Hazel Skye: Is it worth it?

Brazilian developers got a lot of attention in 2022. After the phobia — st. Dinfna Hotel and Dolmen, it’s Hazel Sky’s turn to take the stage. The adventure and exploration game from Coffee Addict Studio launches on July 20 on PS4 and promises to boost the quality of domestically produced games.

We’ve tested the game on PS5 via backwards compatibility, and we can say that the gameplay and attention to detail are major positives. And if the narrative leaves something to be desired, the immersion and its mechanics ultimately make up for it and make the experience generally positive.

Hazel Skye: The Story of an Aspiring Engineer

In Hazel Sky, players take control of Shane, the son of a top-ranking engineer in the floating city of Gideon. In this world, the final test to become a professional in the field is not the TCC presentation.

Shane and his father head to the island so that the main character can pass the final exam. (Source: Jean Azevedo)

Young people must pass a practical test, stranded on a desert island, unaided, and apply their theoretical knowledge to complete a series of tasks. But along the way, Shane discovers some setbacks with his family and his background that can create conflict in his choices.

The gameplay is fluid and beautifully designed

An island like this is full of things to do and of course exploring and interacting with the environment is made even better by the good mechanics provided in the gameplay. R2 is a button that is used extensively throughout the journey and is responsible for activating commands to grab, lift, press and activate levers on the map.

One of the important ones is the ascent of the character in the elements of the scenario. It’s a feature similar to Shadow of the Colossus and Fall Guys, where it’s necessary to hold R2 to make it hang off the edges of objects. There is no stamina bar for this role, so doing the actions is pretty easy.

Hazel Skye Shane in the sun
When you reach the island, you must turn around to complete the quests. (Source: Jean Azevedo)

Also worth noting are the moments where Shane can play the guitar. It’s kind of like in The Last of Us 2, but with the correct note sequence the character starts singing and players just enjoy the rest of the music.

Shane turns on the camera
Shane plays guitar (Source: Jean Azevedo)

The great moments don’t end there. Underwater research is presented at some points and surprises due to its fluidity. Shane has a limited breathing space, but he can enjoy his time immersed in tasks without much trouble.

Hazel Skye Shane swims
Shane explores the seabed in Hazel Sky. (Source: Jean Azevedo)

Speaking of the game experience, it’s amazing how immersive the experience is when you’re looking for ways to achieve your goals. As Shane examines the materials needed to unlock the quests and mysteries surrounding the island, the better the game becomes in this world.

As mentioned above, the creators poured a lot of love into the production. The puzzles are well thought out, the ways to get to the answers are engaging, and it doesn’t take much explanation to complete your three big projects to get back to Gideon City.

Gameplay and narrative don’t match

Hazel Skye has her story told in a number of ways, but unfortunately, it’s not just about the main focus of the gameplay, which is completing projects and getting to Gideon. To understand the context of his ordeal, Shane will have to read books, records, and even tune in to radio programs to better understand.

Shine is speaking
Shane must piece together all the clues he reads to determine his future. (Source: Jean Azevedo)

This affects the player experience. While the gameplay and exploration follow a nice pace and encourage us to spend more time exploring the island, the story is not complete and many characters are not connected to the story.

The practical part is fun, the puzzles make us think about the best way to solve them and show us more about the importance of testing for future engineers. On the other hand, the “mystical” side behind the game sometimes seems to be missing from Shane’s journey – which is a shame.

A letter from Paul to Hazel Sky
(Source: Jean Azevedo)

Here is another important information to note: the game elements are entirely in PT-BR. Books and all media found on the island – except songs – are reproduced in our language.

Hazel Sky is very short

Because the emphasis is on searching and solving puzzles, those who set out for the first time go even faster the next time, and believe me, the emotion of seeing projects coming out of paper is never repeated. But why would you visit all this? Shane’s story has an alternate ending.

Hazel Skye Shane on the plane
Gideon City in the background as Shane works on one of the projects at Hazel Sky. (Source: Jean Azevedo)

It is possible to finish the story in less than four hours, and in the next chance this time is reduced, but as mentioned above, the same tasks and tasks are to be performed. While certain areas are new, the replayability of Hazel Sky is no surprise.

Hazel Skye: Is it worth it?

The Brazilian studio did a wonderful job producing Hazel Sky. You can see the care in every detail and the game didn’t break during play sessions. It’s worth a try, but it’s a wise decision to wait for PS Store pricing.

Hazel Skye Shane in Gideon
Gideon at a party with another engineer (or not?) (Source: Jean Azevedo)

It was a pleasure to learn Shane’s story, but since Hazel Skye is short, the investment may be off-putting to some.

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