By – Thomas Faust


Albedo – Eyes From Outer Space is a strange beast. Touted as a first person escape the room game with the occasional shoot-outs and sporting a pulpy 60s sci-fi theme, I don’t quite know what to make of it.  Publisher Headup Games demonstrated some hands-off gameplay at Gamescom and I’m quite intrigued, so the impending Early Access launch might sate my curiosity.

The game’s most obvious feature is its remarkable aesthetics. Albedo uses the strangest color filter I’ve seen in a while, and the dark and grainy visuals are clearly deliberate.  It looks downright weird, which of course ties in neatly with the 60s theme.  Albedo echoes an era of sci-fi flicks when actors in badly fitting costumes stumbled through cheap backdrops, accompanied by eerie synthesizer sounds.  It’s an acquired taste for sure, but a charming throwback nonetheless. Furthermore, few games try their hand at this specific era, and more variety should always be welcome.

You’re playing a nightwatchman in a remote research station, investigating strange occurences and dealing with a possible alien incursion.  Most of Albedo’s gameplay will revolve around you getting out of the current level by means of classical adventure puzzles.  There won’t be any platforming whatsoever, since the game is meant to be an adventure first and foremost.  This of course means a lot of pointing, clicking, and searching for needles in figurative haystacks. Through trial and error you’ll be solving diffuse multi-step riddles, which are supposed to be rather hard.


Now and again, you can also shoot your way out of situations.  I’m honestly not sure how to feel about the combination of puzzle-heavy adventure elements and first person shooting. I cannot think of any recent games that even tried that, and I suspect there’s a good reason.  Different UIs might be required to make both gameplay styles work.  Granted, I have seen none of the shooting sections, so I don’t rule out the possibility that the magic formula has been found.  Opinions will probably strongly differ on Albedo.  It’s too divisive a game to appeal to a broad audience.  However, if you happen to be a 60s movie buff and don’t mind tough puzzle games or looking for something off-beat, this might be just the thing for you.  Albedo – Eyes from Outer Space will beam down to Steam’s Early Access on October 3rd.

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  • trincetto

    I love monster movies from the 50s, but to me the game aesthetic doesn’t evoke them. What is really funny about old sci-fi flicks is that, even when the monsters are utterly ridiculous, the films are always played seriously and that’s why they end being unintentionally funny. There are some great films too, like The Thing from Another World, that manage to be tense even with bad monster design (by today’s standards).
    The game doesn’t seem to understand that, instead focusing on the wacky and cheesy aspects, with silly walking scientists, flying saucers and fake-looking aliens with big eyes. I hope I can be proved wrong, but that’s what I get from the promotional material.

    From the gameplay standpoint, mixing other genres with adventure games is difficult and often has led to terrible results (although there are exceptions, like the Quest for Glory series). From the videos is not really clear how it works, it just seems like it has a dynamic cursor which changes contextually, becoming a crosshair when pointed on enemies.
    Too bad you couldn’t give it a try!

    • Thomas Faust

      Yes, it looks very much like a B-Movie. But hey, those can be fun, too!

      I actually did a quick Twitter poll to find out if there was a recent example for mixing adventure and FPS that got it right, but I came up empty handed. Closest I got was Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, but that one had far less adventure/puzzle elements.

      Albedo’s Steam user reviews are overwhelmingly positive so far, by the way.

      • trincetto

        I was hoping it was more of an homage than a parody of 50s sci-fi films (like It Came from the Desert, which is inspired by the film Them!), but I’m still curious and I’ll keep an eye on Albedo. There aren’t many “real” 3D adventure games, off the top of my head I only remember Gabriel Knight 3 and Tex Murphy. And I can’t think of any FPS-adventure game hybrids!

        I haven’t played Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, is it any good? Especially regarding Lovecraft’s mythology, which is often misused.