Till the dawn, waiting Review

During major natural disasters pets are often left behind by owners when they’re forced to flee. Till the dawn, waiting was inspired by the events of Hurricane Irma and by all those pets left behind when owners had to flee from it.

Till the dawn, waiting is about a dog named Barney who was abandoned by their owner, Jack or David (depending on which you choose through the options). Left on a rock, tied to a post in the desert, Barney spends a great deal of time thinking to himself, wondering why his owner did this. During his time on the rock, he also ends up talking with a little Bumblebee and a Vulture.

Till the dawn, waiting is fairly short – around 30 minutes or so. It really depends on your reading speed, and how fast you can navigate the “maze” section. Oh, and if you’re using a controller be warned – this game seems to have shaky controller support, despite claiming full support. Mine in particular decided that it would get stuck spinning the camera around.

The maze sections of the game are probably some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Exacerbated by the fact my camera was spinning during it, the game attempts a “dog vision” which ends up just making it horrendous on your eyes. Those sections made me extremely ill, even when I was trying to fight the camera spin with my mouse. There comes a point when yes, you have an artistic vision you wish to realize, but you need to not compromise playability. Also, you can easily find the seams in the walls where they weren’t meshed together properly.

Messed up dog neck
This is not how necks, or collars, work.

Speaking of the graphics, apparently Barney had some sort of mutant effect happening with his collar and leash. Whenever he moves you can see his leash move, and if he moves just right (which he does multiple times) the leash starts protruding from his neck. The back of his collar also looks like it has melded into his skin, which is actually a pretty serious thing to have happened. I guess it would explain why he couldn’t just shake it free because the collar otherwise looks way too big for him to begin with.

The collar looks way too large here, despite looking like it should be stuck in the dogs skin.

Back on the subject on controller support, ignoring the spinning camera (which is pretty bad, though not sure if I just got unlucky, but it did it over two separate boot ups) there was one section where the camera swapped to an overhead view in which it stopped recognizing my controller at all for inputs for the dialogue. Also, if I accidentally X or O (which should have been confirm/cancel) it would flash the “Do you wish to quit?” screen on/off so long as I had the button held down.

The writing is also extremely iffy. Many times during the reading of it, a bad piece of grammar would just take me out of the mood completely. I get that they might’ve been going for an “animals aren’t going to know good English”, but even on the opening splash screens there was somewhat poor English so I’m not so sure about that one.

You are greeted with this screen upon launching the game.

While I was initially interested in the game based on the premise and the art style, this ended up being one of the most miserable games I’ve played in ages. I ended up feeling extremely ill for hours afterhand which also didn’t help. I would’ve liked to have seen a different angle, perhaps of one actually left behind in a natural disaster and forced with the choices of “why did this happen?” and so on. Instead, we get a dog on a rock, which yes I knew beforehand (based on screenshots), but there could have been so much more. In fact, even once you beat it, they say that there could have been more but they didn’t do it. That makes it feel like it was just another semi-rush job to get onto Steam to try and make a few bucks off a disaster.

With all that said, I do not recommend Till the dawn, waiting at all. There are much better story-based games out there that I would recommend instead.

In the flashback photos the dog generally looks fine, though the collar is a bit odd in some.

I was provided with a Steam key for Till the dawn, waiting by the publisher to create content on it.

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