The adventures of Hodge the cat and Kit wandered onto PlayStation 4 last week with Nintendo Switch versions following before the end of the month. Join me as I journey into Another Sight and try to make sense of the underworld of old London.
I first got my hands on Another sight way back in 2018. An indie title, developer Great Lunar Wall brought it to London’s EGX REezzed and this charming tale of two protagonists instantly charmed me. Initially launching on PC back in 2018, Another Sight is about to delve down this rabbit hole on Switch and PS4. The title follows the misadventure of a girl named Kit as she endures an unexpected tumble that leaves her cut off from her family and bereft of her sight. Stuck in the lower reaches of Victorian London, she is unexpectedly joined by a mysterious cat named Hodge. Another sight might look like a fairly traditional 2D puzzle adventure but developer Great Lunar Wall takes a new and interesting twist on the well-worn paths of similar titles.
Unlike many other narratives, this particular tale is told through the eyes of two characters and neither of them are quite what they seem. Kit, the daughter of a well to do Victorian family, is left largely blind by the accident that befalls her at the start of the game’s narrative. The result of this allows Great Lunar Wall to explore a different sort of world. Kit ends up exploring her world through sound. Her own personal space is expressed in dull ambient hues of purple and blue that radiate out from her and change as unexpected noises penetrate the darkness. As Kit ventures into this subterranean adventure, tube trains surge by illuminating everything on screen in a bright hue, electricity crackles blue, and the gush of water unleashes a bright torrent of light.
This approach turns mundane and fantastical into something extraordinary and feeds the illusions that the world around Kit is something more than we know. With a total of six distinct environments to explore, Great Lunar Wall uses this idea to great effect. The various themes are a striking, beautiful blend of ideas from Monet inspired watercolor to steampunk machines and deep sea aquariums. Narratively, this helps to set the tone of the story and depicts the personality of several historically significant figures that appear throughout the game. It also continues to blur the line between reality and fantasy. At several points, I was not entirely sure if the events of Another Sight were the ravings of a delirious mind or part of a fantastical world which takes clear inspiration from Gaiman’s Neverwhere novel and even Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
While Hodge isn’t quite the Cheshire cat and the visuals don’t quite spiral into drug-induced territory, they are still one of the game’s obvious strengths. The visual diversity is probably most striking when Kit trudges through the underground gardens early in the game. Her unusual powers of perception twist the oversized greenery into a bright watercolor painting that reflects the artistic owner of this shrubbery. As wind rushes through one series of platforms, the grass glows and pluses in a living watercolor that allows Kit to move through it. This continues to astound throughout the game, as Kit moves into more imaginative territory and the true nature of her adventure begins to unfold.
Thankfully, it is not all down to Kit to make it through this world unaided. Kitt has an almost symbiotic relationship with Hodge the cat. The little ginger kitty is far more than just a travel companion and acts as Kit’s eyes when silence falls upon the two. As the two protagonists delve further into this narrative, the game presents a number of environmental puzzles that make use of Hodge’s feline prowess. Players can take control of Hodge, switching between both Kitt and the cat to clamber up walls, squeeze through holes, or simply make a racket for Kit. Just like the visual variation, the very distinct six zones each have their own puzzles. Certain areas push Kit to clamber over vines repeatedly, while others and focused on unlocking mechanics. While this prevents the game’s brainteasers from getting too repetitive, they never feel like more than a cursory search for the correct button or lever.
While Kit and Hodge are two distinctly different characters, Another Sight makes their movement fairly intuitive. Cat claws might be able to clamber up walls and jump from ledges with little hindrance but the basic controls all remain as you’d expect. Analog sticks allow players to move both characters around the screen, with similar action and jump buttons mapped. Only a minor couple of deviations from this set of skills exist to accommodate the specific nature of each adventurer. This means that when puzzles do require the input of both Kitt and Hodge, only the logic of these obstacles should be much of issue.
This is, however, not entirely the case. While the game is a gorgeous amalgamation of ideas and visual themes, puzzles can sometimes be frustrated by the camera work. On more than one occasion I felt logically simple ideas were hampered by a misplaced camera angle or lighting effects that made levers and movement difficult to ascertain. Early in the game, I spent 20 minutes hunting for a lever I passed a dozen times due to poor lighting and I repeatedly found moving elements of the game problematic when the camera could not be manhandled into a more appropriate position.
Compounding the camera work is some seriously sluggish movement issues, especially with Hodge. While Kit should be particularly cautious, Hodge’s movement leaves something to be desired. I regularly found that the analog controls left me sitting when I wanted to run and turning when I wanted to stop. Response times felt a little slow and a fixed jump animation meant that Hodge just does not feel particularly dynamic for an agile hunter.
These compounding movement and camera issues do slow down the pace of Another Sight. This is not Crash Team Racing so players are not likely to be demanding marsupial madness to add to the gorgeous landscapes. Falling down a bottomless pit or getting stuck behind a door is never a game-ending problem and respawns are lenient enough so as not to cost too much time.
Another Sight is a deeply original tale that rewards players for taking a more leisurely stroll through its world. The visuals are breathtaking and the visual storytelling is ingenious. The symbiotic relationship between Hodge and Kit is a great touch and despite the obvious control issues, you will enjoy a tumble into this underworld. Another Sight is out now on PC and PlayStation 4. Nintendo Switch owners can find it listed on the Nintendo eShop already. You can take a trip down into the underworld by visiting the PlayStation Store, Nintendo eShop and Steam