Qasir Al-Wasat: A Night in-Between tells the story of an invisible and frail creature which is summoned on 12th century Syria for a mission of infiltration and assassination, where it investigates and discovers the secrets of a wondrous palace and a trap that was set for it. The game employs simple mechanics and conceptual sounds and visuals.
Very cool stealth adventure game. The mechanics are straight forward and the story and setting are enticing.
You play as an invisible, fragile, summoned demon that is contracted to kill 3 men. As you hunt your prey you must avoid guards and traps. You can kill the guards but doing so can cause you to get blood on you that other guards can see.
There are also puzzles to solve, secrets to find and mysteries to unveil. All in all it's an excellent game even with the very few rough edges the current pre-order beta contains.
This game is a short-but-sweet thing. It is not complex, does not pretend to do anything it actually doesn't. What it does do, however, it does excellent.
The atmosphere, created mostly by environment graphics and sounds is the best part. Rarely an indie title manages to create such distinctive feel to its world. Everything is highly stylised, and matches the setting of ancient Syria well.
The exploration is fun - there are quite a lot secret rooms to find. You may skip a couple if you feel like it though.
The puzzles, while not to many, are quite varied, if a bit on the easy side. They also feel quite right in place in the world - there's no feeling of shoehorning.
The story is interesting, but you have to work for it to unravel it whole.
There are many letter and documents scattered around the game world - you don't need to find them all to progress, but each piece you uncover feels extremely well crafted.
A lot of information is relayed by the dialogs and monologs you may overhear. Some of it is just for flavor, some if it will help overcome the challanges. All of it helps to build a believable, if a fairy-tale, world.
The occult elements may be off-puting to some, but I've found nothing that could offend a moderately sensitive person.
Calligraphy present in the game deserves a separate mention: there is a lot of beautifull drawn text (in several writing systems) and text-like pictures. I've enjoyed looking at it, even though I can't read Arabic at all.
There is as much action in this game as you want it to be: you can either slay those who stand between you and your objective or silently sneak around.
The only thing that could be improved a bit is the controls. At several points in the game it is a bit difficult to navigate the environmental hazards.
I've had a lot of fun playing this game. Highly recommended!
What I had thought would just be a basic stealth game with nice art turned out to be one of the best games I've played in a while. The palace was a joy to explore with plenty of secret rooms and manuscripts to find. The stealth mechanics slowed the pace of the game compared to similar games which was refreshing. Not only did it allow me to fully enjoy the art, it made the exploration more deliberate. The puzzles, though not necessarily the most original, were well executed, well paced, and fit wonderfully with the theme without ever feeling forced. The story was really engaging, original, and one of the highlights of the game. My only complaint would be that as much as I enjoyed the sound, some of the sounds could get annoying after hearing them many times in a row. Overall, I highly recommend this game. It exceeded my expectations in every way.
What really got me interested in the game in the first place was the art style. Its got a visual feel to it that really grabs you. But I was definitely pleased with the gameplay.
Basically, it's a stealth game where you're invisible. Despite what you'd imagine is a massive advantege, you're severly handicapped by the fact that you still make noise, can get covered in blood and paint, and die in a single hit. Honestly, I really like this take on stealth: it is easier to stay stealthly if you remain stealthly, but if you get backed into a corner you can use poison or your claws to escape. Yet resorting to violence is discouraged by then making stealth harder, and ensuring that you really CAN'T fight your way past all the guards.
Storywise, what little we get in the beta is intriguing. I won't spoil anything, but I will say that it definitely sounds like something from mythology, the player's character has his own history and motivations, and snippets of backstory you hear from the various palace inhabitants are interesting.
This is a stealth/puzzle game, so if that's a genre that interests you then this is definitely the game for you.