Also known as: ''Spot the familiar looking assets: The Videogame!''
Crowdfunding, in the right hands, is a wonderful thing. New games can come to life at any second, and together with the public, you have the ability to create something fun. However, sometimes a crowdfunding campaign does not pan out as planned. Cue The Letter, an exploration horror game that tries to deliver an atmospheric experience. Despite the developer's intentions, The Letter reaches the top three of worst games on the Wii U eShop.
The game fails to deliver quite a number of fundamental levels. From a gameplay standpoint, it is not the experience that the developer promised. It tries to throw you off by putting music and noise over it, but the experience itself is rather dull. You walk around, pick up items and move on. There is nothing that will try to spook you or will distract you from the rote procedure.
As you stumble forward with a flashlight, you will get introduced to some plot elements. This tells you about how the father of Michael, the protagonist, may well be dead. This story is fully retconned by the end, and this makes the journey rather pointless. The Letter is short too, spanning four environments that take only a few minutes to complete. In my first playthrough, I completed the entire game in 18 minutes, and the second time took me roughly 360 seconds. That first run through was mostly filled with aimlessly walking about and having no clear directions. You will have some simple hints, but they don't really help much.
It certainly does not help that most assets found in the game are really generic. They feel like they were pulled off an asset store, and feature very few original items, not to mention everything feels muddy. The only thing that worked were the controls, but with such a simple concept they would have been hard to mess up. Control-wise, The Letter is at least easy to pick up, though the Wii U GamePad isn’t utilized at all and just displays a blank screen.
The Letter shows that honest intentions will not always get you a good game. It fails to deliver on almost every level, except for being actually playable. It is a boring, unpolished piece of software that does nothing to thrill the player. There is nothing to be gained or learned, especially with a story that ends so abruptly. It is mostly padding to the conclusion in a game that is already too short.