Indie games have been getting better and better on mobile devices over the past couple of months and in this article, we’ll be reviewing a game which despite not having a triple-A budget, definitely deserves your attention. Embracelet is a captivating and well-represented game that tells the story of a teenage kid on a northern Norwegian island. The game is an exploration game in both the storyline and gameplay mechanics. Here in this article, we will review Embracelet and share our first impressions of the game.
The game tells the story of Jesper, a 17-year-old kid from the mainlands of Norway. The character possesses a lot of traits that most players will not find surprising at all in a protagonist of a storyline-focused game. Jesper can somewhat be described as a loner, weirdo, the kid who is struggling at school and trying to make friends. However, Jesper has a special relationship and an unusual bond with his sick grandfather.
Explore a beautiful Northern Norwegian island in the backdrop of a touching story
Starting with the review, Embracelet starts with a scene that shows 17 years old Jesper drowning in what soon appeared to be a future event that hasn’t happened yet. It’s what you would describe as the developer’s way of keeping players curious enough to find out why he was drowning.
Then you get a message on the screen that says “Five weeks earlier”. Jesper is dropped off at a hospital where he has to find his grandfather. Soon after locating the old man, they both sat on a bench where he tells Jesper to go into his room and find an old bracelet at the bottom drawer.
After finding the bracelet and returning it to his grandfather, he tells Jesper that the bracelet has magical powers to great extents. Jesper is shocked and did not believe his grandfather at first but with a little help from the old man, Jesper uses the magical powers of the bracelet himself which left him in awe.
The grandfather, on the other hand, doesn’t want Jesper to keep the bracelet as he believes it doesn’t belong in this world. He then tasks’ Jesper to take it upon himself to return the bracelet to its rightful place on an island called Slepp where he grew up.
Get a brief glimpse into a beautiful world with a slow-paced gameplay
The first 15 minutes of Embracelet would make one think that perhaps this is going to be a very boring game that leaves no interesting or viable impact for players in the long run but it’s not that sort of game.
While the early stages of the game might seem a bit boring and slow-paced, Jesper (your character), embarks on his adventurous quest to return his grandfather’s magical bracelet afterward. It’s upon this vast island that the immersion and thrilling story of Embracelet kicks off. The beautifully crafted island of Slepp feels large in scope with an ambient design and feel that would make most players feel relaxed and at home while exploring the island.
The game contains a lot of features like climbing mountains, fighting with drunk sailors, breaking into churches and abandoned homes in this epic adventure with characters and objects that players can interact with as part of the story progression.
Interact with characters and forge new friendships
The ability to interact with anyone you stumble across in Embracelet adds a unique feel to the game as you will come across different characters with each of them having their very own interesting personalities. Combined with character interactions, the game also lets you choose what you say and how you respond in these conversations, giving it a telltale game kind of feel.
However, the developer made it clear that despite what you choose during your conversations with others, it won’t lead to your death or failing a quest but it will most certainly affect how the story ends.
Solve cool interesting puzzles with your magic bracelet
Despite clearly being how the developer intended the game to be, having a magical bracelet made a lot of the puzzles pretty simple to pass through and progress as it is Jesper’s main (and mostly only solution) to the problems he encounters on Slepp.
By focusing his attention and energy, Jesper can move and sometimes control the physical world around him to achieve certain goals such as fixing the neighbor’s antenna, saving a stuck whale, blasting obstacles out of the way and so much more. Since Jesper doesn’t know the full extent of the bracelet’s powers or even how to control it fully, he doesn’t always turn out the way he intends it to go, but the more you progress into the game, the less the bracelet’s mechanic becomes relevant.
The story soon becomes the player’s main focus as it’ll get to a point where using the same mechanic over and over again to control the bracelet’s powers will become tiring. And while some of the puzzles are fun to complete, others can be tiresome and you’d just want to get through them instantly to find out what happens next.
Quick controls but lack of camera angle is a setback
This we believe to be one of the many perks of indie games. The developers seem to know and develop their games with comfortable controls. It’s not an open-world game but the character movements are subtle and the controls help players complete tasks faster and in a way, easier.
Something we disliked about the on-screen controls is the camera angle. Unlike most games that let you control the camera angles and view a room or location however you like, this game kind of makes it feels like you’re playing a game of 2009 and not 2021 because the camera angles can be a bit of a pain when you have to interact with a lot of things in a house or certain location or maybe you just want to get a better view of the place.
Simple graphics that sets the tone for the story
As mentioned earlier, Embracelet isn’t a triple-A budget kind of game which means the graphics aren’t exactly as extremely detailed as that of a mobile game of 3-4GB plus, and yet the game manages to offer breathtaking locations and whether changing ones at that. The character design appeared a bit too 2D-ish at first but most players won’t even mind and some would cease to notice that once they step foot in Slepp.
The game does well in capturing the nature around its locations which makes it a wonderfully crafted world combined with a soundtrack that while there are lots of room for improvement, feels just right for most parts of the game. The fact that the character voices are mute during conversations was a bit of a turn-off for me as it would’ve made the whole gameplay more enticing and captivating.
The early stages of Embracelet aren’t that interesting but as with many story-based games, it did set up a beautiful and captivating story later on. None of the game’s setbacks are truly deterring or game-breaking and sticking through those first 15 minutes of the game will greatly reward you once you step into the island of Slepp.
From our review perspective, Embracelet offers a rich storyline with interesting characters that pull you in. And then there’s the main character that despite starting rather dull, soon becomes likable and displayed a great amount of self-growth in the game. We can describe this game as simple, but the array of depths and choices it comes with can greatly influence how the story will turn out for you.
What are your opinions on the Embracelet game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments!
Embracelet offers a rich storyline with interesting characters that really pull you in. This game can be described as simple, but the array of depths and choices it comes with can greatly influence how the story will turn out for you.