Kujlevka (PC Early Access) Review
Very strange but unique
Easy to tune in to
Too many pro-Soviet references
Quite a slow game
Text adventures aren't for everyone
Developed by Callback and published by Crytivo, Kujlevka takes us to a remote village in Soviet Russia where a flying saucer has crash-landed into the side of a house. What follows is a bizarre text-adventure game as you, the protagonist, decide on how the story progresses.
Kujlevka – Storyline and Gameplay
Starting out in a strange dream, in which Russian militant skeletons are your only source of conversation, you awake to find that a large UFO has crash-landed right into the side of your house. From here, you are met with a variety of choices around your next steps as you decide on the best course of action for the escalating extraterrestrial situation.
It’s not long before the word travels down the proverbial grapevine and the locals hear of the UFO’s ability to grant wishes. Using an old analog television to tune into the spacecraft, you find you’re the only one the ETs wish to communicate with. Therefore, it’s your job to input the wishes and desires of those entering the ship.
The TV gives you access to a menu that allows you to choose from the screen what you feel the visitor wants and are given a likelihood percent and experience points on successful completion. Of course, this isn’t all that transpires in Kujlevka. With the story taking on different twists and turns as you progress, you are met with a variety of different options and difficult choices.
Kujlevka is Little More than a Text-Based Adventure
When we say that Kujlevka is little more than a run-of-the-mill text adventure, this isn’t necessarily to say that it’s a game for your ‘avoid’ list, just a game that perhaps isn’t for everyone. However, if you have always avoided such games in the past, then Kujlevka is a great introduction to the genre.
The words ‘text adventure’ are often held synonymous with games heralding back from decades ago. Contrary to this instilled belief, these games have come a long way since the terminal-based games of yesteryear. Instead, we now have some pretty interesting stories, character-building, and games adorned with stylish graphics. Kujlevka, falls among some of the very select few games under the ‘text adventure’ banner that anyone could potentially enjoy.
If you’re wanting a quick pace, stunning graphics, and a lot of action, it’s likely that Kujlevka will only bring a free helping of disappointment, bundled in with a package of buyer’s remorse. Instead, Kujlevka caters to those that like to relax and unwind as they game. The pace of the game is steady and calm, while the decision-making aspect of Kujlevka and the surprisingly immersive story will keep most gamers engaged throughout.
Kujlevka has a Feeling of Authenticity
The spoken language is Russian, with various languages for the written text. With the characters speaking in Russian and dressed in traditional garbs, the game does well to set the scene and offers a real sense of authenticity regarding the cultural behaviors of rural Russia.
The Weird and Bizarre World of Kujlevka
If there’s one thing we love in a game, it’s the weird and the wonderful and Kujlevka delivers both in abundance. The dream the game opens up with has an ethereal feel to it that lays the path for the many strange events that follow. We found that sharing a cigarette and holding a conversation with an apthropod was one of the strangest game events we have experienced in a long time and as the game goes on, it steps deeper and deeper beyond the realms of strange.
Kujlevka – Summary
While we throughouly enjoyed the experience Kujlevka offers, we can’t help but think that it isn’t for everyone. The game flows at a steady pace and actions are performed by selecting from dialogue options rather than the conventional sprite interaction. However, if you’re a fan of a decent narrative and dialog-driven adventures, Kujlevka is something you should experience.