Sorry James is a unique puzzle game that blends elements of Sudoku, AIM chat (if anyone remembers that dinosaur), and desk work. Released in 2017, Sorry James looks to be one of the first instalments of the Konstructors Entertainment franchise, which focuses on traditional puzzle games with a flair. Unfortunately, this title takes a giant, unnecessary swing….and misses. Sorry to say that I was rather disappointed with this title, but, honestly, it does do some interesting and cool things that I want to talk about.
Firstly, Sorry James is listed as a “non-linear story-driven puzzle game” on the store page. After playing, I would have to agree that there is no linear story, but the game doesn’t feel motivated by anything in particular. You play as James Garner, a security engineer at a tech company specializing in weapons, though I didn’t see these details as relevant to the gameplay. After watching the trailer I was excited to dive in, but I left not wanting to return.
Secondly, for being a “story-driven” game, I found the writing of Sorry James lacking in depth, curiosity, and relevance. What could have been a mysterious and engaging experience was bogged down by dialogue laced with the sexual fantasies of a young girl, which is off-putting, to say the least. The idea for this narrative is completely unique, but unfortunately underdeveloped.
The mechanics of the game are pretty simple to understand: it’s basically Sudoku, except you don’t have to worry if you mess up time and time again. The puzzles are relatively easy which means only slightly satisfying to complete. When you fail, the screen flashes and a buzzing sound is heard but, there don’t seem to be any consequences for the player.
The intro of Sorry James was one of the most frustrating moments in gaming I’ve had in a while. The game starts you at a login screen for a computer. The visuals and sound do a nice job of world-building for you, but there isn’t a clear way to retrieve the login and password. I tried random inputs for about 5 minutes before I went to Google. It turns out, the information needed can be found on the store page, but navigating to the information is quite confusing. Immediately, it put a sour taste in my mouth.
Nevertheless, once you login, you are sent instructions to decode some files from your boss, to keep them secret, and not to look at them. Naturally, I read everything I decrypted. After the third one, I received another message from the boss reminding me not to open any files. Suddenly, I felt as if I were really working for someone, and perhaps getting into some trouble. It’s a really cool feature that I wish would’ve been expanded upon.
This is one of Sorry James‘s strongest features. Looking at the other titles in their line-up, Konstructors Entertainment has an incredibly unique vision for their games, and I would say they deliver every time in this department. The pressing of the keys emitting an old, clunky, and loud keyboard combined with the faint whir of the computer running creates a wonderful experience for the player. They also allow you the option of foregoing the SFX, music, or both.
$4.99 fits rather well for this game.
Overall thoughts on Sorry James?
There was a lot of potential for this game to kick ass, and a few things it did well, but ultimately fell way short, so I give it a 4/10. But, if it sounds like your cup of tea, you can find the game on Steam HERE.
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