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Casey Scheld ReviewsGame ReviewsPC Reviews

Vacuum Story Review

Official Score

Overall - 20%

20%

Cleaning garbage in a video game is about as fun as it sounds, and Vacuum Story doesn’t make a compelling case to pay for the privilege. Not even its vague story can hide how dreadfully dull the whole affair actually is.

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A voyeuristic tale, players take control of a snooping roomba in Simone Filippini’s Vacuum Story. Does this title suck (sorry, too easy), or does this family tale manage to captivate?

Vacuum Story Review

As a Roomba that has a short battery life (we’re talking five minutes), players don’t have much time to do what they were designed to do. Using the WASD keys and pulling up their objective with the map, players will travel to each room to pick up any sort of junk that stands in their way.

Yes, this cleaning aspect is about as exciting as it sounds. While it does not take too long to pick up each piece of junk, it is still a chore that one paid to experience. If there was a button that sped things up or anything else to ease the user experience, this would have been somewhat alleviated. However, as it is, it is a rough experience that is akin to watching paint dry.

However, this roomba doesn’t work in a vacuum (again, sorry). This world has voicemail messages, televisions, and rumblings from its inhabitants. This robot works like clockwork, cleaning at the exact same time every day. However, these 24 hours lead to developments that people need to piece through by listening closely and tuning in to their surroundings.

Unfortunately, this just isn’t taken far enough. The broken English and faint rumblings of Vacuum Story don’t do a good job at conveying its tale, and we were still a little confused at what was happening among its three chapters. When we saw the shadow of a man in a noose, we had no idea what happened to drive him to suicide. This game is trying to tell a tale, but can’t quite get the words out to say it. There are some subtitles that pop up on occasion, but even these were a bit disjointed and couldn’t quite nail the landing.

It’s not like this title sticks around in the long term. Wrapping up in a neat 20 minutes, the title concludes with a news broadcast with a robotic voice breaking down some of the major happenings of the day. Even its world lacks any sort of detail, featuring a drab, low poly look that looks like a template from 3DS Max as opposed to something with any sort of personality.

The most variation that this title has is a malfunction from the roomba, where its battery is on the fritz and it moves every which way. However, this also proves to be the lowlight of the game, as players are constantly fighting for control as things are reversed and changed around. It can be downright frustrating in what is an otherwise simple game, and would make even the most devout story fan quit. It is a short segment, but an absolutely aggravating one.

Cleaning garbage in a video game is about as fun as it sounds, and Vacuum Story doesn’t make a compelling case to pay for the privilege. Not even its vague story can hide how dreadfully dull the whole affair actually is.

This review of Vacuum Story was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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