Shepherd of Life – Quench

This week I decided, against my better judgement, to play a puzzle game. Puzzle games at the end of the day make me feel stupid. I don’t like it but I do it anyway because I figure what game can be more difficult than Baba is You? So I delved into this weeks game thinking that I would only be playing for a few hours, then it turned into, at least, a five hours. This week I become the avatar in life and, through puzzle solving, lead tribes of wild animals to safety. This week I played Quench.

Quench is a top-down puzzle game developed and published by Axon Interactive Inc. The game released in August of 2019, is on PC and the Switch and still retails for a hot $20.

Quench follows the story of Shaman, a young elephant and her pilgrimage. It is known that each generation makes this pilgrimage and this year Shaman is beset on convincing all of the tribes to tag along. The overarching thing here is that the East and West Elder Trees are dying because of an ancient evil that came to life because of greed. An entity known only as Smokebeasts roam the land and destroy anything in their wake, even life. It is up to you to reshape the land and assist the tribes on their pilgrimage to save their homes.

Gameplay consists of puzzle solving and navigating the animals around the map with pre-destined routes. Being the Shepard, you have complete control of the elements and you use these abilities to help the tribes on their journey. Rain dampens enemies and revitalizes the tribes, Wind alters terrain and speeds up the animals movement, Quakes stuns enemies and opens waterways and Lightning revives the fallen and destroys the baddies.

The tribes have their own icon that the player can select to quick move the camera towards them. The camera doesn’t attach itself to the tribe so it is up to you to monitor them as need be. There is an objective that usually consists of getting the animals across a certain area. There are times that the objective is different but most of the time it is the same so it does get boring.

Elements are given at the beginning of the puzzle and are also scattered throughout the area. Most of the time you will have to utilize all of the elements to complete the level, so there is barely any room for error.

Each level consists of a set of objectives that the player needs to abide by to also pass the level. Sometimes the objectives are too easy and sometimes they are really damn difficult, regardless they add a reasonable amount of difficulty.

The game looks great. The low polygon style of the animals and environment are very colorful and just a joy to look at.

Music has a really great tone and it always fits the feelings that are trying to be portrayed at the time.

It sucks that Quench sat in my Steam for so long, it really is a decent game. The top-down perspective makes it easy to glide around the map and assess the situation. The speed of the camera is atrocious but it works, I guess. The game was not long, I clocked it at four and a half hours and it really just flew by. The story was overall decent, I was invested for a majority of time until the end where it did, in fact, began to drag.

One big gripe I have is that when you fail a level you ALWAYS go back to beginning, even before the cutscene/dialogue moments. I just takes up so much time forcing myself to watch a three minute cutscene. It really put me off.

I really like the look of the game and the music is incredible.

Overall, Quench is a good time and would advise to at least buy it when it is on sale.

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