Where Are My Friends? is a side-scrolling platformer developed by Beard Games Studio and published by Sometimes You. It tells the story of an unnamed protagonist that scours the universe for his friends that have seemed to be captured by a weird tribe of people. You do not know why your friends were targeted or who these people are, but you know that you are the only one that can save them. Will you be their savior or end up in a ditch wondering where are my friends?
Touted as the ‘Game Without Words’ and being heavily promoted as being four different genres all wrapped up in one game made this game seem to be a very interesting experience. I really liked this idea as I had never heard of a video game that had multiple distinct genres equally spaced throughout the game. This made me ecstatic to try this game out, but unfortunately, it was not the pot of gold that I was hoping for.
Where Are My Friends? is broken down into four levels, each having their own unique gameplay style. Differing from other games, each level is completely different in perspective, objectives, and overall goals. At one point, you are playing a point n’ click adventure and the next moment you are scavenging through caves in a metroidvania-inspired layout. On paper, this sounds great, who wouldn’t want to have so much variety that everything changes around every corner. However, this game was not executed in a phenomenal way. The central hub was an interesting area to explore and find some awesome secrets, but once you got into the meat of the game, it all went downhill and fast!
The mechanics presented in most of the stages are clunky and provide with a very frustrating scenario. Honestly, the only level that I was overly pleased with was the point n’ click adventure tower due to the interesting puzzles and the light-hearted nature of the environment. Once I ended up in the Jungle or entered the Lab, the enjoyment went out the door and I was more interested in just getting to the end, instead of actually enjoying the game that was in front of me. They all provided cool concepts, but when I started playing them, I felt that the games were extremely difficult and made that way just to pad the time.
The one silver lining in this peculiar game was the different visuals throughout. This cartoon aesthetics are really colorful and made the game a bit more interesting. My favorite level design came from the Laboratory due to its similarities to Portal. I felt that the developers did a great job at making a small version of a classic, I just wish that the gameplay would have been as amazing as the landscapes around it. The soundtrack didn’t offer me much and I barely even noticed the music throughout most of my time.
When I heard about this game, I was really intrigued, and I wanted it to be good. It was so different from everything else out there that I expected it to be over-the-top and bring forth a new style of defining game genres. However, none of my hopes were met and I was left playing a mediocre game that had little to no redeeming qualities. Honestly, I feel that the different genres, its biggest claim to fame, brought down the ship more than keeping it afloat. Having one genre throughout may have made Wheye’s story easier to follow and a better experience overall. Nonetheless, all it did was break a broken game into more pieces than it could handle.
In the end, Where Are My Friends? was a poor game that struck out immediately. With so little redeeming qualities, I can hardly recommend this game to anyone. The game is priced at $6 USD, which is not bad, but I wouldn’t waste my time on this one. So, get ready because I think we are already lost!
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 4/10
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