It is almost impossible to review this game without comparing it to The Return of the Obra Dinn, a game which I felt in many respects the exact same about as I do about this one — a sense of respect and love for the game and its commitments, a deep desire for there to be more of the genre, and a deep enjoyment that never quite crossed over into love.

There is a bit of a purity to Obra Dinn that you can't help but love: it is a single narrative, a single setpiece, a single gameplay loop. Golden Idol is less so in that respect; you're broken up into stages with tiny (well-done) tweaks in whodunit gameplay from stage to stage, and the narrative expands over the course of years as you follow a fun little plot with elements of Indiana Jones and Agatha Christie.

It's rare that I'm disappointed by a game being over too quickly: it took me around four hours to beat this one, and while I am grateful that the game didn't drag (and I think the ratio of plot-to-gameplay is perfect) I found myself wishing for just a little more. This is perhaps the noted difference between the two games: when I finished Obra Dinn I felt a deep sense of completion and a desire to play something, anything else; when I finished Golden Idol I found myself wishing there was even more. (Both good feelings in their own way!)


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