With the amount of games that come out daily nowadays it is simply not to keep up. Not surprising if you never heard of The Sojourn. I did not have that either, until I could play it on Gamescom, and you too can remember this title better.
The Sojourn is a 3D puzzle game with a simple setup: reach the exit of each level. And to reach that exit, you have to think about it. The puzzles are all about the existence of two worlds in the same level, in which, of course, there are things in one world that are not there in the other.
The ‘normal’ world is initially visible, and here you will soon see that bridges are missing, for example. Each level also has a kind of source where you can fill a bar. As long as that beam has energy you can see the other world. The trick is that that bar empties when you start moving. You guessed it: fill bar and see a bridge there, but when you start walking, the bar is empty before you are over it.
So of course the game has all kinds of other elements that can help you with that. There is an ‘idol’ with which you can switch places (but only if you have energy). So you can, for example, put this idol right next to the bridge, replenish your energy, and immediately switch with the idol. So you stand with a full beam next to the bridge and you can go over it.
The Sojourn would not be a good puzzle game if this does not become more and more difficult. Before you know it you are constantly changing with an idol to get to the right place with enough energy. Later, more mechanics will be added: a harp that can only be activated if you have energy, and which then makes passages possible during the music play. Or a kind of large rays that you can also change direction. As long as you are in the beam you see the other world. And then there are also gates where you permanently change the world if you go through it.
All levels I’ve played seem to fit well together. In the beginning there is a nice structure where gradually more steps are needed per level to reach the exit. The last level that I played (I was allowed to choose randomly from the list) turned out to be a real brain teaser where we – the developer thought along with me – needed almost ten minutes. And those ten minutes are more than worth it.
As if that was not enough, the game looks great too. They also want to put a whole story into it, but there was not much of it in the demo yet. What exactly should be about is not clear to me either – something about light and darkness and “the nature of reality”, but they also have to work on it. The Sojourn has to be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC sometime in 2019.