Independent game developer Sergey Noskov is the mind behind 2016’s game 35MM. Released on consoles in 2022, we got an opportunity to review this intriguing game.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, two travellers explore the Russian countryside left mostly barren following a deadly plague.
The game dialogue is in Russian, but subtitles are available.The terms survival and exploration highlight the main themes you’ll experience. The game does very little in terms of hand-holding, you are left to your own devices to explore the world. You can collect various items to replenish health or stamina, where others will be essential to the overall plot. Photographs and journal entries pepper the world to let you uncover what happened. You are equipped from the start with a vintage camera, hence the name of the game, that allows you to snap pictures throughout the exploration phases.
Despite the overall openness of the world, from time to time your companion will prompt you that you don’t need to wonder off so far. Other times you’re given hints on what items to collect in order to progress in the story and stay on the narrative track the game is leading you on.
Occasional action set pieces, like running from a wild bear, will alter the eerie pace of the game.
Where 35MM shines the most is the atmosphere it sets out to portrait. The colors are washed out and desaturated, grey skies abound and clouds are in the constant forecast. The daytime was so grey that I often wondered if it was still nighttime.
You feel the weight of the world and how dire and unfriendly it is. The tone set by the music and setting fully immerse you in a world you’ll have no joy to be in.
Games that can make you experience feelings and complex emotions are part of why players can enjoy playing them. 35MM, just like the best horror or suspense films, was able to make me want to take some breaks on play sessions because it was starting to weigh on my very soul.
Pro-tip, I’ve never been prone to motion sickness in my life, but the head bobbing setting turned on by default may be more than you can bear.
The game is accessible and can be completed in a handful of hours. Its price and availability on multiple platforms make it an interesting proposition to try out.
Developper / Editor : Sergey Sergeich / Sometines You
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, Mac OS (reviewed on Windows)