After discovering and beating the original Submachine freeware puzzle game, that little appetizer just made me hungry for more, and it didn't take long for me to sink my teeth into it's sequel.
Rather than being in the basement of some building like with the original (or are you still in the same area? Who knows, the Submachine games just get progressively weirder and weirder), this time around you're at a mysterious lighthouse, and the intro questions your playing the first one: was it just a game, or a dream? Or something else entirely?
The premise is simple enough, where you just scour over details in game screens and try to find and figure out what certain objects and actions will do to get you further into the game. However, all of the Submachine point and click games are pretty tough, and chances are pretty good you won't be able to get entirely through this without consulting a walkthrough. Taking a screenshot and/or notes is required for a few things, and a couple of details I felt were a bit unfair, but just hang in there, I felt (along with millions of other Submachine fans the world over) like I was really accomplishing things once I started unlocking bits and pieces of it. You really need to set aside time for this before diving into it though, it's not a casual gaming experience in the least.
And along with this not exactly being "casual", in no time flat the game gets pretty odd indeed: I didn't really think much of the weird diary page that is found in the original (about your third, invisible "karma arm" that you grew; ok...), but once you start finding and activating things and opening up more and more of the game, oh yes, weird Submachine 2 definitely gets. There's letters that are left behind for you about someone named Liz, the lighthouse keeper fearing he will be buried alive with the lighthouse (?) and notes about a mysterious cat that shows up and disappears and all makes about as much sense as YouTube constantly changing things around that no one thinks of, let alone cares about, rather than actually fixing any of their problems (but I'll end it there, rather than going on and on about something that has nothing to do with an actual game review, so...).
Just don't worry about the creepiness factor in it though, nothing will jump out at you (something that you may feel will happen in parts, but never does). The adequate sounds also add to the overall unsettling feeling as well, as there's definitely a creepy vibe about it, which is accented with the grimy scenery and graphics. Actually I was a bit put off by them, as the original Submachine had a bit more of a "polished" look to it, but then I got used to it's look and admired it after a while. After all, what else can you expect when you have to crawl through sewer pipes (um, eeyew) in order to search for items and work with puzzles?
Yes, that really makes sense: crawling through sewers, using a fork to help, there being power in the first place in a lighthouse that is supposed to be buried...makes you wonder why, if someone doesn't want you following them (as it said in a note for you to find...or not), that they would have just destroyed everything so you don't get caught up in their mess, leaving you stranded there, ha ha. (Yes I know, it wouldn't make for an interesting game as you have to hunt down for items to use to help you out. In real life you'd just use a cell phone to get yourself out of the place, which it'd be game over then real quick, wouldn't it!)
This is almost as good as the original, but then, that was a perfect game, in my opinion, which is hard to follow up on. So the two don't really compare, especially considering the size of this one and it having many more puzzles, so this one is a much more engrossing experience. This is pretty much my favorite Submachine episode (as compared to the first), as the first one was just the start to see what creator Mateusz Skutnik could do, and he delivered with a weird storyline and expanded the hell out of his first creation into this growing buffet of great point and click adventures.
And there is no spoon...as it would say during the intro for the sequel of Submachine 3. 9/10
(You can see a few scenes from this game on my YouTube presentation where I review this, along with the original and Extended version of the original Submachine, episodes 0, 3-5 and the Future Loop Foundation, which is divided into two several minute long videos, with the first being here and part 2 is here.)
Submachine 2: The Lighthouse has been added to the Stage Select Arcade! You can give the game a try out here!