Re:Turn – One Way Trip, to board a haunted train in search of friends, or f*^$ ’em.
I bought this game during Steam’s Summer Sale, because it was on my Steam wishlist and I thought maybe I could slim down the numbers a little bit. (Yeah right.)
There aren’t a lot of horror games that I take a liking to, even though there are a lot of them that I can say are very well made. I just…can’t handle them. The jump-scares are too much for me. But if there’s ever a specific genre of horror I love the most, it’s psychological.
And if there’s ever any horror games I can handle, it’s visual novels, or these pixel RPGs. They’re a bit less stressful, though can still can contain some heavy-hitting jumpscares.
Still, I’m happy I bought this game, despite only wishlisting it for the graphics and the tags.
What is this page?
This is an in-depth critique of the game Re:Turn – One Way Trip. I go all in with my review by picking apart the game, piece by piece. By doing this, I try to help not only the devs that created the games, but also future aspiring devs by giving my viewpoint on everything as an avid gamer, but please understand…
There may be spoilers.
How long does it take to beat Re:Turn – One Way Trip?
If the puzzles don’t trip you up too much and you find yourself getting through the game with ease, you shouldn’t find yourself taking much longer than five hours, give or take. I had some technical difficulties with at least one puzzle, myself. And then of course with the constant back-and-forth, but aside from that, not much more of an issue.
I suppose it’s more of a question on how fast do you read.
We’ve got two sections going on here.
- The left section deals with the main character Saki approaching a mysterious train that happens to have appeared out of nowhere.
- The right section is Saki and her group of friends worriedly looking around while a mysterious shadow stalks them from behind.
Both of these sections have movement to them, so everything is going to draw your eye. There’s no fluid to where you’ll be looking. It’s just…wherever your eyes land is what you’ll be checking out.
With that being said, everything moves too fast.
On the left, you have the white fog illuminated by Saki’s flashlight roiling around the train along with what looks like a dark mist? Plus the breeze is pushing her clothes and hair to the side. But the movement of her skirt and hair and the fog at the bottom of the screen, plus the plants, don’t match the fast pace of the white fog near the train. Its speed is ramped up compared to everything else and it’s noticeable.
That’s the problem.
As far as the right side goes, I don’t have too much of a problem with any of it.
You’ve got Saki holding the flashlight, causing the glare at the bottom, which I don’t mind at all, and the overall casual movements of everyone and everything isn’t too jarring to watch.
I suppose my one complaint would be the fact that only the two girls have two eyes showing, while everyone else only has one eye. It’s…eye-catching.
I actually like how they’ve made the title of Re:Turn – One Way Trip look.
Not in the sense of the font itself–there’s nothing good or bad about it; it’s basically the best font choice they could’ve chose, I’ll say, given the railroad old-timey train theme–but with how rustic they’ve made it. Again, railroad and train type of theme. We’re dealing with an old train era here and the title fits that.
Even with the line that sections off the smaller title tag “One Way Trip.”
It makes it look like the superior bulk of the title is sitting on top of tracks of sorts, you could say, if you were looking into it a little deeper.
What I don’t like is the “Enter the Unknown.”
I don’t know why they threw that in there. I feel like maybe it was a last resort to pull people in to maybe play the game, but at this point, we’re already about to play it.
The font style is completely different and it’s pure white, setting it off from the title itself. Not only that, but it pulses as well, which draws our attention away from the title itself. Much like everything else that moves, but still, it’s directly under the main title and glaringly white–it really shouldn’t be there.
We know we’re entering the unknown…
That’s the whole mystery of the game.
Well, I must say, I do enjoy how they faded everything thing out to black and left the red eyes of the monster for the menu screen. And they got rid of that obnoxious “Enter the Unknown” text too.
When you click over an option before actually choosing it, you’ll notice there’s a bar that engulfs it. They’re sticking with the fog scene. I mean, I don’t hate it, but I don’t really like it. It’s not really pretty to look at it, but at least you know what menu item you’re choosing.
I’m not sure why they placed this into the actual game for you to look at. Were achievement-hunters actually requesting it? I know the game is on multiple platforms, so maybe it was for another platform other than Steam, because it’s pretty easy to see what achievements you still need on Steam and which ones you have.
I feel like they could’ve just cut this out and had an even more limited menu.
There’s not much in here aside from your bare-bone basics of screen size, brightness, language, render, music and sound volume, plus visual keybinds for both controller and keyboard.
There are 25 achievements.
A group of friends are around a campfire when a spat occurs and one of them runs off. Instead of going after them, they decide to let him come back on his own and sleep it off. Saki, our main protagonist wakes up alone and goes out in search for her friends and finds a mysterious train. Once aboard, you start to see things…the past…your friends…you have to get them and get off this train, before something else gets all of you.
