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Rauniot - isometric post-apocalyptic adventure set in Finland

LESS T_T

Arcane
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Oct 5, 2012
Messages
13,582
Codex 2014
http://rauniotgame.com




https://af.gog.com/en/game/rauniot?as=1649904300



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Developed by Finnish indie team Act Normal Games, founded by co-founder of Shiver Games (of that Lucius games).

Game.gif


Rauniot is an isometric post-apocalyptic point and click adventure game full of intriguing puzzles with classic gameplay elements. Story takes place to beautiful and detailed environments in Northern Finland.

Story.gif


In year 1975 massive nature catastrophe pushed civilization over the edge.

Riots, massive conflicts and wars occurred. Once so glorious and powerful human race really lost it good.

Main continents were drowned by seas. Heavy amounts of pollution spread around from collapsed nuclear power plants and -warheads. Not many survived from those deadly times.

Children born mutated or dead taking their mothers with them. Fathers walking alone in bitterness and sorrow driven to cannibalism as food resources slowly ran out. In this sad new world nature and man are trying to survive and find balance.

Still some individuals manage to trust one another just enough to establish groups providing protection, food, clean water, medicine, electricity and knowledge for better life.

Aino is one of those lucky ones to be part of a group. But it can be one hard job in this world. Giving everything you’ve got in dangerous journeys and tasks prevents one to be isolated.

http://actnormalgames.com/press/index.php

Description
Act Normal Games is an independent Finnish game company driven forward by big eternally burning passion to post-apocalyptic themes and games.

History
At the very beginning
In early 90's, a family picking berries somewhere in Finland. Near a gravel pit, not so interested in berries, kid glances to the sky on his knees. Sun is shining warmly. He looks down to the ground, sees yellow sand and small plants trying to survive in the scorching heat. He wonders: why am I so fascinated by this rough scene, that I just must sit here and stare to the ground? Almost like waiting something to happen. Two decades later Heikki realized it. Post-apocalyptic stuff is somehow integrated to his brain!

Present
Currently developing post-apocalyptic point and click adventure game Rauniot for PC.

Obligatory ping to Pyke
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Modron

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I do not remember watching this thread. Good necro I suppose since it made me go and look to see if it's still being worked on. They've been posting some snippets here and there with six short little teasers on youtube over the last couple of months: https://www.youtube.com/@actnormalgames
 

Anthedon

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Is this Beautiful Desolation but in Finland? Could be pretty neat, if they ever finish it.
 

Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Here is my review of Rauniot. You can read it here on my site, or down below if interested. I should add that I got a key from the developer. It's the reason why the review is done already, considering the game just came out.

Welcome to the northern Finnish wasteland, survivor! A setting that even makes the first Fallout seem like a place of joyous happiness. Now, the Finnish people, along with the rest of the Nordics (trust me, I’m one myself) are not the most cheerful of people, especially not the ones from the cold frozen north. So, with that, you can expect a tale of utter misery and human suffering. This is not Grandpa’s fun 50s apocalypse, this is Ragnarök in pure Finnish melancholic – and I like it.

The North
1975 wasn’t a great year for humanity in Rauniot. It was the year everything turned to dust. Fuel was running out, soon followed by nukes impacting all nations. Very traditional end-of-times scenario, you see. Turning the world into one giant ball of fun, with cannibalism and other horrors around every corner. In this world, you play Aino, a no-nonsense face-tattooed female metalhead with a mission to find a missing community member and to locate some kind of experimental nuclear train – but what for?

Rauniot takes place in northern Finland, and anyone with any semblance of knowledge of the Nordics would say this looks the part. Well, except for the sickly brown tint from a world burning up (it reminds me of South American movies). One thing to take notice of is that Aino is not the usual downtrodden survivor that is usually the case in these kinds of dramas. She comes prepared and has tools, a weapon, and a car. It’s a different and fresh start, instead of having to crawl up from the vats of the apocalyptic wilderness. But things won’t be easy, as not to reveal too much. It should be pointed out that this is not an RPG or an action game. The world might be cruel and its inhabitants even crueler, however, you won’t be living out any kind of Mad Max fantasy.

A bullet always works when you can’t find the key


Rauniot is way down there instead where Finnish (and I would say Russian too) dramas usually walk. In the muck of the desperate and melancholic. It’s a tone that is a constant throughout the game, and you can bet your ass that you haven’t heard the most miserable tale just yet when meeting new people. I enjoyed it, but this style of writing is not for everyone. The best I can compare it to is the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and when it comes to imminent nuclear war and its consequences, the movie Threads from 1984 is a good pick.

The story is not overly deep, but it doesn’t have to be. The setting is interesting as it is, and the characters do seem to have a purpose in this scarred world. Most of them are eagerly ready to tell you their story, yet it’s never verbose in a way that it becomes annoying – I mean, these people are Finns after all! I didn’t find anything about the plot to ever drag on, or not making sense. It does all come together eventually, even if stuff might seem confusing depending on where in the story you stumble over the narrative puzzles. So, what about the gameplay?

