As a cinematic experience, Observation can easily be considered one of the highest points of the genre. Cool photography and a great reproduction of the space environment supports a solid and unnerving narrative. On the gameplay side, however, something did not work to the end and at least part of the screams I left to wander in space were not one of terror, but of frustration.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Observation is a very strong science fiction game with a rich story. It has excellent graphics and good puzzles, but suffering from pixel-hunting, visual effects and scripts that require consistent execution. But if you want something truly unusual in terms of serious space adventures, then you simply forget about all of these shortcomings while watching the mystical story and development of relations between S.A.M. and the most ordinary person - scientist and cosmonaut Emma Fisher.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Observation is a game that changes the codes. You are not the hero of the story, you have no decision to make, you follow orders and do everything possible to make sure Emma survives. This approach may not have worked, but here it is completely the opposite. We felt involved in the story, doing our best and trying to solve the puzzles as quickly as possible to find out what happened next, move forward. Served by an irreproachable narrative, Observation will take you on an adventure worthy of the great science fiction productions.
She never seems to give any hints or suggestions and it was frustrating to get stuck on a puzzle because I didn’t have any idea of what to do or because SAM’s cursor had just missed a crucial puzzle object I needed so I didn’t realize that I could even interact with it.
Observation uses the unfathomable vastness of space to wonderful effect, conjuring a palpable sense of both isolation and dread that rarely falters across the six or seven hours it'll take for you to see it though. Minor quibbles with some aspects of the storytelling and a couple of quality of life issues don't detract from what is an engrossing adventure that thrills far more frequently than it frustrates.
Observation does a lot of things correctly. Honing in on the isolation of space generates a wonderful tension on its own. Some pacing issues keep it from excellence, but there is plenty of appeal here for many different gaming preferences.
Observation spins a solid sci-fi yarn steeped in ominous atmosphere, but it fails to live up to its intriguing "Play as HAL 9000!" pitch. Too much of the game feels like irritating busy work as you wait for something interesting to happen. Folks who care about story first and foremost will want to give Observation a look, but those hoping for both an engaging plot and mechanics may find this space odyssey a drudgery.
Observation is undeniably beautiful, but it is also vapid and shallow. An interesting premise is let down by simple puzzles and awkward controls. While the game does have some interesting ideas, the execution fails to stick the landing.
Despite the control and movement issues in Observation, I would definitely recommend playing it, as it is an experience few other games are likely to offer you. Just be careful, as you may have an existential crisis after the game’s crazy story wraps up.
Overall, Observation has a handful of issues but is still an enjoyable game if you're a fan of the puzzle and sci-fi genre. It takes around 8-10 hours to play through, which I believe is enough content to justify the $25 price tag. Despite only having one centralized location and some confusing puzzles along the way, the overall player controls and narrative of the story are intriguing enough to draw you in for the journey through space.
Observation delivers an interesting thriller story sets in space, through the eyes of SAM, the AI of a lost station. Fascinating until the very end, the story will appreciates itself only if you accept to endure cryptic puzzles and ever changing rules, in a labyrinth that can really drive you crazy.
Review in French | Read full review
The gameplay in Observation might be a bit of a slow boil, but it's unusual enough to be engaging in between its fascinating narrative moments.
Observation is a chilling and enthralling space-bound horror game, allowing players to act out their best HAL 9000 impressions through a great story.
The setting of the game is the familiar stuff of science fiction, but the lens through which it's viewed is not.
Like Stories Untold before it, Observation is game that I think you really need to play to appreciate how masterful No Code is at setting a tone and building a compelling world for players to explore
Observation is without a doubt one of the best puzzle games of the year. You'll be instantly drawn into the story within the first few moments of being S.A.M. and become completely enraptured.
A visually arresting and occasionally gripping sci-fi drama, weighed down by a clunky interface and poor pacing.
It’s written extremely well, but I’m sure some players will be frustrated when the game doesn’t answer some of the questions that it raises.
No Code takes sci-fi survival horror in a different direction using clever gameplay design and a powerfully uneasy story to drive the experience. It's not perfect for all gamers, but for those brave enough to stick with it, they will find some special.