One of my first computers games was Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and that game set me along life with a love of point 'n' click adventure games. I've played them all by now, but like a good addict, I am still trying to find the one that will give me an experience like playing Kings Quest VI, Day of the Tentacle, or Sam and Max: Hit the Road again for the first time. "A New Beginning" does not do the trick, but it is a good start for a genre that has seem some revitalization in the past few years.The Good:
* Although it may be odd to say this, I really love the menu UIs in this game. They're unique and very fitting for a game that has comic-book style cutscenes.
* While many point 'n' click adventure games suffer from "find the pixel" syndrome, A New Beginning ends this frustration by letting the player highlight every point of interest on the screen by holding down the space bar. This might be a negative if you're a hardcore player, I suppose.
* I see people complaining about the game's length on the internet (they think it's too short). This game is long! I felt the game was about to end while I played chapter 6, and compared its length to Day of the Tentacle. Little did I realize the game was far from over and there were actually 8 chapters!
* Puzzles are straight-forward - there are no ridiculous puzzles and I only resorted to the "try every item on every item" strategy once or twice. That being said, this game is slightly easier than every other point and click adventure game I have played in recent memory. The easiness is due largely to the generous verbal clues. A guy says "I can't hear?" Try the megaphone. Your character says "not with my bare hands?" Try using an item. If you play the first three chapters thinking the game is a walk in the park, though, just wait until the later chapters - it gets much more difficult!
* Although it is now pretty much standard for the genre, I do appreciate the fact that there is no way to "screw up" and ruin your game by using the wrong item somewhere, or by dying.
* The game's humor, although used much too infrequently, is top-notch and intelligent.
* The ending is really, really, really good. I won't spoil it for you, but if you didn't enjoy the game, the ending might make it pay off for you.
* Goes for as little as $2.49 during Steam sales.The Bad:
* Some puzzles are a bit weird. I thought I had assembled an antenna, but could not figure out why the game would not let me progress further despite having used all parts in all possible configurations. I used the handy "solve puzzle" feature and learned that I had only built about half of the antenna, somehow. With no way to go back and solve the puzzle legitimately, I shrugged and moved on.
* Because of its hand-drawn graphics, the game only runs in a 4:3 aspect ratio.
* No pause feature that I could find - I missed two semi-important cutscenes because I accidentally pressed escape, thinking it might pause the dialogue.
* There are a large number of bug reports on the Steam Forums. The only bug I encountered was an item (a valve on an oil rig) that was not highlighted when I pressed space, and would not let me interact with it until I got very close to it. I encountered the same bug later with a receptionist at the power plant.The Ugly:
* Frequent grammar and spelling errors, and most of the dialogue is quite awkward. Although the voice-acting is remarkably bad, the voice artists honestly didn't have much to work with: awkward sentence constructions, phrases that should have been abbreviated, etc. At one infuriating point in the game, there is a puzzle having to do with language in Chapter 4, but the solution makes little to no sense in English. I stumbled upon the correct solution by accident. Some words in the game were never translated to English at all, or were incorrectly translated to Russian or Spanish. The developers could certainly have done a bit better with localization for the English version.The Verdict:
Give this one a play if you are into point 'n' click adventure games. It is not as good as Daedelic's other big game, "Deponia," but still a solid game and avoids some of the mistakes that Deponia made. I would definitely recommend anyone to at least give it a try if you see it on sale for $5 or less.