Pneuma: Breath of Life
Top Critic Average
A solid, if thin puzzle game, with not quite as much to say as it thinks it has.
These are intriguing times for gods in games. If the collapse of Peter Molyneux's Project Godus is an apocalyptic turn of events for the genre Populous gave life to, a new breed of "god sim" is on the march - one that seeks not to portray a god but to mechanically enact the uncertainties that make us wonder if deities exist. Breath of Life is a remarkable contribution to this highly select field. Its strength is that it looks at the same predicaments as Portal and Bioshock from a compelling angle, unburdened by lore, but it doesn't quite have the spark to be breathtaking.
Portraying existential quandaries as gameplay puzzles is a daring idea, but ultimately this is a more enjoyable game to watch and listen to than it is to play.
Pneuma delivers a clever puzzle-solving mechanic inside of a lonely existential mystery.
An engaging and quirky game that packs some intriguing puzzles... as well as some that are almost too easy to solve. The narration sometimes feels like it's trying just a little too hard for its own good, but the overall experience Pneuma: Breath of Life delivers is an enjoyable one.
However, impressive aesthetics and weighty mental gymnastics aren't enough to compensate for puzzle design that becomes a slog before long. It's a shame because Pneuma boldly asks questions about player agency, but in ways that are bogged down in tedium.
Pneuma: Breath Of Life is a game that I urge you to experience. It's not perfect, but in a way that fits entirely with its own outlook, and its effectiveness as a story is both thought-provoking and surprising. Pre-conceptions aside, it is certainly an intriguing and unique title that explores elements of philosophy and life often left untouched by gaming.
An aesthetically-pleasing but decidedly empty puzzle game, Pneuma scratches an itch but fails to excite
Pneuma can appear pompous and over-reaching, and those who buy it for the puzzles alone will walk away disappointed. As a package though, it's worth checking out.
Clever but flawed collection of conundrums makes the act of observation a key puzzle solving mechanic, tying in a few heady philosophical concepts along the way