Update: I don’t do this kind of review anymore. This is the type of review I’m not proud I did anymore. I could be a bully early on in my IGC existence. I hadn’t even been IGC for a full year by this point. This was one of those “don’t be mean. Review the game, not the developer” moments that I hadn’t learned. I’m ashamed of it, straight-up. I stand by the game being pretentious and awful, but the jokes I made were mean-spirited, lazy, and even cruel. I was 22 when I wrote this review. I’m 33 now. The girl who wrote this had a LOT of growing-up to do. I would not want to be friends with a person who wrote this review. That’s the barometer I think everyone should use.

Datura comes to PlayStation Network courtesy of Plastic Studios. Their only other PSN title was artsy-fartsy crapfest Linger in Shadows, which actually was one of the top-selling titles on the platform. Probably because it was cheap and most people who bought it were unaware that it wasn’t actually a game, but rather an artificially surreal, deplorably pretentious piece of rancid shit. I guess the good news is that someone at Plastic pulled their melon out of their anus long enough to make something that kind or resembles a game. The bad news: it still sucks, they still released it, and they’re actually charging money for it.

The idea is you’re this dude that’s fucking dead and.. oh sorry. Hold on.

SPOILER ALERT: The dude is fucking dead.  Do not continue reading if you don’t want to know that.

The idea is you’re this dude that’s fucking dead and progressing through some sort of afterlife. So basically, it aims to be a spiritually enlightening quest of discovery.  Gee, where have I heard that one before? Ah, but this is totally different from Journey.  Journey had a coherent narrative and felt like it was making an honest attempt to connect to players on a spiritual level. Datura plays out like a series of random acid trips that someone kept notes on. Having played Linger in Shadows, I’m guessing that’s not too far from the truth. Hell, the game opens with a dude on a bad trip (courtesy of Datura, a fruit that causes delirium) being treated in an ambulance. Using the move controller, you pull the heart monitors off your chest, at which point the EMT shocks you with paddles and then stabs you in the chest with a syringe. I’m guessing this could very well have been the final fate of the lead producer of Linger in Shadows..

You unlock this door with the key to imagination. And drugs. Lots of drugs.

Once you’re out of the ambulance, you’re dropped in a forest where you have fumble your way around, looking for white trees to rub up against. Doing so fills out a map. Also, there are four fucking stupid mini-games for you to find. Once you beat those, you have to make your way through a maze so ridiculously easy that Theseus could have navigated his way out using nostril hair, followed by four more minigames. Those are then followed by a bullshit non-ending that should have been expected by this point, just because it completes that “you really pissed your money away with this purchase” feeling.

And what are the minigames? Well, there’s one where you drive on a road, pantomiming driving with your ping-pong-ball-on-a-stick Move controller. Because, you know, I guess nobody had ever thought to make a motion-controlled driving game before. Oh, and you also get to climb up a ladder using gestures that are typically reserved for jerking off a 22-inch-circumference gherkin. There’s a ball throwing minigame, a rifle shooting minigame, a minigame where you watch your best friend get blown away by a drunken farmer, and one where you chase your friend around a swimming pool. What the fuck? Is this really supposed to be an art house indie game or just the Betty Ford Clinic version of Wii Play?

The Lawnmower Meh

I honestly can’t recommend Datura to anyone. Even if you have some kind of crazy Brewster’s Millions bet going, Datura isn’t worth it. As far as Plastic Studios, Sony needs to tell them “make a coherent game or we’re cutting your funding.” Tough love is what they need, because empty platitudes using buzzwords like “bold” and “artistic” isn’t helping them get any better. Honestly, I don’t see anything good ever coming out this studio, so Sony should just cut them loose.

Datura was developed by Plastic Studios

$7.99 ($9.99 for non PS+ members) was retroactively not proud of this review in the making of this review. 


About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

11 Responses to Datura

  1. Sean M. says:

    Gah! Linger in Shadows … I thought I was the only one who played that piece of garbage. I thought at first maybe I just couldn’t appreciate its pretentious artsy approach, but now I think the simpler answer is that it just sucks. Takes a lot of guts for you to buy a second “game” from these guys. I think I’ll skip Datura.

