Top Critic Average
Pollen seems to want to say something, but clarity isn’t its strong suit.
With P.O.L.L.E.N, Mindfield Games goes beyond the basics of first-person adventures for a time-traveling journey full of things to tinker with. And if you have an Oculus Rift, you may find it even easier to fall in love with their well-crafted world.
It all plays out in a very interesting way, but culminates with one bizarre finale that doesn’t do anything to tie up the plot of the game.
I can wholeheartedly recommend playing this game to anyone remotely interested in space or first person exploration games that are more focused on letting the player do what the player will. P.O.L.L.E.N stands up to Gone Home as a gaming experience, but early adopters of the Rift would be remiss to pass on experiencing this game in virtual reality.
P.O.L.L.E.N. is a visually stunning and well crafted exploration game, and the detail that has been put into the small world by Mindfield Games is remarkable. The recognition that, as players, we don’t always need the game to hold our hands in order to progress is refreshing. But there feels like there could be so much more somehow.
Some of the best science fiction writing occurs when the author takes a world that the reader is familiar with, but changes some aspects to set the story. This doesn’t need to be some far-fetched imaginary science theory that we just need to accept though, for example in Isaac Asimov’s short story Nightfall, the setting is similar to current day, only the planet has multiple suns meaning that they never (in theory) experienced night time, the entire way of life revolves around this. P.O.L.L.E.N takes a similar approach.
P.O.L.L.E.N makes use of its subtle, narrative details masterfully, seamlessly integrating them into the alternate, sci-fi world. It’s not enough to find a couple of cassette tapes and charge through to the end. From post-it notes on white boards, to TIME Magazines, to personal drawings tucked away in a character’s closet, every detail is carefully selected to bring depth to the characters and do some world-building in the process