Subnet – jayisgames review

By: Mike

I’m not sure if I’m being glib or hyperbolic when I say that Mateusz Skutnik’s Submachine series is the Lost of online adventure gaming, but I’ll say it anyway. I mean, I knew that both were excellent sci-fi tales about mysterious places, with imposing backstories and a knack for posing as many questions as they answer in every installment. But before I played the Submachine Network Exploration Experience, I didn’t know just how involved fans of the series were in discussing its mysteries and mythologies. Like the various alternate reality games involved in the marketing of Lost, the Exploration Experience gives fans of the series the chance to delve into the Submachine world like never before.

As the Exploration Experience declares from the outset, “This is not a game.” There are no puzzles to solve (at least, I don’t think there are), and no definite endpoint. Rather, it’s your chance to explore the vast reaches of the Submachine network. Fans of the series will recognize the teleportation devices that whisk you from one area to the next, and once you find some location codes you can be on your way. Some locations will be familiar, while others are brand new, possibly foreshadowing areas in Submachine 7, coming out later this year (note the buried lead!).

In addition to finding location codes, you will also find notes describing theories about the Submachine. These have been gleaned from the Pastel Games forums and are written by fans of the series. Some of the locations even seem to be constructed to affirm certain theories. It’s a great way to get fans involved in the series while providing more mysteries to ponder.

Throughout the Exporation Experience you will find all sorts of little clues and hints that possibly give some idea of what is going on. The design is such that more areas could easily be added, and Matuesz Skutnik has indicated that is his intention. If you are a fan of the series, the Submachine Network Exploration Experience offers all sorts of arcana to sate you until the next chapter is released.