Review: Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love (PS4) + COMPETITION!

Artifex Mundi is known in Poland and not only for fantastically hand-drawn HOPA games (hidden object puzzle adventure, hidden objects). These are simple games in which players look for hidden objects in small rooms and solve simple puzzles. However, recently the Polish developer is beginning to broaden his horizons, on the one hand still being faithful to beautifully drawn point-and-click games, and on the other hand adding more and more adventure elements. The first successful experiment was My Brother Rabbit, released over 9 months ago, which was still a HOPA game, but already contained a few fragments of classic adventure games that significantly diversified the gameplay (Angelica’s review can be found here)

The greatest revolution was yet to come. Overall, PC gamers experienced it a little earlier, as the peer-reviewed Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love was released in mid-May for PC. Console players had to be patient and wait for the release of the version for their hardware until the end of June. Irony Curtain is already a classic point-and-click adventure game. This is a very good classic adventure game that has been carefully crafted. It has everything that the best adventure games should have, i.e. puzzles, an interesting story and characters, and a world that encourages exploration. However, one by one, let’s start with the plot outline.

In Irony Curtain you play the role of a young American journalist – Evan Kovalsky. Evan is fascinated by Matryoshka – a fictional country ruled not only by the Great Leader, but also by communism and capitalism. The United States and Matryoshka are at war, and our hero accidentally gets caught up in a spy plot. When there is an opportunity to travel to Matryoshka, our hero does not think for a moment and goes on his way. However, the country he finds there is not what it was presented in books and TV.

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Irony Curtain is a fantastic, fun journey through 21 hand-painted locations: from Evan’s family home to the Great Chief’s Fortress in Matryoshka. Artifex Mundi’s latest work parodies the 1950s USSR at every turn, weighing up the humor appropriately. The game does not try to make the player laugh or mock communism too much. The greatest absurdities are simply listed here: for example, bureaucracy and submitting an application for no application, or running for and exchanging cards for food. It should come as no surprise that you can get practically anything with a bottle of vodka. There is also a high exchange rate – our hero comes to Matryoshka with one Collar, who he exchanges for 5 million Rupees in the exchange office and can become the king of life like the heroes of the Eurotrip movie.

Exactly! Irony Curtian is not only a satire from the USSR, but also many references to pop culture works. In order not to spoil you too much, I will only mention the reference to the cow level from Diablo III and the Terminator, the hardcover who parodies the Hardcore Coke, Leszym who is a moonshine, or the Metro 2033 station. murdering and arresting their own inhabitants, although here, as the Great Leader of Matryosha believes, “the inhabitants suffer from a shot in the back of the head”

As it happens in classic adventure games, Irony Curtian could not miss a whole lot of puzzles and mini-games. Unfortunately, the latter are too few to travel through more than 20 locations and usually their mechanics was based on pressing the appropriate pad buttons. The three-cup game I liked the most. Vodka was poured into two, and water in one. After quickly stirring the cups, we had to point to the one with water and drink it.

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The puzzles are conducted fantastically here! They are not overly difficult, the creators focused on making everything logically fit together. First, we search the available room and pick up everything we can, then in the inventory we try to disassemble or combine the available items. At the beginning of the game, the puzzles are very simple, but the farther into the forest, or the closer you are to the Great Commander’s Stronghold, the more you have to strain your mind. It may happen several times that we will have to return to the previous rooms because our interactions or progress have made some changes there.

The clues activated by pressing the upper button on the D-Pad will help us to solve the puzzles. They display all the items and places with which we can interact. If we cannot leave a room, and we still have an asterisk on several elements, it means that we still have something to do here. I will not hide at all that I was stuck in several places for a good 30 minutes. I remember the most fondly the moment when I could not go further, because my way was blocked by bars with a lock. I wasted a lot of time looking for the key, and all I had in my inventory was a pistol cartridge and glasses. As it turned out, these two items could open the passage and move on. There are many such seemingly difficult puzzles, and solving them will sometimes surprise you.

Coming to the review summary, I will not hide at all that I am a fan of point-and-click games, but I also really like military themes. I liked the theme of the USSR and Cold War satire proposed by Artifex Mundi from the very beginning. In addition, I really liked the adventure game from Ubisoft – Valiant Hearts: The Great War, which was made in a similar style. Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love is a great classic adventure game in which everything was done at a high level – from the hand-drawn world and heroes, through fantastically subdued humor and a parody of wonderful music and voice acting (especially in the case of actors speaking with a Russian accent! ) ending. I hope that in its next productions Artifex Mundi will continue to create classic adventure games in which HOPA will be just a small addition. If I have any wishes, I would like to ask for more mini-games that will not be based only on pressing buttons displayed on the screen. Your first classic adventure game is fantastic, keep it up!

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Together with the producer of the game, Artifex Mundi, we have prepared a competition for you in which you can win two cheats for Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love on PS4. Your task is very simple:

In the comment below this review, write us in a few sentences what you like HOPA games, point-and-clikc games and classic adventures, and what title do you consider the best.

We are waiting for applications until Saturday, June 29, 2019.


Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka on PS4 is sent to Maciej and Jakub, but we do not leave cleo91 empty-handed and we will send her a surprise game to PS4 by e-mail 🙂

The game was provided for review by Artifex Mundi