Its difficult trying to put into words what you can’t explain. Leaving players to freely explore at their leisure is normally a great thing. Here, with Strange Telephone it’s not so great but mind boggingly confusing!
The concept overall is really cool and quite unique. You play as Jill with a sidekick telephone friend called Graham. Not just a friend actually “on the telephone”, but the phone itself! Soon becoming apparent that Jill can only move left and right,graham is soon revealed as the games main character in a “point and click” puzzle adventure, that’s nothing short of strange and bizarre in its entirety!
Jill can access different worlds by simply dialling phone numbers. Each world having a different number means the possibility of endless encounters, and with other players finding new numbers/worlds online. There’s certainly plenty to explore. When you start to play, it’s just a pity each world is only one screen though.
Jill moving left or right, continuously cycles through odd and bizarre types of worlds. From road signs, woods, candy, eyes!? Jill can encounter various dilemmas on the way. A blazing fire, a rocket empty of fuel or a sign needed in road sign world? Each puzzle, item and interaction achieved by moving Graham until a green question mark appears above his head and clicking there for a description. You may also meet other characters that offer up more phone numbers on the journey. Yet, spend too much time in a world and it starts to glitch it out. Hit 5 glitches and its game over and back to your starting portal once again. Players will need to work things out quickly and logically by obtaining the right items and using them in the right areas.
Graphically everything is decently rendered with a nice soundtrack, and there’s sub menu pages that log objects of interest with a feel reminiscent of a thinking mans Binding of Issac.
It’s certainly nice to play a title that’s different and unique in design. My problem lies with what little it’s prepared to tell you before you start. It’s one thing to add mystery and intrigue in a strange bizarre mass of obscure odd worlds. To say nothing on how you approach it and what to do is something else altogether. I get it! Some players will enjoy the discovery aspect and starting blindfolded. Yet there’s a great deal riding on how quickly you can get gripped and interested to investigate further,if you’re one that at least needs showing the ropes first.. and I just think a lot will feel alienated rather quickly..
Thanks to PLAYISM for the code.