Irony Curtain – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Irony Curtain
When you take on politics in video games, particularly when you are trying to make a political point, I personally there’s only really two ways to approach it… through dramatic and hard-hitting moments that the player should be very uncomfortable watching, or through humour and nonsense. Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love uses the latter, to great effect!
The game starts off with a wonderfully animated cartoon of protagonist Evan, a rather gullible journalist for the Daily worker Monthly, stumbling through the streets of Martryoshka in full army officer gear, with a number of armed men attempting to stop him. Giving you nothing in terms of context, you suddenly find yourself in control of Evan as he is attempting to stop a train from departing the station, shouting that they are all going to die… You will probably want a moment to digest everything you’ve just seen, then it is straight into the game itself!
Irony Curtain on the surface is a classic Point & Click adventure with clear inspirations from the classics, but there is something very different and refreshing about the game. You start by frantically running around trying to find anything to do, until you see a chap playing singing you a wonderfully written jingle, that explains by pressing the UP key on the D-Pad you will see every interaction point. You quickly realise there’s loads of things to click on and interact with and NOW your game properly begins. (Always use the telephones, each one will explain the puzzle in a way that only this game can!) Essentially you need to get hold of a shortwave radio to call the train driver, with a classic P&C puzzle that will likely leave you scratching your head as to why it took so long… speaking from experience!
As with all great stories as soon as you’ve completed this introduction/tutorial, you go back in time to 48 hours earlier, and the real story begins. I just want to take a moment here to give credit to the writers and animators who worked on this game, the story is just like being in the middle of a political, satirical cartoon for adults, but you get to control the way the cartoon plays out! Credit also has to go to the actors involved in voicing the various characters, who do a masterful job of bringing every one of the characters to life!
Back to the game, and even though Irony Curtain for the most part is a Point & Click adventure, I have to give kudos to the fun little sidebars that are included. The dialogue choices have some hilarious answers, and there is plenty of extra things to do that add to the ridicule and satire throughout, all of which will keep the more relaxed player engaged too. I personally wanted to find the next funny moment, and needed to know how the story progressed (it gets weird by the way!), but these entertaining moments are also actually quite important, because as the game progresses the challenges and puzzles get really hard… like controller throwing hard!
If there’s any criticism to be made, it is the inventory page and getting used to examining and trying to merge every item you find. It is a little tedious and often not doing this is the thing that keeps you from progressing in the game… but that being said I can’t think of an easier way for players to be reminded what to do without hand-holding players through the game. I guess with P&C games, fans of the genre won’t have any problems with this and will think I am weird for even mentioning it!
To conclude, Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love is one of those games you never knew you needed in your life, until you play it! I was a little sad (and relieved) to come to the end of the game if I am honest, and I am very excited to see what developers Artifex Mundi will treat us to next!
Thanks to Wired Tap Media for providing us with the Game Code.
Review written by Matt Rushton