Games of the Week: ‘Point and Click’ Adventures

Well, for those of you who have kept up with my blog from the beginning, you’ve probably heard me talk a little bit about a man named Tim Schafer. Now it’s not secret that I’m a definite fan of his work and that of Double Fine Productions. I think I’ve successfully laid my hands on at least -most- of their titles, but if you haven’t been in the loop here’s the scoop:

Tim Schafer and Double Fine Productions are in the process of creating a ‘point and click’ adventure game. The Kickstarter garnished over 3,000,000+ dollars in donations AND I was one of those donators [ Woo to the $ 15 tier! ] Now, while I’m not allowed to discuss anything private as far as development goes – I figured I could still honor this ‘point and click’ adventure by promoting some other ‘point and click’ graphic adventure games that I feel are totally worth noting – so without further ado:

1. Machinarium

Now I was directed to this game via Alex over at Space Giraffe, and yes, I’m 3 years behind the curve. This is an unfortunate circumstance, but meh, you brush yourself off and move on. Machinarium is a wonderful little ‘point and click’ indie game that I think anyone who has an affinity for games that contain robots in them should try. You play as a little robot, and you travel through this junkyard solving puzzles and navigating your way around. There are 30 levels, and each one, while it may seem simple, is actually quite intricate and can take some time to figure out.

One small step for bots - one massive leap for gaming!

The game is, for the most part, accessible on all levels except for blind players. The color schemes are sharp, but not too abrasive to the eyes for color-blind gamers. The gameplay mechanics are simple ‘point and click’ so mobility challenged gamers won’t have a problem navigating the maps and finding what needs to be done. In the case of deaf players, there is no real sound except for sound effects and ambient music. They don’t really affect the gameplay, and so it should be accessible for deaf gamers, especially because most instruction is given via picture references which is a plus.

It's like if Tim Burton designed a video game with robots...

Now, I only played the demo version and you can gladly try it out too here.

– but from what I’ve gathered the game is immersive, the artwork is moving and fitting to the music, and after I was done with the demo I was longing for more. It’s definitely a warm, homespun game that I would definitely suggest worth checking out if you’re in the mood for an updated, old-school experience of a point-and-click. You can get the full game DRM free on Steam, Mac, Windows or Linux for just $10.00 – for 30 levels of old-school awesome I’d say it’s a definite check out.

2. Little Wheel

Now, if you’re in the mood for a FREE experience along the same vein, I invite you to take a look at another little robotic adventure ‘point and click‘ dubbed Little Wheel by FastGames. Little Wheel takes you on a journey through a robotic homeland that’s become devoid of power, and as the only powered robot left in your entire planet you must go forth solving puzzles and attempting to bring power back to the whole world through puzzle solving. Does it sound neat yet? If you’re a robot fan you’re probably drooling. Here’s a handkerchief.

One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do - 2 can be...

Now as far as accessibility goes – the accessibility drops a tad on this title. The only issue is that Little Wheel gives you no instructions. It shows you via faint circles where clickable items are, but it’s up to you to solve every scenario and figure out what can be used and what can’t etc. The color scheme is incredibly dark, almost akin to a Limbo style of gameplay. This is probably going to make it difficult for some color-blind gamers to play as the patterns of the objects have moments where they blend in during movements.

The wheels on the cage go round and round, round and round...

The gameplay can become increasingly hard too, so cognitively impaired players may have trouble figuring out patterns and actions to do when given no instructions and no hint options. Sound isn’t a requirement for this game, but you’ll be missing out on a full experience if you can’t hear the sound effects and jazz-toned music. The game is adorably charming though, despite it’s simple mechanics. It has an art-deco sort of feel and it you find yourself drawn into wanting to complete each and every puzzle [ well at least I did ] If you’re interested and would like to give it a look over you can head over and check out Little Wheel.

Well folks, that’s it for today, I hope you enjoy my ‘bot filled Games of the Week and you take in the simplistic joys that are ‘point and click’ adventure games. I’m going to go dive back into my mounds of sketchbooks and notebooks now as I await for Schafer’s Adventure to be released…

If you’re still in a steampunk mood though I also suggest you take a look at this short film by Anthony Lucas. It’s in the same vein as these games and it’s wicked good fun – though it’s a bit dark and disturbing at some points for an animation so please be aware [ also it’s quite long, just an fyi for those that are busy ]:

9 responses to “Games of the Week: ‘Point and Click’ Adventures

  1. I was really interested in machinarium the moment i read a preview on it, as the developer sounded very passionate about their creation. I only got around to playing the demo too however, but I thought what I had seen was very charming. Never heard of little wheel before but i’d deffinatley like to try it out now as the screen captures look interesting. I love the style of that video too.

    • Thanks for the comment spacemonkey!

      Yeah, these are the types of games I go for. I tend to be drawn to quirky, off the wall, sci-fi stuff. Whenever I get some of my own concepts finished up you’ll see what I mean. Most of my ideas lately have been falling within this same thematic bloodline of industrialized steampunk genre. I love it though, so what can I say, but thank you for watching and checking out these fine games!

      • To be honest it’s nice to see gamers appreciating more subtle titles that aren’t just about war and shooting (not that I’m saying those are bad, but as a developer I am drawn more to games that are quirky or different in some way.) I’m looking forward to seeing some of your ideas.

  2. I’ve not played machinarium, I’ll give that I go sometime but I liked Little Wheel when I played it a while ago.

    I just watched that short film and I loved it, the quality of the voice acting and the overall style really went together, thanks for introducing me to it 😀

    • No problem man! I’ve known about that short film for a while now. Glad I can share it with folks in a post that makes sense for it to fit within. If you liked Little Wheel, you’ll most likely love Machinarium.

      It’s got whimsy, robots, and really interesting puzzles. They may look simple, but the complexity of how they make every item or movement count really got to me.

      • Hahaha! I suggest to try both! I’m pretty sure you can pick up Warp on a PC too dude. It’s not just a console exclusive. I will say the demo for Warp is super fulfilling, and actually leaves you wishing the demo was longer [ or at least it did for me… ]

  3. Pingback: Gaming With A Cause: The Humble “Botanicula” Debut | Gastrogamer.com

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