It’s always nice to see old faces return to the OHRRPGCE community. In this case, Eagtile (now know as earrgvark?), the creator of earlier OHR games such as Help Wanted!, dropped off a game that they say is likely to never be finished. Despite only being about an hour in length, I’m sad to hear that this may never be finished up. This is because Painted Space shows a lot of potential for such a short demo.
The story is simple, yet intriguing. The creator of the world “paints” existence into reality. Once He is finished, he goes into a deep sleep. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of this specific world continue to flourish and live their lives.
You are Isaac, who is one of many beings in the “painted space”. Before being cast out into the world, you select a color and shape of your soul. The colors stand for each type of combat stat (such as strength) while the shapes relate to the type of weapon you master (such as a chain whip). While I only tested one particular build, I imagine that the others may or may not work properly. Either way, it is an interesting concept that isn’t used quite too often in OHRRPGCE games.
After you make your decision, you take control of Isaac. You discover that, as he gets older, he begins to question his the purpose of his existence. He’s lived alone his entire life; trapped by “abominations” within a forest. Years have passed, however, and Isaac believes he may be strong enough to combat the abominations, and see the world beyond his wooded cabin. Before setting out into the woods though, Isaac decides to first test his skills by visiting a cave close to his home.
Painted Space features a single dungeon that is in a non-linear format. There are branching paths, and tons of loot to encourage exploration. Fortunately, the dungeon is just about right in length, as the multiple paths before you never seem too daunting to traverse.
The battle system is interesting, but there isn’t enough variety given the length of the demo to really get an idea of how the author envisioned it “as a whole”. There is a color-coordinated system in place (or was “to be” put in place), that gave certain color enemies strengths and weaknesses based on that. For the sake of the demo, however, you are generally fine with sticking to your basic attacks for almost every battle (at least for the strength / claw build I chose). It was nice to see some strategy involved with the dungeon boss too. While he wasn’t incredibly hard, there was definitely a specific way to defeat him efficiently.
If I had to choose the weakest link, it would probably be the music. That’s not to say it isn’t good, it just has a few tracks you might have heard before. The placement of them in itself was acceptable, however.
Whether you are religious or not, I think we all have questioned our existence at some point in time. The fact that Painted Space challenges this idea from the very beginning was extremely interesting to me. Unfortunately, the prologue is essentially the stopping point for the story thus far. You are simply left wondering what might have happened beyond the forest.
What did Isaac find out about God (or Gods), the meaning of his life, and everything in between? While it’s tough to say from such a short demo whether a completed version would be everything I hope for, there is enough here to say this: Painted Space, given the proper care and polish, could be a really neat title. I sincerely hope that Eagtile-er aardvark continues to work on this project.