Last Stitch Goodnight Review -- A Game in Need of Stitching
In Last Stitch Goodnight, a 2D action-adventure game developed and published by Well Bred Rhino, you play as an unnamed character who has been kidnapped by a mysterious doctor after he revives you from being nearly killed in an accident. This doctor has been performing unethical experiments on his unwilling test subjects for an unknown reason, and your goal is to escape the doctor's mansion by acquiring new weapons and abilities.
The first thing players may notice about Last Stitch Goodnight is its graphical style. Last Stitch Goodnight takes an animated approach toward its graphics similar to plenty of other low-budget indie titles, but it looks much too similar to a free game you would have played on your web browser back in 2004. Of course, just because the graphics of a game are sub par doesn't necessarily mean the rest of the game is. Last Stitch Goodnight is not one of those games.
After its visual style, the dialogue between characters as well as the game's quirky sense of humor will be what most players observe. While these elements are by far the best part of the entire experience, even then they feel more contrived when compared to other humor-filled indie titles. When each character talks via a speech bubble, they speak mumbled gibberish, which is silly at first but quickly becomes annoying.
The general gameplay of Last Stitch Goodnight is passable but has some notable flaws. There are several abilities you can gain from meeting certain characters trying to help you escape, including the ability to climb, dash, and freeze water. Aside from freezing water, climbing and dashing should be actions available either from the start or much earlier than they're obtained.
When running, the player's speed automatically slows down while going upstairs, which is rather unnecessary. The decrease in speed also makes it more difficult to gain momentum for longer jumps, making jumping from one platform to a higher one or to a climbable surface a harrowing and frustrating task. Dodging and climbing are both strange in that each action uses two buttons at once; as a result, the climbing is inaccurate, and you may find yourself dodging when the action isn't needed -- and most of the time, it doesn't feel needed at all.
The weapons and tools players use range from a screwdriver to a lead pipe to other common and not-so-common objects. The weapons provide some variation in range but do nothing to make themselves feel unique. The process of hitting enemies one to three times in order to defeat them becomes tedious and boring by the time you get to the first save point, which is only around 10 to 15 minutes in.
While battling enemies can become tedious, some of the boss fights, while simple, are well designed and do require some thought about which tool is best to use in each situation. However, this feature isn't quite as consistent as it should be. If all bosses were designed well, it would help give players motivation to progress further through the game despite the frustrating and finicky platforming,
The story, while offering some thought-provoking concepts, becomes less engaging as the game goes on, making finishing the game and getting it over with feel like a much more important task than paying attention to the story or dialogue in any capacity. The story isn't terrible, especially when compared to some higher-budget titles, but the lackluster gameplay, annoying dialogue audio, and forced humor completely overshadow what could have been the game's key refining quality.
The music of Last Stitch Goodnight is appropriately eerie, although it's nothing special. The music is yet another similarity it has to the free, browser-based Flash games of the past, and you likely won't be remembering any of the tracks due to just how uninspired they are.
Last Stitch Goodnight is a typical indie Metroidvania-inspired platformer, but it doesn't do much to make itself stand out among the competition. It feels closer to a game in early access than a full release. Due to its severe mediocrity and lack of inspiration, it might be an acceptable recommendation for the most dedicated fans of indie Metroidvania-like games or for those who yearn for the browser-based Flash games of yesteryear, but otherwise, it's a game that might as well be skipped entirely.
A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.