Seven pages lie between you and the truth in Andeolab’s Duder. This first-person title may promise full immersion and an atmosphere of fear, but does it deliver?
The plot found in Duder is a minimalistic one. Players begin by “remembering a moment,” which takes them to a dark forest. Your only objective is to find the seven truths to access the church, all while avoiding the “Duder.” These seven truths are spread across a forest map, one designed without much rhyme or reason. Lots of trees and rocks stand in your way, making navigation tough. There is a sprint button in place, one that players will no doubt take advantage of at the earliest opportunity. Players may also stumble across NPCs staring into walls, speaking cryptic words that make no sense. Paired with the only light coming from your flashlight, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
It’s not like the truths are easy to find either. Each page is hidden in random spots, and are only the size of a piece of paper. There is no way to track these down short of stumbling upon them, so players will spend much of the game wandering aimlessly from place to place. Though the map is fairly small, everything is nondescript, with the occasional cross or candle set there to mark your way. As a result, it feels like you’re stumbling through the game, and finding a truth brings more relief than satisfaction.
These truths don’t make much sense either. One talks about the Dunning-Krueger effect, which another may feature literal gibberish with some text at the bottom about how video games are good for you. It is fairly obvious that English is not the developers’ first language, and the alternate text in Russian at certain points solidifies that. These notes make you wonder how they tie into everything, and does not make you want to keep playing.
While you’re hunting for these truths, the ever present Duder lies in the shadows. No need to fear though – this creature is just a guy who has seen better days. Players have access to a heart rate indicator, one that goes off when the creature is in close proximity. It’s not too hard to avoid him though, and players can mash their way away from him should they get caught. Even so, failure allows players to easily retry.
This isn’t the longest game around, clocking in at under an hour. Without spoiling too much, the game provides more questions than answers, and even states that the tale is “to be continued.”
Duder is a shameless rip-off of the Slender Man series. Though this title is a short one, the hunt for the seven truths drags on for far too long.
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