Games of the Year

Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love

Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love Screenshot 1
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Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love Screenshot 5
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Take a look behind Irony Curtain in this satirical point-and-click inspired by the best works of LucasArts and Daedalic Entertainment! Experience the totalitarian Matryoshka through the eyes of Evan – a low-ranking, goofy journalist involuntarily pulled right into the middle of an espionage stand-off between two powers. Jump into the wacky spy adventure, uncover secrets of the bizarre communist country (and the powerful capitalist empire!), witness a story full of unpredictable twists and turns, and discover the true agenda of the mysterious Supreme Leader! What business might the loving father of the Matryoshkan nation have with a lowly, capitalistic pen-pusher? Why suddenly lift the Irony Curtain and welcome a stranger into Matryoshka? And why is there an alligator in the middle of the bathroom?!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

The developers of this game have pledged to donate money gotten from game sales from the 27th of February till the end of March to the Polish red cross's #helpforUkraine fund.
I will continue to support these developers for their assistance to the Ukrainian people, and I call upon my fellow gamers everywhere to continue to support Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression.
Slava Ukraini!

Review from Steam

Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love is a comedic point-and-click adventure game, where you play as journalist Evan Kovolsky who is invited for a secret mission to the reclusive country of Matryoshka, a place he dreamt of seeing and meeting the charismatic Leader. However, he discovered that the country and the Leader isn't as good as he dreamt it to be. This game has a nice, cartoony artstyle which I really like, and beautiful, colorful levels, noticeably dominated by the color red. It's fully-voiced, and every memorable character has a distinct voice. It's also decently long for a P&C, taking me more than 8 fun hours to finish.
Despite being made by HOG specialist Artifex Mundi, but it isn't a HOG in any way, it plays like a traditional P&C game, where you interact with people and objects, while collecting, combining, and making use of items. It has minigames, too, which are unskippable, but not a big deal since most of them are easy. It's also really funny, with references to pop culture and other fictional franchises. One missed opportunity, though, I think this game should have at least 1 hidden object scene as a reference to the developers' specialty.
Some of this games' features are really user-friendly, like having manual saves, max 6, for achievement backup or easy level replay (sadly no chapter select). You can also hold the Space button to show up all possible interactions, eliminating the need to "scan" your whole screen with your cursor. But the most cool feature is the hint system, where instead of glowing areas, you must interact with a telephone or speak with a "support" person who will give you hints on how to do certain things. If those clues are still unclear, you can still easily find a good walkthrough.
Other than the lack of chapter select, another bad thing is the quality of cutscenes. It just looks a bit unpolished, which is ironic (pun intended) because the animation and colors look better on gameplay. There is also sadly no of objective or journal note of any sort, and sometimes after a break from playing I just forgot what I have to do next when I continue. Lastly, I'm not really a fan of how the prologue/introduction chapter is basically the final part of the game which ends with a flashback to where it all started. Because when you finally catch up to that part, it does make the end feel a bit rushed.
Overall, Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love is a good and funny P&C game with decent length and a pretty important message, which I felt was to not romanticize foreign countries and public figures until you really get to know them. It's very cheap on sale, and every P&C fan should definitely give this a try. I hope Artifex Mundi would continue to branch into this genre, as they are really great at making this one.

Review from Steam

This is one of the better point and click games I’ve played recently (last 10 years, if that’s recent... there are not many p&c games any more).
Art is cartoonish and well done, and this art style fits perfectly for funny point and click games. Story is something new, not often exploited in other point and click games and in fact in games in general.
Sound, voice acting and music are also great and complement the overall atmosphere of the game.
Main character, a journalist who is living in the west, is idealizing communist country of Matryoshka and its Leader... Soon he gets in a position to go to Matryoshka and help the Leader... not to spoil, but the story sarcastically and in a funny way breaks the illusions, but not only illusion about Matryoshka... Very bold choice from developers to make a game with a story like that!
Main character is funny, silly and very naïve, and that also fits perfectly with this game. It helps tell the story well.
As for gameplay – this game isn’t extremely challenging but I believe it is challenging enough. Time spent while resolving problems doesn't break the pace of the game but the player still needs to think about how to solve them.
And I especially like the hint system! Player can use a phone (mostly a phone, not to spoil too much) and ask for help. The other person will explain what to do, but not over explain it. And this is done great! “Hint person” is always connected with the story and setting. It all just shows how much effort game designers invested into making this game. Hint dialogues are often very funny and amusing.
The game is not very long, but it has a lot of scenes, characters, dialogues... game pace is great and often provides a rewarding feeling to the player.
On a bad note, in a few cases I miss feedback from the game when something is done. For example when you use an item, or solve a minigame - a line from the main character would suffice.
I highly recommend this game! Very funny, good art, good pace and an interesting story.

