3rd Eye – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure
Developer: 3rd Eye Project
Publisher: Sony Music Entertainment Japan
Platforms: Mac, PC
Tested on: PC

3rd Eye – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great sinister looking art style
Bad: confusing story
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It seems like there is something quite charming about sinister but cute as it is becoming quite popular in movies, merchandise but also games. The developers from 3rd Eye must have surely agreed on the previous statement when they created their game. The newest game in the Touhou world has a more disturbing look for the otherwise cute anime girls. However, the charm of creepy cute makes the style look quite intriguing. 3rd Eye was developed by 3rd Eye project and published by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. We got a chance to review the game and look through Koishi’s third eye.

Story

in 3rd Eye, you will follow Koishi on what only can be called little adventures. There is a storyline in place but it’s quite confusing. Since this game is Touhou inspired, it is probably a good guess to say that Touhou fans would have a better idea of what’s going on.

There might be some things that got lost in translations since some things that might not make sense in English might just be a saying in the original language. The game is divided into little chapters, that get weirder and weirder. The chapters still do have links and aren’t completely separate. There are also flashbacks to when Koishi was a child that gives you more of an idea of what happened to Koishi but still not enough to give you a clear idea of what’s happening in the game. There are different endings that you can achieve within the story, but each of them doesn’t have that much more clarity than the other. Even though the story is a bit confusing, it’s not bad, it feels like a big part of the story is left for interpretation. With the main character of the game being a little bit crazy, it is not unfitting that the story is a bit chaotic.

Graphics

The style of 3rd Eye is really appealing with the characters looking creepy but all of them still have a certain cuteness to them. Everything in the game is shown darker and more sinister and it makes for a great atmosphere. The semi-normal backgrounds can become quite crazy and scary when Koishi uses her third eye. The sometimes-subtle changes that the third eye shows are quite fun to discover.

All the characters have a detailed design and quite often also have a second design that is only visible with the third eye. Sometimes these are only subtle changes that you can notice but there are quite a few drastic cool ones. There are little white arrows that point out interactive objects. Sometimes the interaction range can be a bit big, making it that you must shift around a bit if you are in-between two objects with which you can interact with.

There isn’t a pause menu present in 3rd Eye or any way to change graphics or key bindings. Luckily the key bindings are quite simple so they work on each keyboard. However, the Graphics do make it so you can either play it in a tiny screen or fullscreen without the right ratio. There are some cases where a piece of the text bubble falls of the screen which can be a little bit annoying when reading interactions.

Sound

The music in 3rd Eye changes from more upbeat tracks to more sinister tracks. The music, however, does stay borderline creepy even with the upbeat tracks. There is no voice acting present in the game, but this isn’t missed. The silence when the characters are having a conversation does actually add to the creepiness. It might just be the atmosphere from the game, but all the sound effects are also quite sinister. When the music stops at certain times and you are only able to hear footsteps, you quickly shift to the edge of your seat hoping nothing happens.

Gameplay

3rd eye is a macabre adventure game where you take on the role of Koishi. She has a third eye that enables her to see things regular eyes can’t. However, Koishi can’t freely keep using her third eye as it comes at a cost. When it gets used too much it causes severe pains in her other eyes as well and the pain is so unbearable that she then collapses. Luckily there is a way to prevent Koishi from collapsing and that is eye drops. The state of Koishi’s third eye is shown by an actual eye in the corner, it goes from a normal state to extremely bloodshot. Once her eye becomes too bloodshot you start to see a red pulsing effect on the entire screen. This is a big hint for you to use eye drops.

Eye drops are quite scarce so Koishi’s eye should be used sparingly. Sometimes this can be a bit hard to do, since a lot of game’s interactions require your third eye. The game gives you an extra challenge to try and balance the third eye usages while not missing any hints. As said above, 3rd Eye is divided into little chapters. In each chapter, Koichi will encounter a surreal event after leaving her room. There aren’t any big hints on what you need to be doing. However, the game isn’t necessarily hard since when you pick up an item and then afterward talk to the person it is meant for, it will automatically be used. This way you don’t have to look for little hints in conversations to figure out what they want. It’s of course still very possible to walk past an item that you need to pick up.

Throughout the game, there are little notes which are mixed with what seems like articles. These notes seem to also give a hint to the background story.  Even though they don’t clearly state what happened, it is quite clear that the game hints that Koishi’s childhood was quite traumatic. Even though Koishi is still a child, judging her conversations, she certainly doesn’t seem like a normal kid. Many things in the game also point towards Koishi having a mental illness.  The environment often seems quite like a fever dream which could just be how Koishi views the world.

Conclusion

The atmosphere that 3rd Eye manages to create is quite great. 3rd Eye looks superb in the graphics department as well; the art style would intrigue many people that like creepy cute. It seems however that the game can be quite confusing and was made more for Touhou fans. There are quite a lot of pieces from Touhou lore for diehard fans to eat up. On the other hand, people outside the Touhou fandom will be confused as to what is happening. Some things can be figured out, but it still seems like the game makes more sense in the eyes of a fan from the lore. So, if you are a Touhou fan and wouldn’t mind an ominous representation of the characters, then for sure check out 3rd Eye. The game can still be enjoyed without Touhou knowledge, but it will just be a bit more confusing.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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3rd Eye - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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