Retention Review

Retention, from Sometimes You, is a different type of game, if you could call it that.


When you first start Retention you are introduced to a cyclist through a small series of photos of him riding his bike. From there you find yourself looking at a photo of the cyclist who has fallen off his bike and it is your task to go through up to 85 sets of photos, three at a time, and ascertain which ones are his true memories before his time runs up, which is 10 minutes and 30 seconds.


On my first play through of the game I found myself not really understanding what was required of me, so I was just selecting random photos hoping for the best. Eventually I was greeted with a message saying I had basically won the game helping the cyclist get all his memories back, but I still didn’t know how I achieved it.


On my 2nd and 3rd play through I took a different approach by selecting photos that gave off a certain type of emotion and was again eventually greeted with a message saying the game was over, this time however the messages suited the types of photos I selected in regards to helping the cyclist recover his memories. My 4th play through I decided to take my time and carefully select each photo but found my time ran up before I could go through each set of photos and I was greeted with a message of failure saying the cyclist was unable to remember all his memories. I was unable to see all the endings but there are 8 available, 4 positive and 4 negative.


Graphic wise the whole game is done through the use of photos, and the photos used are quite good. It is obvious that different methods have been used for taking the photos, whether they be clear or blurry, color or black and white, close up or distance, I felt the need to actually want to look at each picture in detail and see how it related to the cyclist. The game’s use of music isn’t anything special but it is enjoyable to listen to while you are going through the photos.


I enjoyed Retention for what it was, overall I must say that the approach taken in regards to the use of photos is quite ingenious, with a good user friendly interface, but with a lack of clear instructions and no true gameplay involved it falls short of being great. If you find photography to be an interesting subject or just like looking at great meaningful photos then I would recommend Retention, but for anyone else I don’t think you will get much out of this game.


Review summary Pros:

Photos are good, user-friendly interface, ingenious use of photos



Limited gameplay appeal, no clear instructions


Rating: 65%

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