Ages have passed since legendary Man walked the planet. Now, in the desolate wastelands beyond the city of Metropol, a solitary robot named Horatio jealously guards his freedom and independence. All that is taken away from him when a marauding foe steals his power source, forcing him to leave the safety of his home and set out on a perilous journey into the wastes – and into his own mysterious past.
Taking us back to when point and click games ruled supreme, memories of playing classic Lucasarts games spring to mind. You ask yourself, would people still play a point and click game in this day and age? Well Wadjet games along with Wormwood studios look to once again take that challenge on state their case. Following their rather excellent last effort, Gemini Rue. Wadjet look to improve on a few things and keep the game engaging. You play a lone robot named Horatio, armed only with a quirky sidekick named crispin HaratioBuilt Version 1. Your ship the UNNIC crashes in a sand dune. As you attempt to repair it a huge laser bearing robot attacks you and takes your power core, thus preventing you from leaving this place. man has long since left the world and all that is left is robots or mans creation if you will. Horatio along with Crispin must now venture forward to find their power core and leave to return home.
The story is set, the main characters have been introduced. It is now time to see how the game plays out. First description that comes to mind is “a really good story”. For the game really does have an engrossing storyline. Your sidekick Crispin is a great addition as not only will he give you hints and tips if you get stuck, but he also comes out with some truly humourus one liners and remarks. He reminded me very much of Orko of He-Man fame with his bumbling ways and constant need to impress. Crispin can be selected from the drop down menu box as an object so you can send him to investigate things or interact with objects. Its things like this that make him a worthy addition and a real game changer for the genre.
The game world itself is very dull in terms of colour, using a a variety of browns and blacks. The thing is it may not look too appealing but the game is set in a robot run world where metal is all around and building fall into dis repair so technically the colour matches the scene. You must look past all of that as the game is excellent. The story as said is really engrossing. One of the ways they keep it interesting and keep you involved is by having questions where the answer will change the overall ending or how you clear a particular puzzle. Puzzles are everywhere as you would come to expect and with the aid of Crispin, finding a solution will may not be as hard as games previous. Thats not to say all puzzles are easy cos let me tell you, that is not the case at all. Some of the puzzles are dam right nasty. The satisfaction you get from solving a puzzle is right up there in terms of accomplishment.
The game apart from a few Crispin inspired tips, leaves you pretty much to work things out for yourself. All the clues and facts you will ever need are available to you, if you know where to look and take notice of everything around you. The story keeps you engrossed in other ways, such as things you find out about your character and how other characters fit into the story. I dont want to give spoilers out as you really need to play through it yourself to fully appreciate what they are doing in game. The story took me a good 7-9 hours to play through, that does include at one point being stuck on a puzzle for what felt like days. I also had multiple saves going on so I could experience the many different ways of playing. As said there are different endings depending on how you played the game, but also how you finished the game.
The fact that you cannot die or mess up so bad you cannot advance, is a great fact to keep in the back of your mind as it will drive you forward and take risky choices in order to maintain your fun. A few FMV’s are thrown in and add to the overall atmosphere of the game whilst also beefing the story up with information needed. Voice acting really brings the game to life. All characters encountered in game, both main and bit part characters have unique voices. You may interact with them when ever you please and basically play the game how you want. The UI is a drop down box that can be accessed by hovering your cursor over the top part of the screen. You will have access to Crispin as explained earlier, a map for locations and best part is….fast travel with 0 loading times! really handy later on when you want to explore the world. Available also are things like your inventory where you can merge parts together or take them apart if possible. Your data pouch is present which in hindsight is basically a low level pip boy from Fallout games. It keeps track of any information you either need or have acquired, so a valuable resource for puzzle solving. Last but no means least are your traditional save/load/options menu. To close the menu its a case of putting your cursor further down or by clicking into the game world.
Controls are your traditional mouse only controls affair. Left click to interact with right click to view objects. Picking an object in your inventory will change your cursor to said piece of inventory, with a quick click of the right button, your normal cursor icon appears. The last selected piece of inventory is shown in a box in the menu bar to be used as a quick select option which is dab handy whilst playing. The music is another good feature with the ability to interact with radios to change the back ground music down to the encounter music adding more to the experience. Listen out for the tune that lets you know you have found something new or something needed for a puzzle. I want that as my text message alert for sure! Achievements are provided if that’s your bag, with more difficult ones available for the more hardcore player.
In summary I had so much fun with the game and couldn’t stop playing it. Its one of those games where after playing a session, you have the puzzle your stuck on replaying over and over in your head. Constantly evaluating what you have done, measured up against what you need to do. With the interaction being as high as it is with some excellent script writing, you cant help but fall in love with the games charms. Yes some puzzles will annoy you and will seem impossible, but stick with it and try a new approach and it will come to you eventually. The game is worth it just for the interactions between Horatio and Crispin. They are classic characters who play well off each other. Yes Crispin deserves his own spin off game. look past the bland looking colours and prepare to explore huge wastelands and bustling cities as you attempt to seek out your stolen power core. But with plot twists and new information leaked through out the story, the game should read “Point and Click is back BABY!”
A walk through guide will be put up on the site at some point to aid you.