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Now to talk about something completely different... The larch (and that’s a reference for all the reference haters out there!)
I would like to encourage people who like a game they just played and finished to write a good review for that game. You can just write one meaningful sentence saying what you liked and why. Not much else.
And why am I saying that?
Because most of the people making reviews are the ones that make bad reviews. Those people often use wrong or no arguments whatsoever! What issues they have in their heads I don’t know and frankly I don’t care, but it makes me sick how someone can spit on other people’s work so easily in this society we live in today...
So if you like the game please write a review and maybe someone else will play it too and not be diverted from it by bad reviews.
For this game I read a bad review first and then I bought the game. Review was totally off! After finishing the game I look for other bad reviews... Unbelievable how much effort people invest into writing bad reviews with completely wrong arguments!
Well, I’ll invest some effort here as well...
Some say that this game is dull and the story is nothing special. Story is very special and there is nothing dull about it.
Some say cartoonish art is for children. Were Lucasarts games for children too? Those adventure games are the basis for all adventure games and were cartoonish too... So what are you talking about?
Some say they cannot relate to the main character, they say he’s also dull and naïve... I guess it’s difficult to relate to that if you are so incredibly smart! But wait a minute, can you relate to Forrest Gump? To James Bond? To Ellen Ripley? Superman? Why do you NEED to relate? Do you have empathy? Can you get it that there can be a story about someone who IS NOT you? JHC...
Some say the game is not funny and there are too many references. Again I ask – what about Lucasarts games? Or other p&c games... References are almost ALWAYS put in p&c games. Why are you bothered by this now? Or you never played any of those games? And about not being funny... It's individual. But I’m 99% sure that if you find Lucasarts games funny you’ll find this game funny too. Yes, it’s that good.
Some say quests are just fillers and are dull too. Have those people ever played a point and click game? Or they played just this one? Do you wanna play a movie? You wouldn’t need to do anything, just sit down and watch!
Of course those are “fillers” but this game does this good. Games like the Lost horizon series do that bad, but I still like to play them cause I LIKE point and click games!
Some ask for whom this game is made for. For old people who played old point and click games? People that know history?
Well I would like to know why do you play point and click games if you are not “old” as only old people play those games? And why is it so problematic to learn about something by playing a funny game?
You basically see screenshots, descriptions and trailers for a game and then you play it and after that you decide not only that it is not for you but also you wonder for whom this game was actually made for! Remarkable! Fascinating! It’s like ordering a steak in a restaurant and then to say – I don’t like it because I’m vegetarian. And for what people was this dish made? For meat eaters?

Why are those people playing this type of games if they don’t like this genre? Just to make bad reviews? I don’t like MMOs, but I don’t play them and don’t write bad reviews about them...
What kind of medical condition do you need to have to do that? Man...

I rest my case here... hopefully after reading this at least ONE person will make a good review for a game they like (yes, even if they like an MMO game).
Don’t be a hater... I hate haters. I give them bad reviews all the time!
I guess I'm a hater too and I hate myself for being one... Yeah, it's ironic.
Cheers!

Review from Steam

One of my favourite point and click adventures. The game is full of subtle digs at Communism and the old Soviet Union and the overall humour is great. I love the style of cartoony graphics which look like they belong in the Soviet Union and the puzzles are a decent mix of easy through to slightly obscure. Definitely recommended.

Review from Steam

Very good point&click adventure game with quirky humour.
Maybe a bit too much running around doing "fetch quests", but nothing major...

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