    P.S. Long time reader, first time poster here; keep up the awesome reviews 🙂

  2. I know you said on Twitter that you “weren’t trying to be a real reviewer”, which is fine, although it assumes I think there’s one way of reviewing things- which I don’t and you can read about here:


    So sorry if that tweet was ambiguous. But here is my problem with this piece:

    “Let them do whatever it is the Polish normally do for work. I hear they make really good screen doors for submarines.”

    This is just offensive, plain and simple. It doesn’t add anything to your review of Datura, it’s not even funny when taken as an digression on the side. The Polish don’t “normally” do anything for work, any more than an American would.

    You can write whatever kind of review you want. You can compare it to a piece of shit as many times as you like. You can wish the developers all lose their jobs and are made redundant (although that wouldn’t be very nice). But don’t mock the developers because they are from Poland. Don’t make fun of their *names* because you think they are “hilarious”.

    No matter what kind of reviewer you are, you’re better than that.

    • Kairi Vice says:

      I’m a humor-based site. Polish people make fun of themselves. I have a business partner. He’s Polish. He makes fun of himself and other Polish people. You’ve never heard a Polish joke? I assume you’ve heard a blond joke. Most of those started as Polish jokes. It’s very common.

      • I don’t understand why we’re so butthurt over this. We joke about all types of Americans, French, Russians, Chinese, Japanese, British, Germans, and all that, but the Polish are immune? You don’t like it, then oh well. Move the fuck on.

  3. mrkoksi says:

    This review is like an overlong youtube hate comment.
    You should get fired and find a different job, because you suck at reviewing.
    Also that polish “joke”? Yeah, you sound like a fucking racist.

  4. Awaiken says:

    You’re a piece of garbage you know. Anyone who uses the word pretentious in a pejorative context is intellectually intimidated by any art.

    • Justin says:

      So let me get this straight, because she has a negative opinion of the game, which I’m guessing is differing from yours, that automatically means that the game was so mind-numbingly amazing that this couldn’t be true because the game is “art”? Just because the game is a so-called piece of “art” doesn’t mean that its immune to the same level of scrutiny any other from of entertainment in its genre would receive.

      Assuming this isn’t true, and “art” titles are god’s gift to earth, why not just release future title under the thinly-veiled guise of “Art-house” and watch as the infinite 5 star ratings roll in? Anyone who says otherwise is obviously just intimidated by its message, that is, if the world is to believe the truly pretentious post of yours.

      • Kairi Vice says:

        Channel Awesome’s Nostalgia Chick had a great term she used in her recent Freddie Got Fingered review. She said that people now treat it as art. That it was actually bad intentionally so people would call it counter-culture. The term was

        “It’s not so bad that it’s good. It’s so bad that it’s art.”

        That sums up Datura perfectly.

        • Justin says:

          I’m just sort of against the entire notion of labeling games as “art”. Sure, some games are very deserving of the label, but most of the time its just slapped on games to assure anyone who doesn’t absolutely love it is made out to be a dim-witted jackass who didn’t enjoy it because they were either too stupid to understand it or too intimidated by its message. It starting to seem like a game being bad just isn’t an option anymore.

    • So your argument is that anything that can be described as pretentious is automatically fantastic, because it’s impossible for the word ‘pretentious’ to legitimately have negative connotations? And as a garnish to this bloated feast of imbecilery you add that someone who uses ‘pretentious’ (a word with only negative uses) in a negative way is intimidated by ANY art. So if I think Tracey Emin’s film of herself reading a book is prententious bullshit, I’ll suddenly find myself recoiling at the sight of the Cistine chapel?

      Your one short post managed to be so synapse-combustingly idiotic that my head would explode if I didn’t have such a sturdy skull. Forget about arguing over whether anyone does or does not appreciate art. You have your work cut out for you just forming a coherent thought. Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps.

  5. Pingback: Sententia « Indie Gamer Chick

What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: