The developers of Wanderer got a lot of things right. There were, however, a few things that could have been better—first, the good. The graphics and sound are excellent. I spent a lot of time just admiring the attention to detail. Every time I put on the headset and loaded up Wanderer, it was total immersion. As the name implies, Wanderer is a time-machine game that lets you explore several different time periods and locations. A few of the locations you will revisit at later dates. A talking watch guides you along the way while providing much-needed tips and hints.
The game is supposed to take ten to twelve hours to complete. I spent over fifty hours. More on that later. The first part of the game is all about getting to your grandfather’s apartment. There are just enough obstacles and puzzles to make the journey challenging. Once there, you’ll discover that all of your time jumps start and end at the apartment. You’ll also learn quickly that many puzzles require objects from other time periods.
The story is a bit convoluted. At the start of the game, the world is suffering from an environmental catastrophe. So, one goal is to prevent this from happening. Or, at least, that’s what I think the goal is. Let’s say the story doesn’t follow a straight line. There are several time periods that require guns and a bow and arrow. Here’s a hint. You can’t shoot your way out of a situation. I could have saved myself a lot of time had I known that.
As for what could have been better. I would have liked a save game option. There is an auto-save function, but it doesn’t always save the game where you would want it saved. There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on something called resonating objects. I did not resonate every object. I also never saw any use for an object that had been resonated. You will, however, find a need to increase your wrist storage capacity. That’s how you carry objects between time jumps. At least three or four puzzles required a search online for the solution. The spinning disks puzzle with the frog was one of them. Another was the light puzzle for the time machine vials. I enjoy the satisfaction of solving a challenging puzzle. I have the opposite reaction to puzzles that halt me in my tracks for hours on end.
One puzzle I enjoyed at first was the drum sequence at Woodstock. It was fun the first five or six times I tried it. It wasn’t so much fun after the thirtieth and fortieth try. The solution was to choose to play the drums as an amateur. I had to go online to figure out how to do that.
If you’re looking for an immersive VR game with a good mix of puzzles and a little gunplay, you can’t go wrong with Wanderer. I’ll be back for Wanderer 2.