Almost My Floor Review – *cocks gun* Apartment’s haunted

Gare – Wednesday, August 25, 2021 4:35 PM
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From time to time, I run into a game that makes me question if I’m getting too old for this. Have I become out of touch? Am I missing something crucial that others can most definitely see? Can I no longer appreciate the honest efforts of game developers? And so on – you get the idea. These brief moments of self-doubt last only for approximately 2.94 seconds, though, after which I realize that no, I’m not going insane like the protagonist is – I’ve just run into a mediocre or bad game and I’m trying to rationalize why my experience with it was so awful. The thing is… more often than not, the answer is quite simple, and it goes like this: the game itself is just not very good. All right, with that out of the way, let’s talk about Almost My Floor, a point & click adventure game I really, really wanted to like… but I just couldn’t.

A story poorly told

Okay, so the concept itself is neat. Hell, it’s what drew me to the project in the first place. You’re a guy stuck in a hellish apartment complex overrun by otherworldly abominations, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s real or just a figment of your imagination. It set things up quite nicely for a potentially interesting storyline mired in the hallmarks of psychological horror… only to slowly but surely squander all that potential and buildup. I’m not gonna beat around the bush: the storytelling of this game is… not great. Right off the bat, the writing itself is replete with problems – specifically, I mean the fact that I’m pretty sure the script wasn’t looked over by anyone with a satisfying command of the English language. Weird phrases and grammatical errors aside, the writing itself feels dry and lifeless, with characters sounding more like robots than actual, living-breathing people; there are also occasional attempts at humor, but these fall about as flat as everything else in the game. As you’d imagine, this makes it pretty hard to connect with anything that’s going on – granted, the game’s short length (it’s two, maybe three hours long), poorly presented storyline and underdeveloped characters already do much of the damage on their own.

Not-so-puzzling puzzles

Puzzle-wise, the game doesn’t fare much better – in fact, its setting becomes its own greatest enemy. Most chapters place you into a single location, usually consisting of one screen (you guessed it: an apartment hallway), meaning there’s little to no opportunity for meaningful exploration. Every item you need to overcome the current obstacle is there in the very same area you start in, making Almost My Floor’s puzzle segments little more than an exercise in repetitive tedium – pick up everything you see, then use them on everything you see. That’s literally it. And that’s not even mentioning the frequently banal and/or comically unrealistic nature of these non-puzzles, the difficulty of which was likely aimed at a younger (12 and below) audience: one memorably baffling bit involved having to find the password to unlock a computer… and then immediately finding said password in the drawer of the exact same desk the computer was sitting on. It was right there, in plain sight. And this level of mind-numbing simplicity unfortunately characterizes the bulk of the experience. Did I mention there are quick time events as well? Yeah. There are quick time events.

Clashing styles

The project’s art style is similarly baffling at times. While the game tries and fails to tell a serious story about murder and monsters and mysteries, the actual art style does everything it can to trivialize these themes, as the actual visions and nightmarish creatures you encounter feel – and I’m going to have to repeat myself – like something aimed at a very young audience. Let me clarify: from a sheer artistic standpoint, they look fine. In fact, I have little to complain about the environmental art itself – the hallways, the rooms, and so on. It’s the overly cutesy, dare I say childish, representation of the monsters that I had a problem with, as the vast majority of creatures you encounter are anything but intimidating, and instead look like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon. Which, again, makes it immensely difficult to take the already abysmal storytelling and characterization seriously.

In conclusion…

Honestly, I had high hopes for this title. The demo hooked me, and the ability to solve certain puzzles in a good or evil way held promise. But upon beating it, I’m left feeling empty and frustrated – the puzzles being braindead-easy is something I could’ve overlooked (I’ll chalk this up to the game probably being designed as a more casual-friendly title), but the storyline being a mostly incoherent, poorly written mess is what really drags the experience down. I can’t recommend Almost My Floor to puzzle enthusiasts and I certainly can’t recommend it to fans of good storytelling – in fact, I’m not entirely sure who I could recommend it to. The artwork is kind of neat here and there, but that’s hardly enough to justify wasting 2-3 hours of your life when you could just go watch a movie or something. I’d say skip this one unless you’re really desperate to point & click at things while reading badly written dialogue.

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