Do you like exploring and experiencing different cultures? Onyx Lute brings you to 25 different countries in an artistic puzzle game at the ‘International Times Exhibition’ showcasing stained glass art with Glass Masquerade.
Controls + Gameplay
Simple point and click or drag. You don’t run into any moment where you forget any tricks, since you don’t need to turn the glass fragments in different angles. The difficulties of each puzzle are from moderate to complex puzzle; all are timed, and the game lets you know how long it took for you to finish, though it doesn’t explicitly tell you as you are solving the puzzle, which is ironic because your canvas seems like uniquely shaped watches/clocks, and you watch the ticking, but you can’t really focus on how long you’ve been solving it for. You also have the option to disable/enable hints.
Glass Masquerade sticks to a certain color palette with every country which makes the whole game very, very aesthetically pleasing. Every time there’s any color change, it’s always subtle. The art is beautiful as each country’s stained glass design has something from its own culture that you wouldn’t always typically expect, and it’s beautifully done. Everything else around the screen is animated and glimmers every now and again.
The art follows a lot of art principles such as balance with a lot of the artworks being symmetrical (which I found makes putting the fragments back together easier)–you can clearly see the Art Deco inspiration. The gameplay really allows you to appreciate the puzzles you finish in all its entirety, as well as learn even more about culture/s you might not have known about from countries you have already heard of.
The sound effects as well as the music playing in the background all mesh with the visuals very well; you don’t really notice much of the changes in sounds per puzzle but it reminds me of the calming nature sounds playlist you can find on YouTube or Spotify, haha! The sound effects in my opinion go well with the overall vibe, and it sounds nice; it’s somehow very satisfying.
Glass Masquerade is a relatively short game (4-5 hours) with 25 puzzles. The title makes it sound like it’s a mystery/heist kind of game, and the music kind of adds to it as well, but it does summarize the game quite well.
All exhibits have been carefully crafted for your eyes’ joy and pleasure – don’t just pass by!
After finishing the game, there’s not much else to do after visiting the countries other than viewing the artwork and replaying the puzzles, but getting achievements from Steam makes you feel better about it. 😅 I really like this game, especially after finding out that you could count the people made the game on both your hands. It also arouses my nostalgia; it reminds me of the old games I used to play as a kid, and gave almost a similar vibe to games like Ravenhearst, minus the thriller element.
Rating: 8 / 10
I’d like to thank Josh Knapp for introducing me to this game!
A little take-away I got from the Controls + Gameplay section, I liked how the game seemed to have simulated the beauty of forgetting the present with the time still right smack in your face.