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Verne: The Shape of Fantasy

Verne: The Shape of Fantasy is a Thrilling Steampunk Adventure

Out tomorrow on PC and Mac, Verne: The Shape of Fantasy proves that, as the saying goes “There’s always a bigger fish.”

Verne: The Shape of Fantasy begins with you, as Jules Verne, aboard Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. What could possibly go wrong with this famously formidable submarine? An awful lot as it turns out because before you can breathe, an even bigger vessel has you in its clutches.

Forget being the terror of the seas, during our time with this steampunk pixel-art adventure, we only felt safe when we were exploring Verne’s flashbacks. There’s humour, yes, but you’re being pursued by a massive global empire known as the Nation. And it feels as if they’re never far away.

There are other thrills, too. As Verne, you’re the keeper of a device that lets you briefly alter reality. You can only use it at specific, scripted locations but it’s still cool to meddle with. Want to through a burning room? Imagine it was bomb-proof.

Not only is it a fun little mechanic, it’ll also have you questioning the reality of the whole game. I’m going to avoid major, spoilers but when we found a book that the in-game Jules Verne doesn’t remember writing, our minds started working overtime trying to figure out what was going on.

Verne: The Shape of Fantasy

If you’re a fan of the real (late) Jules Verne, you’ll appreciate the many references to his work. It even throws in some factoids about the author. We didn’t know that Verne had written his novel Five Weeks in a Balloon without ever actually having been in a balloon.

We did groan when the game asked us to tie a knot, something we have never been good at. But we’re happy to report that, like most of the game’s puzzles, it stayed on the right side of frustrating.

The voice-acting too, is excellent, though we did roll our eyes every time Verne used the word ‘merde’. Sure, he’s a French author but there’s no trace of an accent so having him use French swears seemed a little off.

If we had to sum up Verne: The Shape of Fantasy in one word, it’d be ‘thrilling’. If you’re a Jules Verne fan you’ll appreciate just how much it captures the charm and excitement of his novels. And if not? That’s no excuse for missing out on a fantastic adventure.

Verne: The Shape of Fantasy is out August 14th on PC and Mac, via Steam and GOG. You can also download a demo on Steam.

Buy Verne: The Shape of Fantasy at GOG

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