Cradle:  The most beautiful and immersive story about a robot woman stuck in a giant vase.

Steam hasn’t had much quality control ever since Greenlight and the huge success of a select few indie titles. Taking a look at Steam’s front page should give you a hint with the amount of visual novels and clone titles looking for a quick buck. In what seems to be a ray of sunshine in the retro garbage shitting up Steam, comes Cradle, a first person adventure game set in a strangely beautiful setting. For those that can forgive very blatant design problems and a short playthrough, there’s a decent experience in there.


This is your home where you keep your robot woman bound at the feet like a psychopathic hobo.

The game puts you in the shoes of an amnesiac while trying to figure out who he is. Making life more bizarre is a deactivated female robot planted on his counter. Set in the far future, where implanting consciousness into machine bodies is necessary, you explore your hut and the surrounding area searching for answers to both of your existences as well as a mysterious dome in the distance.

What kind of asshole would rip the tits off robo-woman? Oh yeah. You would.

The biggest problem is that this game can’t pick one thing and fucking stick with it. There are too many different things it tries and each one is either mediocre or is just outright bad. Interacting with the inventory is tedious and sometimes out right stupid. One task has you cutting fruit for a recipe.  You drop the fruit on any surface where it doesn’t roll around, equip the knife to cut it, and watch the pieces scatter across the room. Heaven help you if something goes under the table where you can’t reach it. It’s reload city. There’s also this shitty mini-game that you constantly have to plow through to get the robot operational. It’s fine the first time, but then you are going back and forth to play the same mini-game several more times to get another item. It feels lazy. Don’t get me started on the “platforming” section. As floppish as the gameplay is, the graphics and art style are really well done. The music is awesome and helps flesh out your journey for answers.

I hope you like shitty block mini-games.

As an indie game, I guess we should be happy that Cradle isn’t another Minecraft clone or a featuring “retro”graphics. Despite the bad, the world, music, and art style come together to create a really immersive experience. The transhumanism themed story is can be confusing with a nonsensical ending, but it could be argued that ambiguity is part of the charm. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay seems cobbled together from too many different half-assed ideas. If you can put up with hit and miss gameplay, Cradle is a decent, if short, ride.