We've taken an early look at Bed Head Games' upcoming adventure-puzzler.
It's quite an uncommon practice for me to take a look at games early in their development, simply because the core experience can be easily be overshadowed by bugs, issues, and performance problems. But, after being shown a look at Bed Head Games' upcoming adventure game, Flawless Abbey, I became quite excited with the premise of being able to dive into the colourful and eccentric world to test myself with its puzzles.
The idea of Flawless Abbey is to explore a colourful tower (the Labyrinth Tower) riddled with puzzles, secrets and mysteries. You're tasked with solving a range of challenging environmental problems that each unlock the next room or stage of the tower that you are intending to climb. This can be something as simple as finding a cypher and studying the local area to determine what it's alluding to, or instead having to crank a lever at a specific speed to keep an object that it turns from being broken. There are plenty of puzzles to conquer, of various difficulties, and from what I've experienced, the less physical challenges, tend to work better as they feel far more rewarding to solve.
A good example of one of the puzzles is found right at the start of the game, when you are tasked with figuring out how to leave the train that brought you to the Tower. At one of the doors, you find a piece of paper with a strange set of markings scribbled on it. Initially, the scrawling makes absolutely zero sense, but as you study the train carriage you begin to notice that the foldable passenger seats are each emboldened with a symbol, some of which coincide with the markings on the paper. Putting two together, it becomes apparent that you have to find the set of seats that reflect the symbols on the paper, and then ensure those seats are put down in the correct order to play a short tune that will in turn allow you to be able to open the door and leave the carriage.
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The puzzles are by far one of the strongest points when it comes to Flawless Abbey, even if some are a little finicky, but that's fair to expect for a game that is still early in development. But, I'd be remiss not to point out the art style as well, as this is a vibrant, eye-catching and incredibly colourful title. It's designed in such a way that Flawless Abbey resembles a painted fairytale, with a lot of its environments and locales being mystical, and almost resembling a stained glass window. The art direction is so stand-out that it's almost distracting at times, as your eyes will begin to wander and become enthralled by the captivating set pieces.
The point is, Bed Head is on to some great ideas with Flawless Abbey, but that doesn't mean the game is perfect. There's still a lot of polishing to be done (again, it's in early development so that's fair to expect), and the narrative is a little lacklustre, even if it does feature a degree of narrative branching to give some weight to player decisions. But, there's time to iron out these areas and to better them where necessary, so hopefully Bed Head will be able to improve the already promising aspects and improve Flawless Abbey more where it needs it.
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With Flawless Abbey lacking a firm release date, there's no word on when we'll get to check out this puzzling adventure in full, but hopefully, when launch day does come around, we'll be in store for quite an enjoyable, mind-boggling, and captivating experience.