Publisher: Fullbright Games
Developer: Fullbright Games
Release Date: 08/01/2017
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I was shocked when Tacoma ended as suddenly as it did. Before it even started I felt like it had ended and wanted to see more. You play as Amy Ferrier. Your job is to go to the space station Tacoma and find out why the crew died and acquire the AI onboard as well. There is zero action in the game, this is an adventure game through and through with story only. All you do is interact with objects and read and listen to dialog play out.
This type of game won’t be for everyone. I love a great story and characters and can enjoy that without any action at all if it’s done right. Tacoma comprises three explorable areas with each having useless interactive objects, but once you get to an area you use the AI to replay what happened in that area via holograms that walk around. You can fast forward and rewind the hologram play and in between, there may be some holograms with HUDs that need to be interacted with, and these are marked as question marks on the timeline of the event you are watching. Finding these holograms and interacting with their display allows you to see some insight into those characters. Honestly, it’s nothing super special or interesting. The issue is the overall story and larger picture doesn’t really sit and integrate well with the characters. They feel like a side story.
Once you get through all three areas by finding hidden passcodes to locked doors and reading various terminals, there’s nothing left to do. You drop off your AI book at the front of each hub into a wall that downloads all the data in that area. This takes around 15-20 minutes to do and in the meantime, you have to explore the area. Once it’s done downloading you grab it and go to the next hub and repeat. Once you get the AI wetware you head back to your ship and the game is over.
I wanted to learn more about this world. The fact that an evil corporation is building homes in space against the law is intriguing and there’s lots of potential here. I felt like I had no idea what was going on most of the time because I kept expecting the plot to move on, but instead, it just ended when most games would consider this the first chapter. I’m not a fan of short incomplete games like this and don’t support them. I’m a fan of short games if they are sweet and memorable and I have played plenty of those. This almost felt like a waste of an hour.
The visuals are decent and the art style is nice albeit forgettable. The voice acting is great and there are some interesting concepts at play that are just barely touched upon and then abandoned. Tacoma doesn’t give the already struggling adventure genre any hope or appeal to gamers who shy away from them either.