Tormentum is what a point and click adventure by H.R. Giger would look like, I imagine. Let’s have a look.
You wake up in a cage, hanging from an airship. There’s a second cage dangling from the ship next to you, a ratlike creature inside it. You have no idea why you are here, but you are taken to a castle and imprisoned, apparently to be tortured. Can you escape?
There is a wide variety of point and click adventures and the mechanics between them can differ.
In some, you control a character on screen, with the ability to make the characters move to places on the screen. Then there’s the games where you look through the eyes of the character and can interact with what you see.
Some games offer a lot of different ways to interact with points of interest on screen. Others offer a limited number of interactions, but have large inventories where you can store stuff you can collect in the game. Some games focus on logic puzzles, other games focus on actual puzzles. Some are linear, others are anything but.
Tormentum combines several of these features. It has a player character you can see on screen, but you can’t move them around. Instead, you interact with points of interest on the screen. You also have a limited inventory. Some puzzles involve using the right item in the right place, others are actual puzzle mini-games.
The game also allows you to solve certain puzzles in different ways. These decisions usually have a moral component and influence the story further down the line.
Tormentum leans heavily on its atmosphere. It’s Giger-like art and dark horror creates an oppressive feeling of gloom. The various characters you meet don’t have a lot of background, but they do have presence. All those small and often dark stories help paint a very bleak picture.
The game doesn’t have a strong protagonist, but that’s not really a problem. The important character is the world you visit.
I do have to admit that I’m not a fan of actual mini-game puzzles. I didn’t really like Myst, for example, and didn’t finish it, and I only finished the 7th Guest with a walkthrough, back in the day. Tormentum’s puzzles are okay, and they’re maybe half of the puzzles there. In the end, I feel a mini game distracts from the story, and in this case, from the world. And that’s a shame.
Tormentum is a good game. If you like point and click adventures with a dark horror atmosphere, or you love Giger, you’ll probably like this. The game isn’t too long either, which helps keep it focused and fresh.
It’s not the Blackwell series, or the next Gabriel Knight, but the game is a good way to spend some time.