Brussels, Jan 2018
Let Me Out’s sci-fi game places you aboard Hermes, a spaceship whose crew have vanished following possible foul play. Your task is to find out what happened and recover a critical document.
I found the set simultaneously impressive and very low-tech. It’s built with CRT monitors, old computer components and silver foil in a way that feels like a low-budget sci-fi series from the 70s or 80s, but which combines to achieve a good spaceship ambience with a couple of cool touches.
As you explore the spaceship, pages from the diary of one of the former crew-members emerge, building up a picture of what happened to its crew. At least, I ended up mostly understanding what the story was, but feeling it didn’t quite form a coherent explanation. It was broadly satisfactory, but given the emphasis the game seems to place on the narrative, it would have been more satisfying for it to tie together with fewer loose ends.
We spent far too long stuck on what was in retrospect a very reasonable search target. It’s not really a search intensive game, though it definitely needs sufficient care in exploring all the corners properly. The use of background audio was a little disorientating, in that the first time it kicked in we thought we’d triggered something, but it seemed to play intermittently for atmosphere and we learned to ignore it.
Its puzzles lean quite heavily on mapping between different sets of symbols in a variety of ways, but were solidly designed throughout. What I enjoyed most about the game, along with the retro-futuristic build style, was that it successfully gave the sense of gradually reactivating an abandoned spaceship, accessing its systems and piecing together what happened to it, even if that story felt a little less than perfectly coherent at the end. With a bit more polish and flow the game could be quite memorable; as it is, it’s an uneven but thoroughly enjoyable ride.