Turn on your ghost detector and join your new pals in a funny, thrilling, and lovingly-presented interactive text adventure. Brain-teasing puzzles, a cartoon visual style, and engaging audio design – Delete After Reading weaves a delightful interactive tale.
Publisher: PATRONES & ESCONDITES
Reviewed on: PC (5800X, 32GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 3070)
Also available for: Android, iOS
Developer: PATRONES & ESCONDITES, TLR Games
Original Idea & Game Direction: Daniel Calabuig
Project Management: Beatriz Osorio
Illustration & Graphics: Albert Corbero
Scriptwriter: Daniel Rissech
Delete After Reading is a point-and-click adventure game where the story starts with an upset kid writing in a diary. The player clicks highlighted words to progress the story; this text-based puzzle is then followed by the revelation that the protagonist has discovered a strange device on the bus ride home that displays a message. The machine requires the player to solve puzzles to unlock the recently received message. These first puzzles are simple to complete; if needed, there are hints in the menu to assist the player. The puzzles eventually lead to a hidden room, introducing three additional characters. These strange personalities tell the backstory of a game series they all loved, where the fourth game was produced but never released. The goal then becomes to find and save this unreleased game, titled “The Curse of Penguin Island.”
The game has five chapters, each with a unique setting, and they all progress the story differently. Players can begin at any chapter they want, with no option to save during the chapter to rely on. I started my journey at chapter one, progressed through to chapter five, and completed the game in two sittings. With the game time totalling approximately three hours, a more competent and less-tired person could finish even faster. I could also see that person completing it in one sitting.
Delete After Reading is a low-fi style game, with the graphics being multiple cartoony still shots or text. It was never taxing on my system, and the graphic settings are limited to three resolution sizes. As for the audio, the melodic music was a nice backing track to the game and only got on my nerves in the last chapter, where there were a bunch of tasks that required more focus. I turned the volume down while completing these to assist with that focus. While there is voice work, it is limited but fills the roles it needs to, and I enjoyed the small amount there was.
The game’s story is enjoyable, and the characters are amusing. The innovative puzzles remained hard enough that I had to keep a notebook handy to gather clues and write out information to solve the puzzles while being clear, for the most part. The game got more challenging as I progressed through the chapters. The final chapter is the hardest by far, and it also takes more time if you fail any of the puzzles as you have to start from the beginning of the chapter again.
I did have some complaints about the game, such as the inaccuracies in some screens where my mouse wasn’t clicking the correct button, a couple of the puzzles I struggled with and solved seemingly at random, and some of the hints could have been more specific. I also had some issues with it not running on my main PC, but fortunately, I got it to run on my laptop.
Delete After Reading is a return to the simpler style of game. The story is compelling enough to keep you playing, and the game doesn’t outstay its welcome. The puzzles were challenging enough that I had to take my time while playing, and even if I couldn’t solve all of them correctly, I still found it enjoyable. The game is linear and targeted at a younger audience, so this is fun to play with the family.