I love this game, it encompasses humor from so many other games. There are touches of The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Sam and Max, Terry Pratchett's "Death" character and even a rendering of the tree from a version of 3D Mark.
Long review short, you play a gnome who rejoices in the name of Wilbur Weathervane, but unlike other gnomes you have little interest in mechanical inventions. You would much prefer to become a Mage, and study all things magical. You start the game as a kitchen "assistant" in a once-popular Dwarven Inn... that was before The War descended upon the population and all of the Dwarves enlisted to go to the battle front... apart from the barman.
A deadly artifact has been uncovered in some texts by archaeologist Mortimer McGuffin, an aged Gremlin, which threatens the entire existence of the known world should it ever be found, but before he can warn the Arch Mage in the town, he is kidnapped and held hostage under threat of torture to reveal the location of the artifact.
The game starts with Mortimer's rescue, which indirectly introduces Wilbur into the story as well as a gorgeous female elf by the name of Ivodora Eleonora Clarissa, Princess of the Silver Forest Realm. The fate of the world lies upon your, and her, shoulders... and a couple of companions you happen to pick up along the way.
From the very beginning, this game portrays a sense of humor that traverses so many levels and borrows from some well respected sources. The one that sticks in my mind is a scene where you meet Death, immediately identified with the well respected Terry Pratchett character when Wilbur asks why he isn't speaking in capital letters... and in case anybody missed it, Death is actually wearing "fluffy bunny slippers" which are actually modelled on Max from Sam and Max,
There are also not-so-subtle references to Star Wars when Mortimer appears in a hologram to the Arch Mage and tells him that "he is their only hope". This game is full of wonderful tongue-in-cheek humor borrowed from some well respected classic sources which fit well with the characters and are delivered perfectly throughout.
The puzzles in the game are not difficult... obscure sometimes but not difficult. You just need to stop for a minute, count to ten and re-think a situation, and the answer will come easily to mind. The only thing to mention here is that is is _essential_ to re-visit locations _AND_ to re-click on items you have already looked at previously. Sometimes an object will only reveal a vital clue after you have progressed a plot-line further, even if you have examined it previously, you _will_ need to examine it again later to solve a puzzle somewhere.
It is this constant re-visiting of locations which is both a blessing and a curse, however the scenes are beautifully rendered so re-visiting is actually a pleasure, and visits are not too repetitive. Also, thankfully, several forms of "quick-travel" have been implemented which really helps as you progress through a chapter.
The developers have done a good job of programming the navigation in this game, it is quite polished and is primarily mouse-driven with a minimum of keys required to play, which makes for some fairly quick gameplay when it is needed.
Overall I would rate and recommend this game highly, it was a pleasure to play (for me at least) and it had a light air to it which I found refreshing in a steampunk style graphics game. The characters were light and friendly for the most part, even the "evil" characters were given a light humorous feel to them.
The game rendered just fine for me in 1920x1080 and the sound was really quite pleasant, although the music had to be cranked down a bit to stop it over-riding the speech. Not that the music is unpleasant, the score is quite classical and provides a very pleasant background to the game.
There were a couple of in-game sound effects that were not normalised but only a couple, the voices themselves are very well balanced and the variety of accents are actually genuine, being portrayed by genuine voice actors, not impersonators.
I would end this review by saying give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily 8 hours of your life will just sail by without you realising it. This is quite an immersive game despite the simple plot, and if you are new to point-and-click then I would suggest you give this a serious go.