Yes, I dress up as the raincoat killer for fun


The pointing and clicking
It shouldn’t come as anyone’s surprise that there will be a lot of pointing and clicking in this adventure game. Also, Rauniot has no “highlight” key, which means the gameplay consists of a truly old-school style of pixel hunting. I wouldn’t say it’s as bad as the olden days, but you do have to scan the areas with your mouse to not miss out on important stuff. I had a few moments just like that, which forced me to go back to have a second look. The problem-solving makes sense for the most part, and it’s not exceedingly hard, except for a few puzzles at the end that had me stumped for a while. When it comes to numbers my brain goes into instant lockdown mode, and can only be lured out with soft music and alcohol.

Now in hindsight, they were all logical in a point-and-click adventure type of way, but maybe not so much if you measure it by realism. What can come off as a bit tedious is that you have to teleport around from scene to scene if you can’t solve the puzzles from the get-go. It screws with the pacing and immersion a wee bit. I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal since this is a thing in most adventure titles. All in all, I enjoyed the search for clues and items. The puzzles were entertaining too, even if some left a permanent mark on my hairline from all the head-scratching.

A few additional notes that should be mentioned is that you can die. However, it’s not a particularly rough mechanic like in the classic days, since you won’t be set back hours depending on when you saved. When I died, the game made an autosave the very moment before I got struck with a bullet to my brain – very convenient, I must say. You still have to live with the failure through a nasty cutscene though. Another thing is that there are a few alternative paths through the game that all have a different effect on the ending. There are decisions to be made – who to put a bullet into or anyone at all for example. A nice touch for repeat playthroughs.

Some of these scenes just ooze misery and sadness


The presentation
One genuinely stand-out part of the experience is its high polish of animations, visual style, and random artistic flair. Everything interface-wise matched the tone and setting of the game, which made the gameplay very immersive. Especially when interacting with old 70s computers, and other items, like for example your map that lists objectives. Rauniot has a lot of minor animations when it comes to puzzles, like unscrewing bolts, or just seeing Aino making her way in the world to reach these enigmas. The game regularly switches from top-down animations to full-blown animated cutscenes to the more stylistic choice of “letterboxing” when it comes to dialogue. The letterboxing I suspect might have been a budget choice, but it works and adds to the complete package. The music is of the droning kind, fitting for the wasteland. If I’m honest, I didn’t notice it too much. There was a metal tune that played in the beginning, but the rest felt more like apocalyptic background noise to a ruined world.

In conclusion
Rauniot is a fine adventure title, and I warmly recommend it to anyone who likes the genre. Especially if you like the more realistic approach to its graphical style, much like how they were made in the early 2000s. In a way, the game felt a little nostalgic thanks to his. I’m not sure if the story will truly wow anyone, but the presentation, with its slow melancholic take, is pretty unique. The puzzles land around in the middle of the difficulty chart. They will probably not slow you down too much but expect to work at least a few neurons if you want to complete the title. Varo kannibaaleja!

Thanks for reading.


I liked it. Very melancholic in a Finnish way.
 

Hobknobling

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Nov 16, 2021
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Wow, this came out of nowhere. Not that many modern games with Finnish audio besides My Summer Car.
 

agris

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oh man, Pyke you're gonna love this

the english translation is a bit underbaked. not machine-level bad, not at all, but dropped articles and a bit stiff. i'm tracking typos at least.
 

Maxie

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I liked it. Very melancholic in a Finnish way.
if something is advertised as 'very Finnish/very German/very French' or whatever then it's simply a worthless product meant to cater to an ethnic market out of a sense of inferiority, as well as to ridiculous hipsters who like to feel self-important
 

Darkozric

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Alienman Based on the trailer and your review, I'll take it that the gameplay is somewhat more interesting than Beautiful Desolation, which was all about go to location A, get info/item, use it on location B, get info/item and repeat.

Also, how many hours did it take you to finish it (approximately)?
 

3 others

Scholar
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Aug 11, 2015
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184
I seriously disliked Stasis. Is there any point looking into this further?
It's not Lovecraftian, if that is what you mean. And there are no mutants.
What I meant was that the trailer gives the same vibes as Stasis did. It's dark, gloomy, lonely, and happens in a "grounded" setting. However I found the sadistic (towards the protagonist) tone of Stasis unbearable, and trying to apply real-life logic to puzzle solutions was annoying (I'd like to see anyone cut a hand off a cadaver with a glass shard). The diary logs were also very heavyhanded in their worldbuilding. Is Rauniot any better in what it appears to attempt to do?
 

lightbane

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Dec 27, 2008
Messages
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It's dark, gloomy, lonely, and happens in a "grounded" setting
Just like the average Russian game! Speaking of: how does this game compare depressing-wise? I suppose all endings are sad or bad, for starters.
 

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