Average of 5 hours.
I don’t see a particular need to come back to this game once you’ve finished it. I mean, with a name like Re:Turn – One Way Trip, it literally tells you it’s a one way trip.
But you’ll need to do a second run to complete some of those achievements.
Well it has the aspects of an RPG because you’re controlling a sprite in a side-scrolling game, along with an interesting storyline, if it could’ve been told in a more clear, concise way. You don’t have to worry about any combat, but you will have to run to avoid conflict.
While there are external problems our protagonist sees and has to focus on, a lot of it is psychological, because in the end during the whole gameplay, we just don’t know what exactly is happening and what’s real and what’s not.
Past and present are flip-flopping back and forth, ghosts are haunting us and screaming in our faces, we’re seeing dead friends, our friends are trapped behind doors and then they aren’t.
It’s all very confusing and does a good job at messing with our heads. And the characters.
There aren’t a whole lot of puzzles in this game, but there are a handful of them you’ll need to get through in order to progress though the game. Most of them aren’t bad, but…I was caught on one that was just confusing.
So…I guess good luck on that one.
The whole mystery of the game is the plot of the game, you could say.
Where are your friends. What happened to your friends. Where did this train come from. How do you get out of here.
The controls are a little awkward, and I don’t mean moving around in-game or actually doing different commands in-game. During the time I played the game, I didn’t have any problems with any of that kind of stuff.
But it clearly says I can use the controller, and somehow, I wasn’t able to use the controller while playing the game.
Sometimes it’s an issue with Steam, and I get that.
Sometimes it’s all a matter of going into Big Picture Mode.
Whatever the case, I just wasn’t able to use the controller, and was forced to use keyboard. With that being said, the in-game prompts were wrong. It told me to use specific keys for the flashlight and interacting with objects (forgive me, as I don’t recall which keybinds they were), but they weren’t right.
F controlled the flashlight. Spacebar interacted with objects. Enter and spacebar continued conversations. Ctrl had me sprinting, and I think that was the only prompt that was actually correct.
It was all really weird.
It’s easy to pass things up at first and you have to double-back, or to maybe forget that you already looked at something. I’m not saying you completely pass something and leave the area, but you get a couple steps away from it and just need to turn around.
It’s a minor annoyance.
In the case of looking at something already, it’d be nice to have multiple dialogues for the same things, instead of repetitive, singular speech. Aside from those two qualms, there’s nothing wrong with any kind of interactions. They’re notable when you need to look at something or can speak with someone.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip features two different styles of artwork.
One of them is the pixel art. This is the main portion of the game that you’ll be playing through, with a pixelated character and pixel backgrounds and all that stuff. It’s all very well done and super creepy looking, especially given the locations in which there is fog covering the area.
The next style is hand-drawn soft-shaded artwork.
This is for the larger backgrounds that have important moments or scenes, you could say. Such as in the very beginning, when a fight breaks out over the group with Sen being a bit possessive with Saki after finding a love haiku meant for her that wasn’t written by him.
Not only that, but it’s the artwork of the characters shown that have speaking roles, as well as when you’ve picked up a special item and placed it in your inventory.
Thankfully this game is fully equipped to handle a variety of areas with its own musical soundtrack, meaning you don’t only get a couple of background music melodies to listen to throughout your entire playthrough, end it doesn’t all run together and become stale background noise.
Having had to stop on multiple occasions, I’ve had the honor of really vibing with some of the background music this game has to offer and the tone it sets.
No qualms about the ambiance here. It really sets the mood for things. They know just when to cut off the background music and have you listen to the actual sounds settling in around you to get a feel for the environment, whether that’s in the actual haunted train, or outside, alone, in a creepy fog-filled forest.
Sound effects are perfect.
From the knocking on doors to the footsteps on the train. It makes you realize that first-person and third-person action games shouldn’t always be at the top of the horror list when it comes to games.
I really liked playing the game, but man, there are more pros and cons to it, and those puzzles really did me in.
I think the first rough one I came across I just wasn’t paying attention, and not only that, I didn’t have the right paper in my journal that even gave me the proper hints on how to turn the dial to unlock the door. But with the other ones…I can say they were probably my fault as well for not looking at the pictures properly and noting the code down by screenshot or drawing them myself.
The next couple of gripes I have are the characters and the plot.
The characters weren’t well fleshed out, and I didn’t much care for any of them, honestly. I knew what was going to happen to Yuuta when he ran off, I just didn’t know how it would occur.
The ending…was odd. I didn’t like it. But there’s a second game coming out, so maybe that’ll help things out with where they left it. Hopefully so.
Other than that, like I said, I really liked the game. You have to actually think with the puzzles.