Logo 3.5Cats_AndHalfAFish


Rhem SE.2 - Knut Muller.

November 28, 2020 game review, point&click, puzzle
Thirteen years later.

'Rhem 2' - Knut Muller
"Rhem 2 - The cave." - Knut Muller (2005, 2018)

I finished the game last week.
An overwhelming feeling of relief. 🙀
There. I finished it.

Overall, I didn't like this game as much as I liked (loved) Rhem 1. The reason : I found it a bit ... uneven.

The start area ('the cave') is mostly wonderful.
Upon entering this area for the very first time, there's an almost immediate feeling of wonder and adventure ...

Rhem 2 - Start area : overview. Rhem 2 - Start area : building. Rhem 2 - Start area : power source.

The atmosphere is great, the puzzles are logical and interesting to think about. This entire area reminded me very much of Rhem 1.

But then comes the 'dreaded elevator maze' area.
Shudder. My brain just cannot handle a spatial orientation puzzle like that.

Rhem 2 - Elevator maze.

The third area (where I spent most of my time) felt very different from the first area, somehow. I called this area 'the tower' area.

Rhem 2 - The tower.

This is a -huge- area with sub-areas and train rides. These are just some of the sub-areas : the 'blue room', the 'hotel', and the 'village'.

Rhem 2 - The blue room. Rhem 2 - The hotel. Rhem 2 - The village.

All of this leads into the 4th parth of the game : the 'new area'. This area was added by Knut in anticipation of Rhem 5 (I wonder if this game is still in the making ...).

The 'new area' feels a bit more polished than the original areas. There are some good (fun) puzzles, as well as some not so good puzzles (a bit forced / far-fetched).

'Rhem 2' - elevator puzzle. 'Rhem 2' - windmill area. 'Rhem 2' - house.

The final ride out : relief mingled with dread ("I won't have to explore this area, right ?!") :

Rhem 2 - final train ride.

So. To finish off this review ... let's do a 'what I liked' and 'what I didn't like' about Rhem 2.

The Good :

  • The start area (caves) in general : mysterious, fun, good spacing between puzzles and clues.
  • Some great puzzles (big endorphine rush when you solve them), eg. :

    • What is this, hanging about in the caves ??? Rhem 2 - in the caves.
    • Lights ... Rhem 2 - lights.
  • Sometimes, the game is quite beautiful.

    • Inside the glass maze ... Rhem 2 - Pretty glass maze.
    • Pretty lava fields ... Rhem 2 - Pretty lava fields.
  • I played part of the game with headphones on. And damned. The sound effects are great ! I wouldn't mind listening to a soundtrack of this game ...

The Bad :

  • Even though I like math, I found the math puzzles to not fit the game very well.
  • Some puzzles require you to know where you are relative to a clue (spatial awareness).
  • Too many circuitry puzzles. I also often found them to be confusing. Rhem 2 - circuitry puzzles.
  • When I was playing in the 'tower' area, I had a lot of puzzles, and almost no clues. Of course, there were clues ; I just didn't recognize them as such.
  • I found some puzzle solutions to be a bit far-fetched, or sometimes, counting seems to be 'weird' (in my opinion, of course).
    • No way I would have guessed how to assign numbers to these symbols ... Rhem 2 - symbols and numbers.
    • One, two, ... Rhem 2 - strange counting.
  • Some puzzle solutions depend on you opening a door / pushing a button at the right time in order to see the clue. No way you can guess that it's there ... Rhem 2 - timing is everything.
  • Towards the end of the game, I also had some problems with the sound. Sometimes, I would only hear the first second or so of a sound, or there would be no sound at all. I also had a freeze and a crash. Gasp ! No doubt, this has to do with the age of the MacroMedia Director software. It's a miracle it's still running at all, on Windows 10 !
    Fortunately, restarting the game fixed the problems (for a while).

So ... did I recommend this game on Steam ?
Of course I did !
Anyone that loves these kinds of games, will want to play Rhem 2. Just be warned : it can be very frustrating, and most likely, you won't be able to finish it without having a (cursory !) peek at a walkthrough.

Note : this one is pretty good (by Louis Koot) : English