concept of hobbies, taking sips of coffee when reminiscing about the first time you did a job. I usually like to act while conversations are happening, having the character look around while they talk how I think they would. Adios recognized those who enjoy that, which is appreciated.
Visually, the game is actually quite pretty in its environmental design, and it leaves a lot of little details to observe around, things that are never mentioned, just there to add to the scenery. Models of the characters and some animals are a bit simple, but they were fine enough to serve the story.
Audio design does its job well enough. I felt immersed within this tiny snippet of the world, and it was almost calming just walking around, despite the circumstances. The music is barely there, besides the tapes and records you can play. It was preferred for me, just allowed you to live in that moment.
I can’t say I ran into too many problems with the game itself. The only issue I had was getting stuck in a doorway due to the hitman blocking it, and somehow it lodged me in there so I couldn’t move away either. A quick restart brought me back though.
So, with all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the story.
Just Another Day
Adios’ story did a perfect job in setting out what it wanted to do. It didn’t want some huge, intricate story to rival the likes of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, but instead bring us into this snippet of life, this event that happens between two friends.
What I enjoy the most about this story is the writer’s reliance on the player to understand what’s happening, as well as their ability to let certain threads go. This game has no exposition, and no explanation of specific things said when it doesn’t feel right. Instead, we as the player have to gather the info, piece it together, and figure things out from there. There will be things left to the wind, never to be spoken of again. Because why would it?
This is led more credence by the fact that there are “dialogue options” that do literally nothing. These are grayed out and when you choose them, they disappear with the lead going “hmm.” These choices more often than not are showing things that the protagonist wants to say, but just can’t.
Now, though I did enjoy these “non-choices” and what they brought to the game’s story, I can’t help but have a tiny issue with some of them. During the more hard-hitting scenes, where the emotions of the lead are changing to more somber tones, it does feel strange when you choose a non-choice and he keeps that same neutral tone of “hmm.” Adding in the small detail of his “hmm” becoming more sad would’ve been a nice little change.
Other than that, the voice actors, and their voice director, did a wonderful job. It never felt like they were reading a script, but just sitting there in a room and talking. Some lines were delivered with such genuine emotion that I did manage to tear up a bit from time to time. They carried this all the way through to the end, and I commend them for their work.
The Only Choice
See, it isn’t the story that’s important here, but the characters in that story. Actually, these felt a lot like humans rather than just characters, most likely due to the subtle writing and voice acting. All of this helps strengthen the end, of which there is only one. There’s no way to change how the ending goes. The most a dialogue choice can change is how some conversations go.
Honestly, that’s how I would prefer it. Adios wasn’t suppose to be some stroke of decision-making genius where there are ten different endings based on how things go. It’s a small, real story someone wanted to tell. Despite its short length, and lack of genuine decisions to change the story, by the time I hit the credits, I felt like I got what I expected out of it. Though I may have wanted a little more conversation between the two leads.
Adios was a nice little experience. It’s not a “thinking man’s game,” per say, but a game that makes you think. You keep thinking about it, and probably won’t stop for a while. You won’t be looking for meaning, but just thinking how little things here and there really helped carry it along. Although it is a bit pricey, I would say you feel like you got something really nice out of it. However, if you’re unsure about it, then I would recommend waiting for a sale.
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Reviewed by Freelance7. Game received by Post Horn PR.