Review: InFluent

Influent Steam Game (4)

Influent is a Language Learning Game, focusing primarily on vocabulary acquisition and pronunciation. 

Influent Steam Game (2)

Pros:

  • Good detailed graphics, Its basic but does the job.
  • New game concept where playing a game will actually teach you a language!
  • Several languages are available, Japanese,French, Spanish and now with a new Russian one. you buy the Base game with one language and then buy additional packs for each one.
  • Fully interactive world, You are in your apartment and the whole place is interactive. Open doors, wardrobes even the fridge! Every item can be clicked.
  • Game can be played in first or third person. Switching between them is a button press.
  • The actual controls will look and sound awkward at first but in reality it works really well. You navigate the apartment with WASD and interact with the mouse buttons.
  • Click on an object to hear it, double clik it to bring up a menu that shows the spelling as well as a small picture of the object.
  • When you click on an item you can save it into the word list and re hear it at any point. After clicking so many, or certain sets of items you unlock a mini game called time attack.
  • Time attack mini game will see you trying to find and click on the correct item in the fastest time. After doing the mode a few times, Any correctly named items will become mastered words. Also getting three answers right in a row will award you a star.
  • You use stars to unlock adjectives and verbs.
  • Helpful help screen with a really cool interactive controls section to explain the buttons.
  • Clutter free streamlined menus with an emphasis on minimalism.Few nods to classic games and consoles from years past.
  • Double clicking an object will bring up the native writing and what it is in English, A picture of it and any tabs with adjectives and verbs that you can unlock.
  • Press CTRL to highlight certain parts so for example use it to select just a pillow instead of the whole bed.
  • Time attack has many options and you can make it hard or easy as you want. Options like hints on/off, Visual aids,audio or just general placement hints.
  • Huge selection of video options including AA, V-Sync field of view slider and resolution.
  • Loads of language packs to buy separately including Russian, Chinese and even Bulgarian.
  • Steam Achievements.
  • Fantastic game concept.
  • Multiple save slots that can house different languages on each save slot.

Influent Steam Game (5)

Cons:

  • Can be hard to see the cursor against certain backgrounds.
  • You cannot move around freely when zoomed in.
  • Selecting high up objects can be tricky due to the angles involved, This is particularly a problem in time attack.
  • Could do with a little description box on the language select screen, Especially on languages that have multiple options.
  • No controller support out of the box.
  • Needs more areas to explore. You spend the whole game in an apartment.
  • Would be really good to have an NPC or telephone to interact with, You could learn phrases and general conversational terms.
  • Even after mastering many words, Adjectives and verbs, Constructing a complete sentence is still a not fully achievable.
  • This game will not help with reading of text due to the limited vocab on offer.

Influent Steam Game (1)

In Summary, Brilliant! A game where you can have fun and learn at the same time, It is a limited game iun many ways but what it is trying to do is worth credit. The weird thing I found with it was just how addictive the game can be. Its just you clicking objects and pronouncing words (badly) and then doing a time attack Finders Keepers inspired find the words mini game. This type of game defiantly has a place in the market and I hope the dev continues to evolve the concept. Its not quite the interactive Rosetta Stone we all want but it does teach you, Even if you do not realize it! Its worth a look and serves as an excellent introduction to a new language and costs about the same as a simple phrase book so bargains. If you want to learn and have fun then grab this!

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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