Submachine 5, review by Warpzone

Grab your preemptive Tetanus Shot, and don’t question where the food comes from; it’s time for another installment in everyone’s favorite mysterious urban spelunking sim! The rotting infastructure of the Submachine network beckons once again, but this time you’re apparently a trained professional, tasked with rebooting an ancient “Mover” to reconnoiter “the far side of the submachine net.” Or maybe you’re some punk kid crashing the lab and reading his e-mail, I’m not sure. But that ambiguity is a hallmark of the Submachine series, and it only adds to the mystery. If time has any meaning when portals are involved, it’s years after the events of the previous Submachine games, and you’ll find yourself trolling through the rubble which at one point comprised the earlier adventures. The more you learn, the less you know, and it’s not until you unlock the final author’s comment with the last Secret that you even begin to suspect what this latest outing might have meant. I love the addition of the auto-notes, which track vital information and offer tantalizing hints into the mentality of the explorer, as always without giving too much away. There are a few caveats, but this is Submachine. If you’ve played the other games, you know damned well what you’re signing up for. There’s more button-hunting, which can sometimes involve some incredibly tiny and obscure details in the environment. Make sure you know what part of the Cipher Plates you’re clicking on, because that point becomes your cursor position. You’re not lining the plate up with the slot. You’re clicking on the slot with your (now invisible) mouse cursor. I thought the author’s attempt at a 3D puzzle was cool, even though my brain refused to process it as a 3D puzzle, treating it instead as an awkwardly designed button-clicking puzzle. Still, it was an interesting change of pace. I was disappointed that the dangling pipes didn’t do anything. I would have liked to see more inexplicable weirdness like tone-sensitive blocks of stone or metal gizmos that spin and twirl in response to the mouse cursor’s position, but the method of locomotion employed by the “Mover” just about makes up for the lack of weird alien physics throughout the rest of the game. What more is there to say? It’s more Submachine! Play it. Beat it. Ferret out every last secret. Tell the author you liked it, and dream about playing the next one! Most ARGs aren’t this deep and spooky!

review written by WarpZone, found on NewGrounds.