Gollum, Gollum… Gollum. It finally came out, but like her precious ring, perhaps it should have stayed in the cave. It’s already the lowest-rated game of the year, helped along by our own features editor Ben Sledge, who scored it 1.5 stars, simply stating “not a good game”. Those words ring true as no one can get past its basic user interface.
The initial “pre-alpha state” trailer showed Gollum overwhelmed by stylized options floating across the screen. Ideas like “Don’t hurt us!” and “Easy! Quiet! Orc will hear us!” danced around in his head as he thought of what to do in an understandably stressful situation.
It looked pretty good, but the final version has a much lower quality Gollum crouched next to the two options listed on the left, with everything pasted onto an opaque brown background. The options also use Calibri, making it look like a dodgy PowerPoint presentation.
That’s not the only part of the UI that people are making fun of. In a situation where Gollum is face-to-face with an Orc, you have three careless options, “(Give bread)”, “(Threaten)” or “(Beg)”, all of which use the same standard Calibri Font over some Transparent gray spots.
Former features editor Andy Kelly highlighted just as much, but also went so far as to switch up the font and add a subtle shadow to highlight just how barebones she really is.
Interestingly, while both of the UI examples above use very simplistic modern fonts to convey dialog options, the subtitles do not. Instead, they use a fantasy-inspired font that is much harder to read, which defeats the whole purpose of subtitles.
Elsewhere, others are simply having fun with what the UI actually says. (Beg) became an overnight meme, while the goals and reminders are quite fun.
Gollum is a mess, to say the least, and the UI is just one of many things that didn’t sit well with so many people, but at least we got some gems out of it.
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