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Austin Reviews – Sisyphus Reborn!

 

Sisyphus Reborn is a game about rolling a rock up a hill, or rather, digging a hole.  Styled as a point-and-click adventure game, it plays as more of a visual novel, with only a handful of clicks not dedicated to moving across the screen.  There is little actual play here, but the act of “playing” is a core part of the experience. This is because Sisyphus Reborn is the story of an individual faced with a tedious task, which can either be completed or ignored.  There are no other options, only action or inaction.

At least, that’s the angle the game is going for, but unfortunately, unlike the original tale with the titular man and boulder, the game’s conundrum includes other human beings to interact with.  This weakens the philosophical message of the game because, unlike the situation of Sisyphus in the Greek tale, the option exists to do things outside of moving the boulder, that they might be shared with others, even if they do not last.

The sound in this game is fantastic.  Light, but subtle, rather than weak. There isn’t much variety to it, but every bit of music sets the mood appropriately.  The sounds of shovels digging and other atmospheric sounds are also well done.

Visually, the game is simplistic, featuring a hand-drawn style in black and white, which makes strong use of gradients and shading. Characters are silhouettes which float across the world, a wide, white desert.

Verdict

Sisyphus Reborn is a short visual novel with a few point-and-click elements which poses the question of personal meaning.  The alteration of the story to include other characters weakens the tale’s underlying philosophy but works as a separate element in the story.  The music is acceptable, the visuals are well done, and the game stands as a conversation-opener. It is also free, which is a big plus.

Pros

+ Strong Sound Design

+ Close Connection To Origin

Cons

– Basic

– Narrative Missteps

– Short length

Final Score

I give Sisyphus Reborn a final score of 5.4 / 10.

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