Completely invisible to the mainstream and the gaming press in just a few years, Steve Gabri’s Sally Face project has become a cult project for a whole generation of gamers, at least in Russia.
The story of a teenager with two blue ponytails in a white prosthetic mask that hides the consequences of a terrible incident turned into a meme and part of modern pop culture. The image of Sally can, for example, be seen in the clip of Franzon’s Ascorbka band. He is also in a parody from Dani Kashin.
The hero of the episodic series turned out to be worked out due to the personal tragedy of its author. After parting with his wife after many years of squabbles and reproaches, having survived the incomplete suicide of a loved one and dismissal from stable work, Gabri, together with his childhood fears, woven these events into the complicated life and fantasies of Sally and his friends.
The episodes are broken into episodes periodically make shocking turns, reducing strange plot decisions to an unexpected ending. And although the last fifth chapter should be released only by the end of 2019, the four episodes that have already been released are more than enough to appreciate the author’s dark world.
Graphics and Features
Sally Fisher is an ordinary teenager who, after an unknown incident (possibly a dog bite), lost a part of his face. Wearing a prosthetic mask and two pairs of funny pigtails, he has enough charisma to make new friends.
After moving after the mysterious death of his mother and his father to a new multi-story building, the hero immediately encounters a strange otherworldly activity, curses and a series of mysterious deaths …
Each episode tries to interpret a chain of unexpected events that span about 10 years of life and led Sally to the bench.
The stories of an adult hero are full of strange incidents, from maniacs to a mysterious demonic cult that is trying to capture the whole world.
Stories made in the format of urban legends perfectly combine an unhurried narration with the recognition of the hero in the present.
It is noticeable that the author tries various approaches in the first three chapters, preserving the general mechanics with dialogs, searching for key objects, or solving simple puzzles.
But in the fourth episode, QTE disappointed me and the moments in which you can accidentally skip the storyline.
QTE greatly spoils the impression of the gameplay, especially when using a controller that, when you press the stick, skips the necessary runes in tasks for a while.
But this is perhaps the most noticeable drawback of the project, which can be attributed to unsuccessful experiments.
And everything else, including stylization for children’s drawings of entire game sections, humor, and mini-games on the old portable console, are excellent.
Visually, Sally Face was created in the style of classic Czech (or Polish) animation with a few caricature characters and good detailing of the surroundings. Each scene is hand-drawn and looks stylish.
Realizing that this was done by one person, you can understand where it took three years of painstaking work.
The musical accompaniment is also performed by the author himself and offers several tracks of the fictional band Sanity’s Fall in black metal style.