Thanks to the rise in popularity of indie games, we have seen the resurgence of point-and-click adventures. This is probably because these are the games the developers were brought up on. I’m not complaining though. The heyday of these type of games was before I got into gaming. (My first console was an N64.) However, I have really enjoyed discovering this genre over the last couple of years. I may find some of the game mechanics a little frustrating on console, but the storytelling tends to be top notch. The latest of these games to hit the Nintendo Switch is Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love.
You play as Evan Kovolsky, a journalist with a fascination for the communist state of Matryoshka. After appearing on a local TV debate talking about the positives of communism, Evan is approached by the seductive Anna. She turns out to be a Matryoshkan agent and invites Evan to come to her country. What follows is a race against time to thwart the machinations of an evil element in Matryoshka. While the story is good, what really sets Irony Curtain apart is the brilliant writing. The script is full of wit, charm, and such a warm sense of humor. Despite telling a story with some dark elements it remains frothy and charming.
Gameplay is essentially point-and-click, but you can use the left thumbstick to walk around. You can either interact with items by walking to the correct area or by using the right thumbstick to select a specific point. I tended to walk (or run using ZR) to the general zone and then used the right thumbstick to pick exactly what I wanted. This was because the game is a little finicky about being in the right place to be able to select what you want. You can be stood right in front of the area you want to go to and it won’t be selected. Selecting something gives you an array of things to do with it. These are normally to look at it, interact with it, or combine it with something in your inventory.
Most of the time in Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love you will be trying to find items to solve puzzles. These puzzles are generally pretty good and quite intuitive. I did find myself stuck on a few occasions. There is one particular sequence where to progress, you have to get an item for someone to persuade them to open up the way forward. However, to get this item you have to complete a chain of appeasing six other people who all want items as well. There are also a few mini-games to complete. Unfortunately, some of these have technical issues. The brick-laying mini-game has some frame rate issues that make it quite challenging to complete. There are also a series of mini-games that require you to press a button to select an item on screen. The issue here is it doesn’t always display what button you are supposed to press.
Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love is a great little indie game. I really enjoyed my time with it despite its kicking my butt at times with the puzzles. I loved the art style and the humor laced throughout the adventure. Some of the mini-games have technical problems, and a few of the later cutscenes have major frame rate issues. These do tarnish the experience a little. Fortunately, the rest of the game is such a joy that they are easy to forgive. If you are a fan of the genre, then this is something you should check out.
A review code was provided by the publisher.