The Gateway Trilogy – Review
Follow Genre: Point-and-click, puzzling
Developer: Cockroach inc.
Publisher: The Sleeping Machine
Platform: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

The Gateway Trilogy – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Short inventive puzzles with absurdist environment
Bad: Crashes a tad too often, third game seems less inspired.
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

For those who are well aware of the developer named Cockroach inc, you know that this developer has proven himself with very few games made. The first big release was The Dream Machine, a claymation game that is generally well-received. Before that, however, the creator dabbled in two flash games that were dubbed ”Gateway I” and Gateway II”. These games plus a new third installment makes The Gateway Trilogy. Three short point-and-click games that are now available on Steam.

Story

Choosing from the three Gateway games, the second game has the most coherent story where in general the games focus mostly on surrealistic environments and absurdism. The game is pretty obscure and non-textual in general, where you have to rely on your own grasp of reality and understanding to make sense of where you are and what you should do next. It all feels very dreamy where the title ”Gateway” visually directs to several gateways filled with static, bringing you to the next screen as you enter them (after solving a puzzle).

Graphics

The gateway trilogy shows two sides of itself visually. On one side there’s a bare minimalism gray environment that generally lays out puzzles and blocky graphics before you. On the other side, there are some neat little rooms and such that you come across, often fully colored. These rooms serve the purpose of telling tiny bits of story, bringing you ever so slightly closer to understanding what’s going on. Almost all the time it’s weirdly therapeutic and psychological in appearance, which is highly effective, combined with the puzzles and point-and-click style of gameplay.

Sound

To add to the vague way of telling you what’s going on, the sound helps as well. If there are any lines spoken with voice-over, the voice sounds inaudible and weirdly muffled like a foreign language. Sometimes this effect is made even stronger by the alien-like alphabet consisting of dots that shows what’s being said. Other than that, there’s some abstract atmospheric sound that generally resembles more of a soft humming or static sound than it does resemble actual music. One could say that The Gateway Trilogy knows how to effectively not-communicate well. This is good for the abstract game it wants to be.

Gameplay

The Gateway Trilogy is a classic type of point-and-click game, with lots of puzzling involved. Most of the game is divided into separate rooms where a quarter of the gameplay is figuring out what the actual puzzle is, and the other seventy-five percent is solving the puzzle itself. These puzzles might manifest themselves as anything, really. There’s a high variation of figuring out patterns, using logic, and getting some clues as well. Most of these aren’t too easy but neither are they incredibly difficult as you have limited options available to you due to most of the gameplay being divided into rooms which means smaller puzzles. There’s also a ”hard” mode in the options menu that makes some puzzles in the third game a bit harder, for those seeking a slightly bigger challenge.

Playing through the entire collection we encountered a few bugs in the most recent third installment that knocked us out of the game, but fortunately, the game has an excellent autosave function next to the regular saves, so it wasn’t much of a bother. It took about two hours to complete the game, and most people will probably take between two and three. Some people complain about being disappointed by the game as it had been in development for a few years now and turned out to be rather short with not much of a satisfying ending. Partially they are right as the third part has some repetitive puzzles compared to the previous games having more variation, but The Gateway Trilogy has always been about short absurd experiences, so there’s not much to expect looking at the length of the game.

Conclusion

The Gateway Trilogy is a great point-and-click game that’s communicating what to do in the right, vague way to leave you intrigued as well as a little bit confused. It does this well with every element of the game, making it somewhat of an artistic experience to go through that will keep you entertained for at least a few hours. The Gateway Trilogy gets away with this much playtime versus the price of 10 euros/dollars because of its intense and proper point-and-click puzzles that succeed in keeping the mystery up and making it an enjoyable experience.

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The Gateway Trilogy - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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