The Cinema Rosa
Welcome to The Cinema Rosa. You will be playing as one of the original owners of the theater in a dream-like state of consciousness, as the theater met its own demise long ago. You will explore the theater and piece together clues for puzzles to unlock doors to the next area of the game. You will need to collect objects and keys to use along the way for one purpose or another. It relies heavily on the exploration of the environment as you piece together the story of two lovers who built their dream, just to see it all unravel. Though you play as only one of the lovers, both of their narratives are told along the journey, unfolding an emotionally tied romance with ultimate loss, and exploring how we deal with this mentally. Will you find peace or your regrets?
Released and self-published on Apr 8, 2019, by the developer Atreyu Games Pty. Ltd, this is their first release on Steam. Created with the Unreal Engine 4 it has an interesting montage of graphical changes throughout the game, utilizing the technology. The art-style is well-done, with a good atmosphere to explore. It is an Adventure game with not overly challenging puzzles and a built-in help system that is more about exploration as you piece the story together. It has a very well-done narration, with references galore to the glory days of Hollywood. The story is unique and told well as you play through the title. There is partial controller support, and it even has captions available!
For User Settings, the only options you have are for video. It has all the bells and whistles to customize the game to your PC specs and best user experience, but there are no audio settings (I really do prefer all games to have the ability to customize settings, so we can adjust general volume, music volume, and environment volumes to our taste and needs). Controls are not re-bindable either. This really is not a major issue as there are only 2 buttons to use along with the directional movement. But in this day and age in gaming, this is normally expected for user customization.
I did experience some issues with the release.
The save feature needs work; you do not actually have a save point from which you can load when you quit. There are 11 preloaded checkpoints you can use to load to an area, if you can remember where you were when you last played. I found this system frustrating and counterproductive in trying to continue the game. I ended up replaying or missing areas, as I was unsure of which one to load. It just ended in more confusion about what I had finished and what I hadn't, as they do not show that you have beaten those areas. I would rather have seen a by-the-Chapter save system, or traditional save and load points.
There is no item inventory you can view; as there are multiple objects to collect, you really have no way to find out if you have them unless you either use them in the intended area or remember for sure if you picked them. I found this a bit unusual for an adventure game. I also experienced a fatal error and a BSOD playing the title. When I allowed it to auto-set the video settings, it set everything to ultimate (I have a good PC, but the architecture is aging, truthfully). So, I was, “cool lets rock, instant bluescreen of death!” I reapplied my custom setting to what I think my system was capable of handling and had no future issues with crashing.
I really have enjoyed my time with The Cinema Rosa. The storyline was intriguing and kept me wondering where the plot would turn to next. The story is narrated in a very professional manner that I quite enjoyed listening to it. I found the visual art to be quite amazing, from a decade in time that I am quite close to (yes, I was here a bit before video games & color TV, in an age ruled by theaters - lol). The puzzles are not overly challenging, although I did have times when I was like, “What do I do now?”. But the built-in help system will assist this, as it will highlight when you have something correct. If you do not understand the clues you can utilize this with a little hit-and-miss. Those posters - I took so many screenshots of all of them scattered throughout the theater. along with the old cinema clips presented within! It was an enjoyable exploration experience as you work to piece together the puzzles and story.
The game has promise and has been getting patched; it has just had a bit of a rough start with unforeseen bugs. With some additional work to iron the rest of them out, it could be a great experience. I will try to revisit the title in the future after some more patching and re-evaluate my score.
Review written by DamageInc.for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Thought-provoking Story
+ Stimulating Graphics
+ Great Narration
Negatives- Some Bugs Still
- No Achievements
- No Trading Cards
The Cinema Rosa: Explore an Abandoned Theater & Uncover its Humble Beginning and Fiery End, as One Legacy Ends & Another Takes its Place in the Golden Age of Hollywood!
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Zeepond Rating: 6/10
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