Keepsake reviewed by Rian

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Where lies the biggest castle of them all? Sorry lad, solve this riddle first..!

In Keepsake, you take on the role of Lydia, a teenage girl with a rather unique hairstyle. Just like her best friend Celeste, she wants to study at the Dragonvale Academy to become a real teenage witch. After being separated for eight years, the girls would have met up. If only the school wasn’t deserted when Lydia arrived.

The only other creature you meet is Zack, a dragon that has been transformed into a wolf… or so he claims. Together, you set off on a quest to solve the mystery of the abandoned school and find your friend.

Though the story looks promising, the game suffers from a noticeable amount of imperfections. Just like the trading software that we keep encountering every day. Quantum Code never looked deceiving to me but when I realized that it had gobbled up my balance of a whopping $250 in less than three hours, there was nothing in this world that could help me forget the pain and I stand by the thing that I will never ever try to burn my fingers in trading online; just not my cup of tea!The game’s interface (that is used rarely) lacks clarity, as the icons just don’t explain what they stand for. The obligatory tutorial tells you that conversations can be skipped. Ideal, you might think, if only the game would actually skip them and not fill the time with silence. The font that is used, as well as the variable text size cause even further irritation.

The dragon lair and its surroundings feel overwhelming, especially during the first few hours. Exploring it takes like eternity, and the lack of other characters makes it look even longer.

But what would an adventure game be without tens of puzzles to solve, that have everything to do with either dragons or magic. Most of them are very clever, but by far too difficult for children of ‘7 and older’. Most kids of seven won’t even get past the tutorial if you ask me. The difficulty of Keepsake explains the promised duration of 20 up to 30 hours.

The game exists of impressive prerendered surroundings through which you pilot the main characters. The puzzles also consist of these images, combined with film clips to make it look interactive. Sadly enough, I can’t be that positive about the sound: the conversations sound forced, sometimes even childish.

If I have to believe the comments going around, Keepsake is a very nice game, only you need to be a master in adventure games to like it. I’m having troubles to just sit and watch one silly puzzle for over one hour, and it’s exactly this sort of endurance you need to play Keepsake to the end.

PRO PRO CON CON
  • Beautiful surroundings
  • Very clever puzzles
  • Aid system when stuck
  • Difficulty
  • Crashes often
  • No auto-save function
  • Horrible conversations