Apocalyptic visions of the future are ten a penny these days. If it’s not some deadly virus that turns everyone into zombies (28 Days Later, Resident Evil et al) then it’s a nuclear war (Fallout 3) or environmental catastrophe (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012).
Having finally got our hands on the English version of Tri-Crescendo’s thoroughly lovely adventure, we were hoping to see which category Fragile Dreams’ end-of-days scenario fitted into. Sadly, we’re still none the wiser, but it might have something to do with cats. And the moon.
You play as a young man called Seto, who wanders a deserted and derelict world in search of fellow survivors. What it is you’ve survived, and where everyone has buggered off to, is a mystery.
The opening segment takes place in the small observatory that was your home, before shifting to an underground railway station. The first hour or so meanders between introducing game concepts such as yourflashlight and the fireside inventory system (you heal and fiddle with your inventory at little fire pots), and melancholic cutscenes. It’s slow-going stuff, and although the pace picks up a little as you delve further in, the opening does set the tone for the rest of the adventure. Those with little patience need not apply.
Unsurprisingly, exploration peppered with combat makes up the bulk of the gameplay, which is punctuated by fairly considerable chunks of dialogue and exposition. In what we’ve played so far, the exploration side of things has involved hunting for keys to progress to the next area. For example, in the underground station you need to find a shutter key to get onto the platform. Once you’re on the platform and have dealt with the wild dogs blocking your path, you reach the outside world via an abandoned train, whereupon you go to a storehouse to grab a key from a ghostly girl before trotting back to the station to unlock a shutter that takes you to an underground mall.