Monday, April 6, 2015
Pneuma: Breath of Life is a puzzle game with a charming, protagonist. The player solves the puzzles in first person as the protagonist entity. While bodiless and nameless, the voice of the playing entity is constantly talking. As the game progresses, the voice goes from believing he is a god to believing he has no control in the world.
The game takes on this super bizarre, ultra meta feel. The voice begins to speculate and even panic that the player is the real god. He feels like he has no control and accuses the player of manipulating him. At one point, the voice ends up at a lone tree in a colorless world as the player reaches for what is implied to be the apple of Eden. There is a good chance I'm not smart enough to understand why the game goes so far as to vaguely reference the Old Testament. I'm not a theologian or a philosophy major, so the whole concept is just too far out of my wheelhouse.
The voice itself is really charming until the end when he loses his mind. Between the English accent and quirky comments, it reminds me a lot of Wheatley from Portal 2. I began to feel bad for him as he slowly loses his mind/realizes the presence of the player.
The game itself is short. I completed all six chapters and cleared all achievements in about two hours. The game looks amazing and plays really smooth. With that in mind, it's hard to justify the $20 price tag. It seems like a lot for something with almost no replayability that took two hours to complete.
If you have the chance to play it for free or at a reduced cost, it is definitely worth your time. But if your only way to play is through the full $20 purchase, you might want to wait until it's on sale.