Serena is a free game on Steam which is a dark, atmospheric point and click adventure. Some may call it a horror game, I suppose you could tag it that, but it’s more about a sinister discovery which becomes more clear towards the end.
I’m not here to analyse Serena, this is my experience. It was something I blindly went in to, which is the case with every game I play for the first time and especially for review, so I didn’t know what to expect.
After being treated to some narration, it soon became clear that the game was basically a story of discovery. You knew something had happened and the fact you saw nobody, not even the protagonist, threw up a red flag.
You start at a table with a photograph, it’s of you and your wife, but her face is blurred out. The idea is to explore the cabin you’re in and find clues about what’s going on and what has happened. There’s nothing to worry about, you can’t click on anything wrong and you soon run out of options and move on to the next object.
To extend the gameplay, you find yourself having to go around the cabin a few times as new options open and the story progresses. You soon lose any feeling of any depth the game might have and just go around clicking on everything just to get through it all.
I couldn’t help but notice the picture on a bit of wall by the front door featured some children in a bath with one of them seemingly naked. And female. This didn’t tide well with me, as a parent I abhor any image depicting underage nudity and I’m sure many other people are, too. What was the point of this painting and why is it hanging on the wall?
There’s an obvious adult theme and the discovery of a magazine just provides a bit of story about what SHE liked and how HE becomes bitter the more he reminisces. All through this pointing and clicking, more discoveries are made until the one you predicted earlier when he wouldn’t open the wardrobe happens.
It’s the proverbial pube on the soap. He knew what was in there and to a point, so did you due to figuring it out when he kept saying he didn’t want to look in there. The game has to come to some sort of conclusion though and to confirm what you were thinking for the last 20 minutes, the game allows you to open the wardrobe.
If you have a spare hour on a weekend, I would suggest giving it a go. The last image is pretty much a major spoiler, so if you’d rather not waste an hour playing through it, there you go. It’s free to download and play on Steam for you to decide whether the description and bullet points are accurate.