Caligo : Review

A Philosophical Piece of Art

A linear quest through life with its ups and downs

Caligo is a very short walking simulator and one you can really call "Walking Simulator". You are essentially following a single pre-determined path through beautiful landscapes and darker areas in your philosophical quest to find out more about life. This reminded me a lot about the game that defined this genre: Dear Esther, except that this one has better graphics and more voiceover and actually a dialogue - though you cannot decide anything except at the very end.

Though dark at the beginning and then getting through life which is at times colourful and at times also painful it is a short but beautiful journey through a varied landscape which looks very surreal in some places.

« You can't give random meaning to random things, or else the world will turn into chaos, at least when it comes to yourself. »

Atmosphere

This one tries hard but for me did not manage to create an immersive atmosphere which is probably because you can only follow the predetermined linear path. In real life you can roam around freely which would have made it a lot more immersive in my opinion. Though really beautiful it's also a bit surreal which you can see in the screenshots.

Also, experiencing invisible walls often does not lead you to explore more of the surroundings, but less because you constantly expect to not be able to go any further. This happens quite often in the fantasy part at the beginning.

Atmosphere

Tech

Caligo can be played completely with a controller or via keyboard and you only have two actions: skip a dialogue (A) or select an option at the end and (X) to pickup drawings where you can pickup one of 20 drawings hidden in the game which somewhat show the core of what's meant by what you listen to in the corresponding dialogues.

The graphics are very impressive though in some areas with a low frame rate depending on your hardware. The loading times are fast (especially compared to The Painscreek Killings which also uses the Unity Engine ).

You cannot set any specific graphics options (like FOV etc.) or enable a dot in the middle of the screen to prevent motion sickness. Especially this should be quite easy to implement. Also, I was moved unexpectedly sometimes and the auto-panning camera is also a bit annoying.

Tech

The Game

Unlike The Stanley Parable or The Beginner's Guide this game did not really manage to successfully tell me something although it tries very hard to express its philosophical intentions. In contrast to the aforementioned games this one has a dialogue where "I" as the player "say" somehing even though I'm not actually triggering it. It just happens automatically. Just having a narrator hinting at specific ideas and encouraging certain thoughts would be better in my opinion. This enforced dialogue is definitely not as immersive as The Stanley Parable or The Beginner's Guide.

It is a short game though you have two endings to try out and you can select a chapter if you've managed to get through it to not have to start from the beginning to experience the other ending. As dialogues can be skipped this can be achieved quite fast.


Languages

The only supported languages are English and Russian for both the subtitles and the audio though implementing subtitles for other languages should be quite easy.

Overall Rating

In any way, for me it was too short for the price, not immersive enough and unfortunately the very beautiful graphics did not manage to change that. If you suffer from motion sickness this one might be ok as you mostly go a straight line and don't move around that much, but I definitely felt a bit of motion sickness along the way.

It's a little piece of art that for me does not manage to succeeed in its mission.

Game

Gallery

Watch The Trailer

Get it on Steam Deals

Normal Price: 5.99 EUR*

Steam Rating: Very Positive (80% positive reviews based on 231 ratings)*
  • Genres: Adventure, Indie
  • Platforms: Windows
  • Release Date: 22.09.2018
  • Developer: Krealit
  • Achievements: 3 achievements
  • Age Restriction: none
* Retrieved 19.05.2018 08:35 CEST

Categories: Philosophical Review

Tags: Unity Keyboard Controller Philosophy Life


Walking Simulator Games Narrative Exploration at its best