I like games that make me think. I also like games that put me on edge a little. Asemblance by Nilo Studios does both of those.
Recently released on Xbox One for the mere price of £6.39/$7.99, though also available on PlayStation 4 and PC, Asemblance is a game that can be completed in as little as 30 minutes if you’re some kind of genius. Otherwise, you might get an hour or more gameplay out of it before seeking out a guide to clear up the last few endings. I’d say it’s worth the price of admittance, though, as it’s definitely engaging and though-provoking while it lasts.
In Asemblance you find yourself trapped inside a mysterious machine. There’s an AI to keep you company, and by interacting with a console you can load up a sequence of environments. Each one is a simulation of some kind of memory, and by exploring them you can discover tidbits of information about your character and their life.
Sometimes looking at a particular object will change the environment you’re in somewhat, or even transport you to a new one entirely, and only by trying to make sense of your fractured memories will you make your way through to the first of the game’s endings. There’s no combat or advanced game mechanics to get to grips with, just an AI who’ll drop vague hints and your own eagerness to discover exactly what’s going on. But that’s all the game needs to keep you absorbed.
Once you’ve discovered the game’s first ending, unlocking the others becomes a little more obscure and unorthodox, but it’s certainly worth doing. The feeling of working out Asemblance‘s puzzles for yourself is one of pure joy, and each ending adds a little more intrigue to the proceedings. Billed as the pilot episode of a mind-bending franchise inspired by The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, and the Black Mirror television series, it leaves you wanting more, and that can only be a good thing.
To be honest, I’ve still not got my head around Asemblance‘s revelations, but then you don’t need to do so to enjoy it. With its accomplished soundtrack and haunting atmosphere it just draws you in until you’ve seen everything it has to offer, leaving you scratching your head long afterwards. I like games that do that, and if you do too you should give it a try. And if you don’t like it? Well, you’ll have at least acquired 500 or more achievement points without even breaking a sweat, if you’re into that sorta thing.
Asemblance is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC right now. You can read our review of the PS4 version right here.