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Clearing the Steam Backlog: A Study in Point-and-Clicks

After giving my first impressions of ten roguelike titles in my backlog and determining whether I would like to play them again in the future, I decided to switch gears a bit for my next batch of titles.  Instead of discussing a genre that I haven’t enjoyed much in the past, I wanted to try games in an area that I have historically loved, yet never reach for as often as I should.  For me, this is the point-and-click adventure title.

I’m not sure why I don’t pick point-and-clicks up more often.  They often become personal favorites of mine every time I give one a chance, and yet I so rarely reach for one.  My best guess is that the genre isn’t very flashy, with many of them being made by small studios and utilizing similar art styles that get difficult to distinguish after a while.  Still, for today, I have picked out ten of the many titles in my library that I have collected over the years and will be giving my impressions after a few minutes with each game.

Here’s a fun catch for this entry in my backlog series:  Because I love this genre so much, I actually ended up enjoying all ten of these games enough that I may eventually finish all of them in the future.  Since I will likely investigate each entry here further, I will be listing the titles from the one that I enjoyed the least to the one I liked the most.

Note:  I’m a Humble Partner, so if any of these games appeal to you, you can go purchase it at the Humble Store using my affiliate link!  This will give me a small commission at no extra cost for you.  Thanks for supporting my blog!

Book of Unwritten Tales

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As I said earlier, I did enjoy every one of the titles I tried out for this post, but Book of Unwritten Tales is, by far, the one that came closest to getting scrapped.  I like the fantasy setting and the characters seem interesting, so my concern here comes down to the puzzle mechanics.  I’m no dummy, I would like to think, but I found that I got stuck on just about every puzzle in the start of the game.  The game’s logic and my logic just don’t quite match up with one another.   I’m going to continue to play this, but the next few hours are critical because I either need to get along better with the puzzles or get hooked enough by the story that I’m willing to persevere.

Machinarium

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Machinarium is another title that I found intriguing enough to pursue further, yet still struggled with the puzzle logic.  My theory with puzzle games is that everyone’s brain works differently, meaning that puzzles that may make perfect logical sense to one person can be nearly impossible to solve for another.  The robotic protagonist is adorable and the world makes me want to explore further, so I’m going to give it more time and see if I can adapt to the puzzle style.

Deponia:  The Complete Journey

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The first thing I noticed upon booting up Deponia:  The Complete Journey is its art style.  It’s vibrant and fun, making the exploration of the set pieces a lot of fun.  The puzzles haven’t been terribly complicated yet, allowing me to focus in on the story and characters.  Unfortunately, after about an hour in the game, I’m not overly invested in either the gameplay or the story yet.  Everything here has simply been okay so far, and nothing more, which I hope changes with some more playtime.

Lamplight City

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Note:  Product received for free from publisher.

When I first started playing the very steampunk-inspired Lamplight City, I was actually really bored.  This is definitely a slow-burn game, and I wasn’t prepared for the pacing.  Just as I was about to quit, however, something happened that absolutely hooked me to the story.  Puzzles are pretty simple, although I did have trouble finding a clue I needed simply because the game is so dimly lit that I couldn’t see it.  Overall, this is definitely one I want to see more of in the future.

TSIOQUE

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Note:  Product received for free from publisher.

Similarly to some of the other titles on this list, I got stuck early on trying to get my way through TSIOQUE.  This is another title that has puzzle mechanics that don’t work properly with my brain, leading to a lot of frustration at times.  Even with this in mind, however, I can’t really help but love this title.  There’s this fairytale-like aspect to the game that gives it a warm and cozy bedtime story feeling.  Additionally, the art style is, undoubtedly, my favorite out of everything on this list.

Broken Age

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The main reason that I appreciate Broken Age is the ability to freely swap between two characters and their stories.  As someone who always worries about rage-quitting a game because I can’t beat a puzzle, this is a nice way to allow me to switch gears if I get stuck.  With that said, however, I haven’t struggled with anything so far, although I do know that this game has some notoriously difficult puzzles later on.  The world is vibrant and the voice acting has a star-studded cast, so I’ll definitely be continuing on with this one.

 

2064:  Read Only Memories

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After putting some thought into it, I don’t believe that I have ever played a cyberpunk video game before trying 2064:  Read Only Memories, or at least not a title that has been so closely aligned with the genre.  I’m not sure why, as the themes explored here of the difference between man and machine and what gives people their humanity are definitely the kinds of topics that I like to see tackled in my video games.  The puzzles here are fairly minimal so far, with the title overall feeling more akin to a visual novel than a traditional point-and-click.  I’ll have to see how I feel about the game mechanics as time goes on, but for now, I’m completely sold on the story and characters.

Kathy Rain

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Kathy Rain is the game that got me thinking about doing point-and-click adventures as a backlog clear genre.  I have been meaning to play it for ages because I was intrigued by its purposefully retro art style and its detective plotline, as Kathy works out what happened to her grandfather.  Puzzles are easily solvable so far and I am thoroughly invested in the story.  In fact, I had to force myself to stop playing this one and play the other titles.

Rainswept

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Note:  Product received for free from publisher.

Rainswept is an upcoming point-and-click adventure that comes out on February 1, 2019 (take a look at its Steam page here), and while I found the story a bit slow to start off, which seems to be a running trend with my personal relationship towards detective titles, I quickly became hooked by the story.  Puzzles are simple tests of deductive reasoning and don’t get in the way of solving the murder mystery.  I hope to finish this one up in the next few days in order to get a review ready for the game’s release date!

Darkside Detective

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What if a traditional detective point-and-click adventure title decided to throw in a bunch of sarcastic comments and fourth-wall breaks?  Well, this appears to be a question no one was asking and Darkside Detective decided to answer anyway, and thank goodness they did.  I rarely find video games legitimately funny, but I laughed out loud at some of the witty comments made by the protagonist and his companions in this title.  I’m quite eager to play more in the future.

 

Well, that’s the list!  Unfortunately, I didn’t clear anything from my backlog because I want to play all ten titles, but finding out that I have a bunch of unplayed games that I want to finish is hardly a bad problem to have.  Since I ranked these titles from least to most engaging, I am interested in revisiting this post after I have finished (or officially given up on) all ten games to see how I would re-rank them later.

Have you played any of these titles, or perhaps have recommendations for future backlog clears from me?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 replies »

    • It’s so adorable! I really hope I like it and don’t get too bad of a roadblock. I’m not afraid of looking up a guide to advance, but I get the impression some of these puzzles are such a pain that even guides aren’t super useful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the one i gave up on u had time it well and i just get effing up and the guide i was using was confusing. but idk this wa slike ayear ago ir so, so maybe its easier now? and its one of htose i shouldve come back to sooner afte ra break and it woudlve been deadeasy ahha

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love point & clicks, so I’m all over this list! I’m adding some of these to my Steam wishlist now, lol.
    I’ve played Deponia some and enjoyed it okay, but like you I’m not terribly invested in the story yet. Broken Age has been on my wishlist for a long time and I need to just get around to playing it already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh! As for recommendations: The Wolf Among Us, which is based on the comic series Fables, is one of my all-time p&c’s. It, unfortunately, won’t be getting a second game, but if you haven’t played it then it’s worth checking out. It doesn’t have a focus on puzzles though. The old Lucas Arts titles are pretty fun as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have The Wolf Among Us and should really play through it! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of the Fables comics and I also really liked Telltale’s The Walking Dead games, so I should enjoy TWAU.

        Liked by 1 person

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