What do you get when a point and click adventure game is fully aware that it is a point and click adventure game? You get this nifty game, where the right combination of self-referential humor, 4th wall breaking, and beautiful set design manifested in a thoroughly pleasant game.
I had no idea I have had this game in my steam library, and I have no idea what it is, or how it become one of the 600+ titles. But if I obviously paid money at one point to get it, and that was perhaps the best financial decision i've made this year(this being a particularly bankrupt year in terms of positive monetary decisions for me, but I digress).
First of all, when you play an PaC Adventure game, you have to have a very eccentric sense of logic. You can't just simply find a ladder to get a cat down a tree, but you have to cobble together a solution that involves a rubber mouse that you find on the surface of uranus, a piece of string woven from the nosehair of a troll you put asleep with the duck's tears potion from the dungeons, and finally a makeshift fishing rod from a wand you found while rummaging through a witches knicker drawer. This game is fully aware of that, and in its awareness, makes the logic to be a perfect balance of adventure game logic and simple item association. Sure I got stuck a few times, but It was mostly due to me missing an key item among the clutter of the scenery. Of course, this is partially due to a particular gameplay flaw that I will touch on later.
PaC games are generally very easy. You hover your mouse cursor over everything in the scene, until it changes into either a grabby cursor or a magnifying glass, and you keep doing so until you have found every item and every interactables in the scene. The items are in an inventory in the bottom row, and you start mashing them together until you get what you need to solve the puzzle at hand. This method of brute force have served me well for many logically redundant PaC games, and I have applied this method a few times in this game as well... that is, until I discovered the SPACE BAR! The space bar button highlights every item and every interactables in the scene. Such a batvision upgrade seems to made the game easier, and would of course benefit many times where I had mouse scanned everything in a scene for a missing item. Such an control input would serve well to be explained in game at the beginning, instead of being accidentally discovered 2/3 through my playthrough. But overall, I found that the game seems to composite all the important elements in obvious places, and the UI is pretty intuitive for all the interaction of a PaC game.
Artwork and Animation and Sound:
I put these category together because… Well mostly because I’m lazy, but also the combination of all 3 together creates immersion for the game, and this immersion stool will immediately topple if one of the three legs is taken out.
I've have my hand hovered over the screenshot hotkey for majority of the game. The scenery are beautifully rendered, the characters are very well characterized, and most of the dialog match with the animations. A few sound seems to be out of sync with the animation, but the dialog are so expertly written and enacted that I’ve been willing to let a few negs go. Animation seems to be the weakest leg of the stool, many animations seems slow and unresponsive, especially when you have to repeat an action multiple times, it seems almost unbearably mechanic. These are times when I teeter precariously on this stool of immersion, but the rest of the gameplay is engaging and the dialogs are humors enough to compensate for my sore bum.
I was really tempted to end this review on the word “bum”, but I have to be considerate of all those who skipped ahead of my long-winded rants to ask:
SHOULD I BUY THIS GAME?