The Ward is a 3rd person point & click sci-fi adventure game developed by Fragile Bits. In the game you play the role of Walker, an astronaut, who was on a standard mission on the moon when all hell broke loose. After loosing his crewmates he finds himself alone on an alien moonbase with a collar on his neck. He'll need to find out what's going on, but first find a way to leave the room. |
Gameplay is standard point & click, you use the mouse to do everything, from manipulating objects to talking to people. The game has a strong science fiction theme into it (what do you expect when you combine astronauts with alien abductions?) and may not be suitable for all gamers. Puzzles are quite hard since you have much machinery to understand and manipulate (the infamous memorizer comes to mind).
The Ward comes on 2 CDs, however does not include speech (speech is only available in the cut-scenes, and is quite poorly done). The puzzles are repetitive (5 slider puzzles are enough for everyone), at a certain point you'll have to play a blackjack game (which will occupy you for at least an hour), and the game might just get plain boring at a certain level. Also there are many short timed sequences which will have you saving and loading like mad, which leads to my main gripe, the loading/saving feature of the game. I think The Ward has one of the WORST loading/saving feature of all adventure games. Though you get 9999 save slots (not kidding here), you get NO cancel button. This means you could play for an hour, accidentally go to the load screen, and from there, you can only reload a previous saved game, no going back to the point you just left at. I really wonder how that one got through beta testing. The last gripe I have is the walking, Walker walks *very* slowly, even when he is running out of time, he still walks *very* slowly. If any game could benefit from a run option, this would be it.
In conclusion, The Ward isn't a bad game, however it's not Top Dog material, which is a shame. It is however a very good start for a small company and I hope we'll see more adventures from them in the future. I also hope they'll listen to all the criticism The Ward got and not make the same mistakes.
Reviewed by: Lone Lines