just don’t feel in control. Each fight feels like my only real option is to repeatedly block until my opponent decides I’m allowed to hit him now. I haven’t mentioned the non-combat parts either, in which you explore the caves looking for supplies to patch up and improve your armour at campfires. There are a few environmental puzzles, which would be fine if they didn’t sometimes boil down to leaping off things until one of them doesn’t kill you.
Cutting out the parts that became tedious would quicken the narrative enough to undermine it, but those parts became so laborious that they dragged it down instead. Perhaps I missed the point entirely by playing it alone – it is eminently obvious where a second player would fit in to its design – but if I had a lover here right now, I don’t think this is the game I’d choose to play with them. I’ve been in my own haven for far too long.
So I’m in danger of overrating Across The Grooves. It’s fairly short, and at only a couple of hours long, you could dig up all its alternative scenes and endings in a long afternoon. It’s more linear and structurally simple than I’d expected, and I was definitely expecting more from the main music. But while it hasn’t truly touched me as deeply as Eliza or Watch Me Jump, it’s given me an unusual angle on time travel and a lot of feelings and thoughts to process. It’s even helped me a little, I think.
I can’t really recommend it beyond its being a pleasant enough child-friendly diversion, but it feels cruel even to judge it that harshly. There’s certainly a good afternoon or two of harmless fun in it. There’s a split screen mode too, with its own maps full of co-operative and competitive challenges, which I can absolutely imagine annoying my sister on.