1954 Alcatraz – Review
Follow Genre: Point & Click
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment, Irresponsible Games
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Mac, PC

1954 Alcatraz – Review

Site Score
Good: Great moody and interesting story.
Bad: Lacks a finishing touch when it comes to audio and visuals, puzzles rely on obtrusive pixel hunts and defy any kind of logic.
User Score
(0 votes)
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)


We’ve written quite a bit about Daedalic Entertainment’s curriculum over the last twelve months and truth to be told, they’re one of those few companies who still breathe new life into the point & click genre. 1954 Alcatraz is one of their last bastions, but sadly, you’d do well not to expect the quality offered by games franchises such as Deponia and Whispered World.


1954 Alcatraz places you in the shoes of convict Joe and his wife Christine. Their worlds couldn’t be more different. Joe is stuck in a heavily guarded prison, where he’s denied any sort of personal development, personality or personal freedom, while Christine discovers the artistic sides of life which kick-started the artistic proliferation of many would-be artists during the fifties.

Crux of the story is Joe’s plan to escape The Rock. Since he can’t do it alone, he relies heavily on his wife to aid him from the free world, while he’s striving to get out from behind prison bars.

It certainly is an impressive story that has all branches of its plot intertwine neatly to form one cohesive narrative. It’s a tale about trust and betrayal. But above all, it’s a story about what freedom truly means.



No matter how likeable the plot may be, there’s a lot to be said about the game’s graphics, and not nearly all of it can be considered positive.

You see, while there are plenty of charming and atmospheric sceneries, every single one is offset by at least two blunt and unfinished messes that lack any sort of finishing touch. The character models often lack the details that can be found in those created for our two protagonists, animations more often than not feel stiff and at some points textures seem to lack any knowledge about modern resolution conventions, let alone the meaning of the words ‘high definition’.


Sadly, the audio points a second negative mark on 1954 Alcatraz’s scoreboard. Both Joe’s and Christine’s voice actors should receive nothing but praise for their work. They manage to really bring their characters alive, letting their emotions surge throughout the entire game.

Yet, next to every other character sounds like their the personae behind their voices are nothing but the dredges of the voice-acting community. We realise that’s not a nice thing to say, certainly when you take into consideration that every actor probably worked hard on the job at hand. Rather than a lack of personal talent, it seems to be a combination of actors who may not be the best at what they do and a script that often denies the supporting cast any glimpses of a real personality.



Things don’t seem to get better for this game. Mind you, there are some interesting mechanics to 1954 Alcatraz. For instance; you can switch on the fly between Christine and Joe. As Joe you work from behind bars, plotting your escape using what little means your highly secured environment offers you, while as Christine you’ll have to pave the road to freedom from outside barbed walls.

The puzzles and riddles, though, depend on the kind of thinking that defies all manner of logical thinking. In other words: you’ll get to hunt for pixels, combine items that have seemingly no relation with each other.

It may be somewhat traditional for the genre, but it’s still the kind of gameplay that we had hoped we had let far behind us ever since marvels like Deadalic’s own Deponia-trilogy.



1954 Alcatraz has a well-written and interesting story about what true freedom really means, but sadly it’s not enough to save the game from lacklustre graphics and voice-acting and puzzles that rely on all the bad mechanics introduced during twenty-five years of pointing and clicking, while offering nothing of the positive notes.

A pity, but we can’t help but advise you to stay far away from this one.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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