When I first got sent a key for Adventurezator: When Pigs Fly, I was astounded simply by the name. Indie games are something I hold quite dear to my heart, especially ones with a lot of comedy in them and personal touches from the developers.
Adventurezator conforms to the formula that makes good point and click narrative games. Games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and the Monkey Island series are great examples of how these games are done, and Adventurezator is genuinely reminiscent of Monkey Island with cesspools of well written comedy. But how does the rest of the game hold up?
The graphics, to make a start, aren’t the /best/ for an indie game, but it’s certainly charming if not satire. Saying that, there isn’t much to say about the game’s visuals, simply because there isn’t all that much to fault them with. It’s an indie point and click adventure game, after all. For what it’s worth, it does things nicely, save for the abominable soundtrack that plays itself on a loop whatever you’re doing. Never fitting the mood or the comedic value of the game. Unless it’s trying to be laughable, in which case, it does that pretty damn well.
The game starts off by telling you the story of Edmund, the main character. Remember Nigel West Dickens from Red Dead Redemption, selling his potions and cures to all ailments for extortionate prices? That’s kinda what Edmund does, and one day, Gandalf (or some old wizard bloke) pops out of the bushes on Edmund’s way out-of-town, and turns Edmund into a pig. From then on out, Edmund recruits the help of the garden gnome Zookwinkle, as they form an uncanny alliance to help each other turn into their former selves.
As cliché as this kind of story is, it really is told well. With a “Shrek” kind of modern-day fairy tale theme going on, it takes influences from a whole load of tales and makes them as gruesomely crude as possible. Put it this way, in the second mission, you have the option to kill the Baby Bear from the story of Goldilocks. Tell me that isn’t kinda messed up.
The game feels ultimately short, though. While it’s an indie game and the campaign kind of sits as a side add-on to the level creator, and even if you have sufficient strategy to get through the levels without dying a billion times like I did, you’ll still sit there and think “Is that it?” Though, I really can’t give it too much scorning for it, because after all it is in Early Access like most of the reviews I seem to be writing these days.
In spite of this, the way the game actually runs is really cleverly done and the gameplay mechanics set it apart from the likes of Grim Fandango. Each mission has its own set of tasks you must carry out, like in all games, however in Adventurezator, you’re given the freedom to carry them out as you please and puzzles are supposed to be solved with your own initiative without the game leading you by the nose down corridors where you just have to figure out which items to craft until you get to the end. Saying that, with a load of tools and objects in your environment that can be used for crafting, persuasion, magic, murder, you really do feel a sense of strategic control over the situation, as certain things you do can have an impact on your later objectives. And I really do mean it when I say you can use pretty much anything in the levels for pretty much anything. If you pick up an axe, you can use it to give you a stat boost in a fight or you can use it to cut down a tree and use the wood to do whatever-the-fuck. The levels are varied and how you go about them is up to you, and you’ll meet characters with their own schedules, personalities and well written dialogue to interact with along the way.
Asides from the story, Adventurezator: When Pigs Fly strongest leg to stand on comes from its scenario editor. While the tutorials and the campaign give you a sense of how the game works and give you a few cheap laughs from killing the same NPC’s and listening to Edmund curse at how his pants are ruined, the real fun comes in making your own. With a simple and easy to use UI, you can design the levels to a professional level and completely customize the characters and what goes into them, all the while setting the agenda for the scene with an easy to use animator and cut scene editor that makes you gives you that “Sims” feel of playing God.
Customizing the characters is fun and giving them dialogue and making contraptions within the world for them to use is a good way to make use of the games core mechanics, but it’s anything if not lacking in variation. As good as a tool as it is, there’s no real wide variety of the things you can use and it all looks rather samey. A tragic and shameful waste of potential, but like I say, it’s Early Access. “Potential” is a word commonly used so that Developers know what to do next. It’s good, it’s funny and it’s charming, but it’s also short and the soundtrack is shit. Wether that’s your thing is up to you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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