Due to getting into the excellent point and click brainbuster puzzle games of the Submachine series a while back, it wouldn't take too long for me to check out another game of the Submachines' creator Mateusz Skutnik, which is the DayMare Town series.
Imagine, if you will, a bizarre, quiet, apparently almost totally deserted town, comprised of people that look like a cross between Santa's elves and Bigfoot, with seemingly no women (oh yay!) and puzzle pieces scattered around for you to try to solve the mystery of the place.
Sound inviting? Yeah, I didn't think so, actually :P
Here you'll begin your quest in town center, surrounded by several buildings, a well and a few knickknacks in the courtyard. Moving the cursor around and clicking the mouse button will allow you to zoom in on certain areas and pick up certain items that you will use later to hopefully finish the game with.
Anyone familiar with the Submachine games will instantly recognize several of the few sounds, such as the 'crunch' sound when certain actions are performed, along with the 'boomp' of picking up an object. I think a few more sounds could have been used, but it's adequate, and I can't really say what Skutnik's "style" is as far as drawing, other than it being "unusual" (but I like what he does), but I didn't really care for the minimal artwork this time around (plus the little furry people are ugly as hell!). Control will work perfectly as long as your mouse is functional, but if it isn't, it's time to fire it then, as Donald Trump would say.
And as far as the gameplay itself goes? Well, this is a VERY hard point and click adventure, the hardest one I've played yet. There are times when literally a squiggle of an onscreen line provides a clue, if not a flat-out action that's needed to win the game, which I feel is a bit wrong. As per the majority of Skutnik's games that I've played, I've had to consult a walkthrough in order to beat this one, as this is not a game to try to relax to after a hard day's work, plus there are false clues that don't lead to anything (I still don't understand what the deal is with that one window where it's supposedly pitch black out, yet it doesn't mean anything?).
And one of the things that makes it difficult is that you have to just look at certain objects to *truly* beat the game, and many of them are hard to find. I won't divulge what it is, but it's a bit odd, and doesn't really make any sense, as it somehow magically allows a person chained to a wall to disappear...shackles and all. Whatever. At least you can still beat the game without finding all of those objects though.
As it is, I barely give this game a 7, as it starts getting better once (if!) you start finding people. It probably won't have much replay value to most, if any at all. However, I feel the sequel was way better, being easier and it expanded on a certain aspect of the formula, as that made it interesting, and I'll be looking forward to see what the planned DayMare Town 3 will hold for us, which isn't out yet at the time of this writing. After all, it's not even revealed why the residents were holed up captive or whatever either; maybe that will be explained in 3?
But then, maybe it's due to them not enjoying the wails of despair from the people playing the game and going mad from it being such a hair-pulling exercise in frustration in trying to figure out how to beat it. Witnessing someone losing their sanity is never pretty. 7/10