The RPS Game Club pick for June is The Tartarus Key!

1 year ago 118

You have mere minutes to escape from this locked room to play it

Player character Alex Young jerks awake to find herself locked in a weird horror puzzle mansion in The Tartarus Key Image credit: Armor Games Studios, Rock Paper Shotgun

Following on from the lovely space highjinks of Citizen Sleeper, Katharine has unwisely allowed me to take the wheel on this month's RPS Game Club, and thus I am steering this baby right into fiendish puzzle town. Next stop: The Tartarus Key!

It's only recently come out, so we're fresh to death this time - literally, because in it you're trapped in a mansion full of SAW-esque murder-puzzles. I really enjoyed this game, with its low-poly PS1 style, and its vibe of being an early 00s thriller that would probably star e.g. Morgan Freeman hunting down a twisted serial killer played by e.g. Hugh Jackman. But in this metaphor, I am the twisted monster, and I have trapped both you and my colleagues and am forcing you all to play this game I like.

You play as Alex Young, a young woman who awakens in a locked study with no memory of how she got there. Step into her shoes to escape that room and you'll soon discover that you're not alone in the mansion: there are a number of other people trapped there, and it's up to you to save them - or fail, and watch their grisly deaths. It's a first person puzzle game with a vintage thriller vibe, and it plays with tropes of the genre in really fun ways. Plus the puzzles are fiendishly difficult, too. You can read my review to find out why and how I liked it.

Or, if you prefer, you can stay fresh for playing it yourself. It's a fairly short game for this, the month of Keigh3 (which, by the way, we are gearing up to cover for you right now) and if you don't already have it, you can grab The Tartarus Key on Steam or GOG for £17/€20/$20.

I'm also aware that nails puzzle games that require you to pay attention to everything you've been told to find the right solution aren't everyone's cup of tea - but as luck would have it, you can try a free demo of the first couple of puzzles in The Tartarus Key via its Steam page, to get a feel for it.

You don't have to buy the game to enjoy our enjoyment of it, though. As is our way with the RPS Game Club, we'll post articles about it over the month sharing our thoughts, and at the end of the month we'll have a liveblog where you can all join in, whether you played it or no. These have been great fun in the past, and this time should be no different.

I'm looking forward to finding out what everyone thinks, and particularly if anyone on staff doesn't like it, because then I'll put them in a cage and tell them they have to use a piece of string to form the correct complex geometric pattern using the bars of their cage to get out. So there. I hope you all enjoy it too, readers, and you should still join us for the liveblog chat at the end of the month. Don't worry. Legally I can't put any of you in cages.

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