Finally freed from the purgatory of Google Stadia exclusivity, Gylt is a title from RiME developer Tequila Works. While that previous adventure takes the brunt of its influence from titles like Zelda, Gylt veers in a decidedly scarier direction.
Drawing inspiration from the likes of Silent Hill, Gylt is a solid title that knows what its influences are and doesn’t seem willing to deviate. You play as Sally, on a quest to find your missing cousin, Emily. After fleeing from bullies, you find yourself transported to a twisted, surreal version of your hometown. Now you must find Emily amid these awesome environments before it’s too late. Narratively, there isn’t much to write home about, though depending on your ending, the game has sweet, emotionally resonant conclusions.
To accomplish this, the game tasks you with solving puzzles, most of which revolve around the use of a flashlight, until later when a fire extinguisher that freezes things is added. None of the puzzles are terribly hard, though they are satisfying. The bigger issue is that the puzzle ideas don’t feel fresh.
An electricity puzzle where you close the circuit, balancing the pressure in pipes to get past some steam — all of the ideas are fairly standard. Even one of your primary items, the flashlight, just feels like it’s doing a mechanical impression of Alan Wake. This isn’t to say other titles don’t draw influence from their peers, but there’s usually something distinctive. Instead, Gylt is a collection of ideas from other titles executed at a high level. With one exception.
The combat in Gylt is a weak link. Luckily, a robust stealth system makes it easy to avoid fighting altogether. And it’s worth it because, easy though it may be, combat is tedious. You have to shine your flashlight on weak spots to kill enemies, but between the aim assist and the fact baddies don’t often present their weak spots well, you're better off skipping combat when you have the chance. You won’t be stressed for resources if you destroy every enemy you encounter, but your time will be better spent elsewhere, like tracking down the engaging collectibles that greatly expand upon the world.
Tequila Works has definitely offered better experiences in the past, but Gylt is still a decent enough time.