A Review in Progress: Close to the Sun
Close to the Sun is an alternate-history walking simulator with a hint of horror thrown in. Some pacing issues but a great experience overall.
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

Close to the Sun is an alternate-history walking simulator with a dash of thriller and a hint of horror thrown in. All of which comes together to create a tasteful game.

Developed by Storm in a Teacup, the game shows some heavy inspiration from Bioshock, Outlast and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. While the game does present some pacing problems if you’re in the right mood this game will will take you on a captivating story.

What’s the definition of insanity again?

In Close to the Sun you take the reins of Rose, a journalist who embarks on a cruise ship designed by Nikola Tesla. Your main motivation throughout the game is to find your sister and along the way I got lost in the beautiful design of the ship, the mystery that slowly unraveled and the genius that is Tesla. Throughout Close to the Sun you learn about the rivalry between Tesla and Thomas Edison.
Along the journey you are brought on a small museum tour dedicated to Tesla and his outrageous and bizarre inventions. The more you let the story unravel the more the character of Tesla was really built up. This was a great experience of character building. I really started to feel this is a man that will stop at nothing and wouldn’t dare think twice about crossing scientific boundaries if it brought him to his evil ambitions.

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Puzzle me this – Why Is this a puzzle?

On the course of your voyage your come into some puzzle which could have been a little more intricate if you ask me. Most of the puzzles seemed to involve some trail and error with no real solution apart from try this and see if it works. Other puzzles included memorising combinations of patterns and then being able to reproduce them. Nothing of any real challenge.
What was a challenge however was getting lost, at a couple of points I got lost and could find the right way to go which really took my out of the experience. Experiences like that only contributed to the slow pacing and made it feel a little dreary every now and again.

Close to the Sun I’m lost in your beautiful world

Close to the Sun’s story is mostly developed by finding clues, reading notes, a few character interactions. To be perfectly honest, I was quite happy that there were very little character interactions as the animations and movement seemed so rigid.
I will say that the voice acting in Close to the Sun is phenomenal and they definitely deserve some praise here. The voices sounded so different from each other and helped to create some serious world building for me. I only wish they had used voice acting more instead of having so many notes and newspapers to tell the story.
To sum up, Close to the Sun creates a great world for a walking simulator styled game. Storm in a Teacup did a wonderful job of inventing their own alternate-history and applying heavy visual influences from Bioshock. With some random puzzles and rather slow pacing the game can cause some frustration. Overall the game has a well thought out and creative story behind it.
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