I Am Dead | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
I Am Dead is developed by Hollow Ponds and published by Annapurna Interactive and is a narrative driven puzzle game packed with charm and wonder to find. It is currently available to buy on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, as well as Nintendo Switch. From the same creator as games such as Hohokum and Wilmot's Warehouse, I immediately knew what to expect from I Am Dead and was instantly intrigued as soon as I found this out. For my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version of the game.
In I Am Dead, you assume the role of Morris Lupton who recently passed away (hence the name, I Am Dead) who was the curator of the museum on the mystical island of Shelmerston which you learn early on is going to be destroyed by a disaster. I was very quickly sold when I discovered that you're not going through this journey alone and you're accompanied by your dog Sparky who is also, you may have guessed it, dead. With your loyal canine companion by your side you must uncover the many mysteries of Shelmerston and prevent the impending disaster and save your home from beyond the grave by gathering the spirits of others who had passed away on the island. Throughout the game you uncover the stories behind various residents of Shelmerston by visiting where they lived, investigating the memories of the people who knew and loved them and finding sentimental things that belonged to them during their lives. To look into these things you have the power to zoom into objects and see through them to unveil secrets and memories that are held within.
After enjoying other releases from the creator, Richard Hogg, namely Hohokum, I was very intrigued and was absolutely not let down. I discovered Hohokum by complete accident some years ago when I was really struggling with bad mental health and depression and whilst there isn’t really a tangible storyline to follow in Hohokum, I found myself immersed for hours in the beautiful, shifting world so I was very keen to see what was achieved with I Am Dead and it never disappointed me! Incredibly simplistic gameplay, with a powerful story line and beautiful visuals to go alongside.
My favourite thing about I Am Dead without a shadow of a doubt was the story-line and the way the story was revealed to the player. I loved finding out all these stories and no matter how fictional they were, they were so heart warming and contemplative and they really shone to me. Parts were quite emotional as you hear about one character's trauma from fighting in the war and the game really did an amazing job of conveying traumatic topics like this in a respectful and considerate manner. Graphically, the game had a lovely quaint feel to it with the beautiful vibrant colours that complemented the landscapes really nicely.
I’d say the only thing that really let me down with I Am Dead is the simplicity of the puzzles and the treasure hunt nature of the game. However with limited ways in which you can interact with the world because you are… dead, I suppose there isn’t too much more you can do than slice through objects with your perspective, although if you're looking for a lovely story driven game, I Am Dead is the one for you. There was nothing overtly challenging about I Am Dead so I would recommend it for any age group or skill level, for example, one of the biggest challenges was when you meet a bizarre character called Mr Whitstable who is Scottish and looks sort of like a goat, who you must solve some riddles for and go into a timed treasure hunt. I say this is the most difficult part of the game, however it’s still very much attainable to the average gamer.
With lots of hidden objects to find and a stunning story, I Am Dead is certainly worth playing as a lovely escape into a quaint, picturesque landscape with lovely characters that just feel typically British and very pleasant. Hollow Ponds did a wonderful job of building a meaningful and significant game where you could simply appreciate the story provided rather than having to learn hundreds of different mechanics to navigate the game. As mentioned in detail, I do feel I Am Dead could benefit from some variety in the puzzles and mechanics, however I don’t believe it faltered due to this because the story shone bright enough to allow me to forget the ease and simplicity of the gameplay itself.
Lj's Rating: 3.5 Sparky’s out of 5.
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Many thanks to fortyseven for the Review Key.