I still remember the time when Limbo came out and the indies scene just started becoming big. One of the other things I distinctly remember, is the fact that a lot of Limbo-like games came out right after. What you probably do not know if you do not frequent the “New Releases” parts of Steam, is that, Limbo clones pop up at least every other week. How many of those games can actually stand on their own though and be good? Well, Seen, by Seen Games is one of those games and today we will explore how good it is.
You can find this review in video format as well.
Seen looks like a Limbo-like game, but ends up setting its own tone in a very intuitive way. It is an indie, a platformer and a rhythm game (of sorts) that has a strong message behind it. The player takes control of a lonely kid that is trying to escape a dark and oppressing world. Think of the always-running stages of Rayman Legends and then pair it with a sad and grey-colored metropolitan vibe to create Seen’s average gameplay experience.
Throughout the game, we try to guide the lonely kid through a very industrial environment while collecting little globes that apparently signify the light in the darkness. Happiness versus sadness? Black and white? I don’t know, something about that. Something about the game that pushes the whole sadness and depression theme puts me off to be honest. That is because I love narrative design in games and anything that tries to throw something in my face immediately makes me lose interest. Even more so when it is all about binary feelings like sadness and happiness.
Nonetheless, despite my own thoughts about the game and what it tries to do story-wise, it actually plays pretty well. The controls are nice and moving the kid in all sorts of directions feels good. We are not always running though as there are some parts where we have to roam around and solve some puzzles in order to continue forward.
Oh and, there’s a cat. If you were wondering why the game has Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam, it is most probably because of the cat and not because the kid is constantly crying. Jokes aside, (is it really a joke though?) the game has enough mechanics and enough interesting platforming challenges to keep things interesting and keep the player in front of the screen. It is not a very long game, but long enough to satiate anyone who will enjoy its first ten minutes before deciding to finish the whole thing.
The developers went as deep as to create a logo for the game that is an arabic letter, س, that literally reads as “sîn” which is the name of the game too. One thing that I cannot help but only take seriously, is the sound design. The game has an excellent soundtrack that in most cases actually manages all on its own to carry the action forward, keeping the player’s interest and making us want to see more in Seen. Wordplay intended.
Are you looking for an interesting platforming experience where you fight sadness? Are you looking to pet a cute cat inside a game? Do you want a few hours of platforming content for a price that beats most of the other overpriced games available on Steam? Seen is definitely for you and if it is not, it is seriously so underpriced that it is most definitely worth a try.
You can watch the game’s trailer here.
~Constantine “Kelfecil” Christakis
We would like to thank the developers/publishers for providing us with a copy of this game for coverage purposes. As a non-commercial press team, it is our honor and our delight to be able to provide our opinion on it.