This Adventure game, published by Wadjet Eye and produced by Joshua Nuernberger, does not necessarily look like it was made in 2011, but that doesn’t mean it needs to hide from “current gen” games at all.
Gemini Rue kicks off with Delta-Six, one of the playable characters, in a room surrounded by people who are apparently going to wipe your memory, and not for the first time. Delta-Six seems to have tried to escape from wherever he is and needs to “forget” whatever he learned doing that. After this short intro we get to play as Azriel Odin, an ex-assassin gone policeman, who wants to meet up with Matthius Howard in a future version of Pittsburg so they can find Azriel’s brother and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, Matthius is nowhere to be seen and it is the player’s first task to find him.
The game does a good job of explaining its mechanics without holding your hand too much. You can either “use” your eyes, your hands, your mouth, your feet or any item you may acquire on something, whereas the mouth is pretty much exclusively used for talking and the hands are your main “interact with” tool. That does not mean, however, that the feet don’t find any use whatsoever. The game is pretty intuitive on what to use on what and you should almost never get frustrated over using the wrong tool in the wrong situation. You are often presented with multiple ways to solve a puzzle, never leaving you with no options (though you can die in some spots, but auto saving should keep frustration about that at bay) and almost always rewarding attention to detail and a bit of cleverness.
After progressing enough, you get to play the role of Delta-Six, who had his memory wiped and doesn’t remember anything but his “training”, which introduces us to the gunfight mechanic of this game. You can go out cover, where you can shoot but also be shot and you can go back behind cover, where you are safe and can reload your weapon. Obviously, this does not just remain a training regimen but becomes a part of the game, thus making up the action parts of it and becoming a little deeper with time. It’s pretty simple, but tense and hard enough to not feel tacked on.
In the role of Delta-Six you once again learn that you tried to escape the space “rehabilitation center” you’re in and helped create a map to help you and some others escape, so now you want to find out why. The first two people to talk to you tell you conflicting things and since you have no way of telling which one is telling the truth Gemini Rue sets up a really good sense of distrust and and mystery, making you go with your gut feeling on who to trust and so on.
Later on you can freely switch between Azriel and Delta-Six up to a certain point for each character, which further drives the question: When and how will these two interact? The answer does not disappoint.
The sound and especially the graphics obviously follow an old school style, imitating the look of the adventure games in the 90s, but they do so in a good way. Everything seems to have been deliberately created with an obvious love for detail. The voice acting is pretty good for such a low-scale game, not always being amazing but also never feeling out of place or pulling you out of the world of the game. Overall, the presentation is very atmospheric.
Gemini Rue is great! The story is well told, does a great job of surprising the player and leaves just the right amount of open-endedness to have something to think about. The gameplay could barely be better and there is only one situation in which I found the game to be at fault for my failing at a puzzle (in its defense though, just clicking through everything would have solved it). Sadly, there is a bug near the end which crashes the game. It’s nothing terrible but you should probably create multiple save slots every once in a while in order to be able to go back. I couldn’t tell you how long the game was because I was too busy being a part of this adventure. I’m guessing it’s no longer than 3-4 hours (but seriously, do not take my word on that), but what counts is that it feels no bit too long or too short and considering its price of only 15$, how could I not recommend it?