The Game Slush Pile

Conarium Switch Review

PlatformNintendo Switch
Release Date2/4/2021
PublisherIceberg Interactive
ESRB RatingT

H.P. Lovecraft is a man more famous for his ideas than anything he actually wrote. Cthulhu is iconic, but how many people have tracked down the Call of Cthulhu short story and read it? I’d venture far fewer. Conarium is based on Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, but you don’t need to have read it.

The short story Cthulhu is from isn’t as good as the icon it spawned, in my opinion anyway.

You are Frank Gilman who awakens at an Antarctic base in 1949, with amnesia and a strange contraption on your left hand. There’s no power, so you walk outside to the power station and turn it back on.

You can go outside in an Antarctic snow storm and be just fine!

Walk back into the base and the story formally begins. Everyone has a disappeared, and its has to do with the ancient ruins the expedition found beneath the base. And the main thrust of the plot is retracing the expedition’s steps.

I was hoping the cat would turn into a tentacle creature. Not disappointed.

Conarium is not a walking simulator, but yet not a full fledged adventure game. Basically, you explore everything, touch everything, read everything, pick up everything and solve straight forwards puzzles. The only difficult puzzles are those that unlock optional secrets that add to the story. Like deciphering Morse code and tuning a radio based on it.

This is one of the tougher puzzles in the game, but its not mandatory.

You can die, but only if you do stupid things, like ram your submarine against the walls too many times. Unlike other Lovecraft games, there is no sneaking around(thank Cthulhu). The story is the star here, and it is very good.

The submarine section is thankfully short.

My only real complaint is the game grinds beyond the submarine where it becomes less clear about what you’re supposed to be doing. Other than that, buckle up for a classic Lovecratian affair that’ll last a few hours, depending on how much bumbling around you do. There is even worth a second play through for a different ending.

Overall: A very good Lovecraftian story that is worth all the walking around.

Verdict: Recommended

Nintendo Site

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