Désiré is a game which will send you on an emotional roller coaster, mixing sympathy with burning rage as you spend over five painful hours trying to complete a single puzzle. Well, that was part of my experience anyway.
First of all Désiré is a poetic point-and-click adventure game in black and white. Désiré, the character you play as, is colour blind from birth and has had a miserable life. Through encountering over forty characters in the game, you discover more and more about his views and history, whilst completing numerous bizarre yet amusing puzzles. On your journey, you will discover interesting locations which contain their own unique story line and puzzles. Although the game has a very depressing tone, it still allows the player to feel a range of emotions, which is satisfying to see as it gives it new life and makes the story less predictable.
As stated by the games description, Désiré is a critique of the modern world, exploring themes such as bullying and the impact it has on the victims. These themes are all presented via your character’s life and so conveying the emotions to the player very well.
Moreover, the puzzles you encounter are, at times, very logical, but personally I found myself scratching my head for extremely long periods of time. Undoubtedly, this is partially due to my lack of logical thinking, but sometimes the objects needed to complete the puzzles were so discrete, it made it near impossible to complete. For example, the player is forced to communicate with every character in the game numerous times as the dialogue options would change/update as you discover a new item to help you solve the puzzle. Furthermore, these items would be hidden away in bizarre places and thanks to the lack of any objective reminder; you’ll find yourself guessing for hours. Not only that, it completely eliminates the option to play the game in anything other than one playthrough. Another gripe I have with Désiré is its lack of any voices for the characters outside of the opening cut scene. With the addition of voice actors, players would become more immersed into the world and thus feel greater attachment to the main characters.
In terms of art and sound design, the developers have done a superb job of conveying Désiré’s disability of being colour blind into the black and white visuals. Moreover, I believe Désiré’s sad life served as a metaphor for the developers colour choice.
On the other hand, the sound design felt extremely repetitive after a while; it was as if the same piano track was played at every location. Initially, the sound track fits the art style very well, but the lack of variety soon becomes apparent, possibly tempting you to mute the game as there is no other audio.
Overall, the game has a variety of interesting characters, combined with some enjoyable puzzles and an interesting deep story. Personally, the lack of any objective reminder, character voices and repetitive sound track made the game feel perhaps unfinished. As well as this, I would love to see the additions of meaningful choices within the dialogue options as it would make the game feel less linear and add more depth. Overall, at $8.99 this game is an absolute steal for the content on offer and so I would strongly recommend those who enjoy puzzle games to pick this up now (as long as they have good patience!). Désiré is available on PC, IOS and Android.