Game Review: Re:Turn – One Way Trip (Nintendo Switch)

Survival horror mixed with puzzles is one way to describe Re:Turn – One Way Trip, but is this a One Way Trip to bordem or an express service to the greatest horror title of the year? Let’s take a look and find out.

Title: Re:Turn – One Way Trip
Publisher: Green Man Gaming
Developer: Red Ego Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Audio: N/A
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1
Online Players: N/A
Install: YES (1.1GB)

Our View:

Developed by Red Ego Games, and published by Green Man Gaming, Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a survival-horror pixel art styled side-scrolling visual novel game that delivers a compelling narrative with atmospheric immersion for an enticing adventure that is only foiled but its simplicity in character movement and interaction.

Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a game that originally caught my attention with its Japanese inspired character art and basic premise of being a mystery thriller, but within a few short minutes of beginning this “one way trip” on my Nintendo Switch I became absorbed into the world that it offered. A world that sees Saki attempt to find her friends after becoming separated during a camping trip by exploring both the past and present through thought-provoking and clever puzzles.

From a ‘story’ perspective Re:Turn – One Way Trip is reminiscent to typical teenage horror flicks, whereby a group of students venture into the woods for a trip, have an argument and then find themselves killed off in mysterious ways by an unknown assailant. This same aesthetic is applied here, minus the mysterious killing aspect, as instead Saki awakes to find her friends have disappeared and ventures off into the night to look for them.

The driving force behind Saki’s motive is to find her friends and leave the forest, but while looking for her friends she discovers an  abandoned train carriage. The perspective of locating her friends shifts slightly, as it now turns to her solving the mysteries of this abandoned train carriage so that she can carry on with locating her friends. This is done so in various different ways, but none-so is more important that the ‘punch-line’ of the story; time-travel.

For reasons unknown, or rather we would not say, while Saki explores the train she finds herself warped into the past. These ‘warps’ take place as part of the natural progression of the story, but this helps involve the player into the stories of those that were previously on the train and further expands the world within the game.

Additionally actions that take place in this past will help solve puzzles that appear in the present. The idea is that by progressing both through the past and present Saki will become aware of what happened on the train and will eventually find her way off the train and be able to locate her friends.

As this aspect of the game is more of a story progression rather than a game functionality it does little to serve any purpose other than provide some context to the events happening on screen. Context which helps create a bit of mystery and suspense to the events that occur shortly after each sequence.

From a story perspective Re:Turn – One Way Trip isn’t breaking any new ground, but it is presented in an immersive and entertaining way that keeps the player engaged with the events of the story, a story which is presented through visual novel styled dialogue sequences that display character art.

Sadly none of these sequences are voiced, but at the same time it doesn’t disrupt the overall experience. Instead, due to the rather quiet and creepy nature of the game, it builds upon it and keeps you more aware of your surroundings. Surprisingly though this isn’t a game that needs your full attention. while environmental noise may trigger you to skip a heartbeat, such as well placed lightning bolts or jump scares, nothing can really harm you.

Here is where Re:Turn – One Way Trip begins to fault, and it is the simple nature of the game. As a 2D sprite / pixel art styled side-scrolling game the only movement players can do is move left or right and interact with objects or characters. There is also, seemingly, no run button, which means any direction you do walk in is done at a frustratingly tedious slow speed.

Interactions with objects, characters and doors are also done by walking in front of said object and pressing the corresponding button when highlighted to do so, a feature which – should be simple in nature – leads to confusion when discovering that the smallest step too far will result in the wrong objected being interacted with, especially doors and objects at the end of the carriages.

These may seem like rather small complaints from a game that delivers a slow, but brisk paced, narrative, however when these are the only interactive features – other than puzzles – then it needs to be raised.

For context in order to progress through the game puzzles have to be completed and some of these puzzles may require you to talk from one end of the train to other in order to pick-up an item, only for you to return back to where you previously were. The slow movement speed means it takes a considerably long time to complete the task at hand, a task which – in itself – is should take no time at all.

Some puzzles meanwhile are not as simple, are multi-layered and require a bit of thinking. This helps increase the time spent in game, but at the same time it can cause a roadblock on progression. Fortunately hints to solve these puzzles can be discovered nearby, but they are cryptic at best.

Basically the difficulty in puzzles varies considerably, but most of them will deliver that “oh, so that’s how it is done” vibe upon solving. It’s difficult to say whether this is a positive or a negative, but for the most part I found the puzzles to be thought-provoking and fun, with a sense of fulfilment upon completing the puzzle.

On the outside Re:Turn – One Way Trip adventure seems like a 2D pixel art sprite based adventure title, but in reality it is a narrative driven experience that is both compelling and entertaining at the same time.

Sure enough the game is simplistic with its control input and movement, but the story, its pacing and presentation of puzzles far outweigh the negatives brought about its simple movement.

Re:Turn – One Way Trip is a ‘one way adventure’ that works exceptionally well on the Nintendo Switch and is worthy of your time, especially if you like narrative driven experiences with puzzles. Fans of Corpse Party will also see similarities and enjoy what this title has to offer, but in simple terms we highly recommend playing this title, and even with a guide if need be, as it has a great story to tell.

Score: review-stars-4

Re:Turn – One Way Trip is now available digitally for the Nintendo Switch via the Nintendo eShop and is also available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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