The Order of the Snake Scale Review – A Menacing Mix of Genres

The Order of the Snake Scale Review – A Menacing Mix of Genres

Platforms: Windows PC, Linux, Steam

Game Name: Order of the Snake Scale

Publisher: FM Simple Games Studio, Sons of Welder

Developer: FM Simple Games Studio

Genre: Action, Adventure

Release Date: March 13th, 2024

The Order of the Snake Scale by FM Simple Games Studio

The Order of the Snake Scale is a top-down adventure game set in a dystopian future riddled with cosmic horror and monstrous creatures.

Combining classic puzzling with occasional bouts of action, its mixed perspective provides a light first-person shooter experience alongside more traditional top-down exploration.

Mixed Genres, Mixed Perspectives, Mixed Results

In the grim future presented here, humanity is ruled by a corporation that has prohibited religion, engaged in mass sterilization, and oppressed the populations of the world. Behind this is a bubbling sense of eldritch horror; cults lurk in the shadows, and nightmarish creatures swim beneath rancid pools.

It’s an interesting setting that tries to merge Lovecraftian vibes with a cyberpunk dystopia backdrop. Unfortunately, the latter is largely buried in the dialogue rather than existing in the setting itself, which has more in common with the typical isolated town one might expect from the horror genre.

Exploration is handled from a classic top-down perspective, and unlocking the world involves a familiar process of finding key items to open up new areas. This is paired with a more action-packed combat system whereby aiming presents a scope, showing a first-person view that can be used to eliminate threats.

The shooting is fairly basic, and there is an abundance of ammunition to find, limiting the tension of survival horror, but this is nonetheless a fun idea, and it’s great to see developers experimenting with mixed perspectives.

Movement uses a throwback to tank controls, a choice that could appeal to some while repelling others, and the game recommends a gamepad for the best experience.

Cults and Creepiness

The world itself is dark, dirty, and grim with a population of miserable inhabitants ranging from the cult members lurking on the edge of town to the wary addicts cloistered together near the woods.

The environments are well-crafted, and an unnerving atmosphere permeates each of them, from the worm-infested swamp to the dank corridors beneath the town. One of The Order of the Snake Scale’s best choices is to frame every shot as if being observed on a security camera; a sense of being watched pervades the game.

Visuals in general are solid, if a little rough around the edges when it comes to character models. Portraits help to imbue the various characters with more personality.

The music is appropriate for establishing atmosphere and definitely serves the creepy tone of the world- it can get a little repetitive but it all comes together to form an engrossing sense of doom.

The Verdict

The Order of the Snake Scale is an interesting experience; it combines a top-down horror survival game with classic Resident Evil puzzle solving and a fun, mixed-perspective combat component.

The narrative is also something of a chimera, combining dystopia with Lovecraftian horror; I feel like this combination could be explored more richly if the setting leaned into the former, and I would be keen to see a true cyberpunk dystopia/cosmic horror mash-up.

That said, The Order of the Snake Scale stands well on its own merits, and the puzzle-based exploration is solid. Some of the dialogue is a bit wobbly, but altogether this is a solid adventure for fans of cosmic horror and top-down exploration.

The Order of the Snake Scale is available via Steam.

Watch the trailer for The Order of the Snake Scale below:

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