Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock , from Red Herring Labs is, for want of a better phrase, a mixed bag. The point & click adventure from Pheonix Online Publishing brings us a relatively unique experience with its Sci-fi oriented adventure title.
Taking on the role of Powell, you find yourself the only crew member of the Morningstar merchant vessel to survive unscathed when your ship crash landed on Deadrock. This long abandoned and desolate planet resides in a system that is regularly avoided, and as such the possibility of rescue is slim.
With the engines fried, the hull ruptured and your captain skewered in the cockpit, it is down to you to scavenge the resources required to repair your ship, find the source of the gravitational anomaly that caused the crash and escape.
Gameplay harks back to a classic style of Storyboard Point & Click, with beautiful, static screens with which to interact. Memories of playing Myst came flooding back at first when I initially booted up this game, but therein the similarities end. Sadly, the puzzle elements of the game are decidedly straightforward and obvious, and should you actually encounter a difficult puzzle your captain, who acts as your guide when stuck, is not so much providing a hint as flat out telling you the answer.
Thankfully, although not intentionally, the voice acting is quite insufferable for both voiced characters so you won’t want to ask for advice too often anyway. Stilted, emotionless and dry delivery from both actors really sucks the immersion out of the game at every turn.
That said, graphically this game is gorgeous, with bleak desolate landscapes, ruined starships and alien mesa’s beautifully rendered. Without the sense of urgency that is implied from the opening cinematic, you have enough time to truly soak in these visual feasts to their full.
Overall, like its titular Starship, Morningstar is not firing all engines and crashes headlong into a simplistic, unchallenging mess that it can’t escape.
If you are new to the genre, or if you have a particular itch for the sci-fi skew on this game type, it is well worth a play. If you are a seasoned veteran of adventure games, there is little here in the way of anything new to be offered.
MLG Rating: 6/10 Format: PC Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of one week. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.