You Fhtagn to me?
Just as not each great Television show demands to be difficult viewing, there are occasions when a point-and-click can be enjoyable devoid of breaking your brain with its puzzles. If it is polished, engaging and — in the case of Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure — reasonably funny, it can nevertheless stand on its personal as a title for consideration.
If you came right here searching for Lovecraft, I would gently recommend tempering your expectations. Yes, there’s a Necronomicon, and yes there’s a weird cult. And monsters. And tentacles. But the story is firmly tongue-in-cheek, following the exploits of a private detective who gets kidnapped by the cult, a librarian named Buzz, and his pet cat imaginatively known as Kitteh. The cult desires to unleash an evil god onto the globe but are struggling with bureaucracy, even though the Necronomicon has offered Kitteh the voice of a sarcastic lady due to the fact causes. This is a comedy, initial and foremost. It is not a excellent comedy, but it has its moments.
“Gibbous” generally refers to 1 of the moon’s periods exactly where pretty much the whole celestial physique is visible. The exact same could be mentioned about the story, a mystery which follows a fairly simple path till the final half hour, exactly where some leaden Cthulhu components threaten to dampen its otherwise light-hearted nature. For the duration of the eight-hour journey, the viewpoint switches from the detective (named Don R. Ketype — yes, that is the baseline) to Buzz, projecting a a lot grander scale in place and story than is truly present. Although the timelines do cross at moments, there are no Day of the Tentacle puzzle shenanigans right here. Every single chapter has a self-contained set of places which drive the story forward when you have twigged what you need to have to do in every. In some instances, every little thing you need to have to proceed to the subsequent screen can be identified in 1 place.
For a puzzle game, the puzzles will not bring about any troubles for adventure nerds — which may well be a difficulty in itself. I identified myself stumped at only two junctures in the whole game 1 was a genuine “AHA!” revelation, even though the other involving an alphabet felt a small tenuous. Otherwise, you shouldn’t count on to be stumped really usually. You will seldom have a lot more than 5 things in your inventory, and at that point it is extremely most likely that you will need to have to combine two of them to make one thing else. All of these hybrids make sense even though there wasn’t any smashing collectively of random objects in the hope of creating a third, as some might recall in Sierra and LucasArts’ games.
Speaking of which, if Romanian studio Stuck in Attic was aiming for a Monkey Island vibe with the game’s visuals, it definitely nailed it. Gibbous appears fabulous, the animations are buttery smooth and the colourful backdrops are by no means significantly less than intriguing — it is saying one thing when the in-game graphics outmatch its cutscenes, but that is definitely the case right here. The downside of getting places blend in so seamlessly is that it is difficult to truly inform what you can interact with by sight alone. At some points the places have been so dark I had to manually enhance my monitor’s brightness to see what was going on (there are no settings to do so in the game’s solutions). A spacebar press pops up the hotspot highlighter revealing at least a dozen or so various points of interest in pretty much each location, really should you want to cope with the gloom and just get on with the story. At occasions there is pretty much as well a lot going on, specifically offered that every hotspot has at least two (and usually a lot more) bits of description and an action prompt and the choice to get Kitteh’s opinion on it. A a lot more ruthless editor would definitely have come in handy right here to cull some of the significantly less intriguing jokes and clickable objects. Even so, it is only ropey speech animations and careless typos scattered all through which bely the game’s indie roots I didn’t encounter any type of technical glitches through my playthrough otherwise.
Voice acting, conversely, is wayward. Some of the characters really feel like they’re attempting as well difficult — specifically Buzz, which is unfortunate offered the quantity of screen time he gets — even though other folks like Kitteh tread a fine line amongst dry humour and out-and-out “ZOIKS!” slapstick and just about get away with it. Don is almost certainly the most constant character, a husky American who narrates his exploits wryly as if he was living a Raymond Chandler novel, but with added tentacles.
The greatest letdown comes with the finale, following on from a confusing mish-mash of Lovecraftian tropes and ideas which really feel like they have been thrown into the mix to satisfy the game’s subtitle. They muddy the story to the point where my head was so awash with names of characters, creatures and pseudonyms that I had no concept why I was carrying out specific tasks. Possibly if I was a lot more au fait with the supply material I may well have got a lot more out of it. But the lurch from comedy to melodrama seriously jarred and the final scenes left an unsatisfying taste.
But it is the familiarity of the game’s point-and-click mechanics which are each Gibbous’ strength and weakness. When it stretches its inventive muscle tissues, such as through a rap battle, the game has a palpable buzz. But even then, it feels a lot more like a set piece mimicking Curse of Monkey Island’s rhyming insults rather than a puzzle on the exact same level. Gameplay is accessible sufficient that novice point-and-clickers will most likely discover a lot to get pleasure from, with only minor sticking points that might lead them to attain for a walkthrough. For veterans even though, the puzzling is most likely to be as well simplistic and the comedy does not attain the heights that it demands to make up for the lack of challenge. Place just, Gibbous does not break any new ground. It is a comfy and quite adventure which is unlikely to tax you or stay as well extended in your memory when you have wrapped up the case, but as an introduction to the genre and a showcase for a talented indie studio, it is no abomination.