Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock is a new point and click adventure game by Red Herring Labs, which was actually first made back in 2009 and uploaded to Newgrounds, I actually played it back then too and only remembered it when I played this version. Not much has changed since that release, updates to the system, graphics and getting released on Steam have been done to the game but the core story and interactions are there.
The story starts off with your ship entering a planet’s atmosphere, you falling out of your hibernation unit and the ship full of alarms and spiralling out of control. The intro scene then cuts out to you waking up in the hallway, your engineer dead halfway out of his hibernation unit and the doors either side of you being shut tightly. Looking around the room you find a wrench, old trustworthy tool of the gaming scene, and a doll with an endless battery which are used to open each door respectively.
Once you get into the cockpit you notice your captain has been impaled by a stick of metal from the ship, his console exploded and the ship crash landed on a desert planet, if you think about it some fly swatters might hit you in the face. Looking around even more you can see there is a hull breach, which you will need to patch up later on. The engines are dead, hibernation chambers are out of fluid and the CO2 is rising in the ship, on top of that there are several breaches to the outside you need to fix, those are your objectives, get to them.
As the game continues you are able to leave the ship to 5 locations to scavenge for parts and figure out the mystery behind the planet and what inhabits it. Fixing your ship is number 1 priority but finding the necessary parts leads you on a long road of crossing canyons, opening doors and combining items to solve puzzles.
The game will last you just over an hour, I took 105 minutes on my first playthrough to complete it with all the achievements. Though less able adventurers could take a bit longer, the hint system through the radio does give some solid hints as to where you need to go or what you need to do, disregard him when he is being too vague though.
Morningstar plays like any other of its genre, move the cursor with your mouse and left click to interact and right click to get information, though you can scan the scene when you move your mouse around so it is definitely easier than most. You will get around 15 items at any one time, with several combinations being needed later on, the most items you will need to combine together is 3 so it’s not too in-depth.
While the game plays very smoothly there are some hiccups here and there, from items giving weird responses or merely throwing too many “red herrings” your way, one of them being an actual herring you don’t do anything with at all.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
Playing the game 6 years ago really didn’t help much in seeing it this way, there doesn’t seem like an amazing amount of change has happened to the game, if it was longer or had more interactivity it would feel like a better release. The story still remains intriguing and the atmosphere is still pretty chilling and gives off a slight horror feeling when moving about the barren planet. People playing this for the first time might not be too interested in it due to the vagueness of the story and unanswered questions whereas others will love it for that air of mystery.
There is literally no music or sound to be had in the game, besides when you interact with objects, which isn’t too bad and makes sense in the voidness of the planet and adds to the atmosphere, but it gets a bit old after a while. The intro and outro cutscenes are what make the game stand out, since the graphics are incredible appealing and the characters move sluggishly as if they are in the space suits they wear, fitting though slow to watch.
Overall I give Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock a 3/5, it’s a great game and really sticks to what it wants to deliver, a chilling mission to get off a dead rock, I see what you did there. The length is something that will put a lot of people off, as it feels half-finished and so much more could have been done with it, making it feel more like a port then a new game. People loved the game on Newgrounds as it was something new back in the day, but now it feels outdated and could of done with something more.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.