Click here to return to the main site.

Xbox One Game Review

The Spectrum Retreat


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Ripstone Ltd
Developer: Dan Smith Studios
RRP: £9.99
Click here to buy from Xbox Marketplace
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 13 July 2018

You awake at The Penrose hotel, a peaceful yet unsettling refuge from the outside world. As a valued guest, your existence is embedded into the corridors and guest rooms of The Penrose. Exploration of the striking art-deco hotel will begin to uncover the mysteries of both The Penrose and the uncertainties surrounding your current stay. Your desire to unearth the truth is obstructed by an array of colour coded puzzles, mind-bending physics challenges and the growing fear of exposing your true intentions...

Review imageThe Spectrum Retreat is a challenging, first-person puzzle game set in the near future. I say "challenging" but at times it can also be infuriating. For example, the very first puzzle you encounter took me too long to fathom. In order to get the access code for the door I had to find something that looked out of place. When I did eventually stumble upon it by accident, it certainly didn't look out of place at all. Gaining access to the next level was almost too easy compared to the first level.

You start off in a hotel room and have to navigate your way around the corridors. You're helped by the voice of a mysterious woman who claims she's trying to help you. She can't divulge too much information, as there's a chance you'd not be able to cope with what she has to impart. Instead, she drip feeds you information in the hope that your memory will slowly come back and fill in the blanks.

Review imageHer goal is to get you to complete a selection of puzzles on each floor, that will see you be able to call the elevator up to the next floor so you can complete another serious of puzzles. The puzzles are quite simple to navigate, at first. You have colour-coded doorways and floors that will block your path. Simply find a block that you can interact with and change the colour to that of the pathway you want to go through... It's easier to do than it is to explain, but as the levels progress you'll find yourself having to work out which blocks to change and when to change them, as you can sometimes go through a series of doorways only to find you have to go back to the start because the very last door is the one that needs you to set up for unblocking first.

It's a cheap and ingenious puzzle-based offering. However, for me, the only thing that actually kept me playing was the unfolding story inside the hotel. I found the actual puzzles to be a little to annoying.


Nick Smithson

review image

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

£10 Xbox Live Credits