Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town demo is a point and click adventure currently available during the Steam Game Festival.
Despite the funny-sounding title, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is easily one of my most anticipated games on Steam for 2020. Point and click adventures aren’t really for thrill-seekers, but the presentation of this game is undeniably fantastic.
Sharing similar qualities to classic point and click adventures such as Maniac Mansion, and of course, The Secret of Monkey Island, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, published by VLG Publishing, has all the classic elements of the genre.
There’s a certain tone of The Goonies; only it’s a one-man, or boy, show. Uncovering a letter from ten years ago, Willy finds out that his father went off the grid to protect both him and his mother and this prompts him to go on an adventure, which apparently is pirate-related.
Left to his own devices as his mother is assumably a middle-aged Lara Croft currently on an archaeological dig of sorts, Willy decides to build his trusty bicycle, raid the cookie jar for funds and venture forth into the world of Bone Town.
I was immediately wowed by the graphics that showcase some gorgeous looking models and textures, though was put off a little with the title character. He’s a bit of a know-it-all, and it took me some time to warm to him. The voice talent is excellent, but he does come across a little old for his age.
In the Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town demo, a game by imaginarylab, which came in with a run time of just under an hour, you have free roam of the house to locate bike parts, and unable to leave until you have found them all. The location of said parts are quite unorthodox such as finding the handlebars propping up a shelf in the fridge or a bike wheel styled as a dreamcatcher – but, this is the world of the point and click – what did you expect?
About 75% of it was straightforward enough, but there were a few puzzles that had me stuck; notably combining objects in the right way. Just in case you haven’t played this yet, I’ll give a made-up example.
Combining cheese with ham won’t work, but if you click on the ham then combine it with the cheese, it will. That’s the puzzle that got me as I was frustratingly going through all the items picking one off at a time, but it’s dependent on what you select first. The hints are pretty good as they don’t dumb anything down, but equally don’t give too much away either.
There’s no cheese and ham in the demo, just in case you didn’t read everything.
It isn’t a deciding factor in a point and click, nor should it be for any other title for that matter, but Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is one the best-looking adventures I’ve seen that also features solid gameplay. From the lighting effects to the subtle curves of walls to give it that comic-look, the overall presentation is fantastic.
Though Willy does walk like someone treading through the snow.
As a demo, there’s only so much you can cover, and this isn’t a review as such, but what I’ve seen is excellent. The music isn’t my thing, but it works very well with the game though you become a little aware of it when backtracking to a room to work out a puzzle.
I’ve been eager to get my eldest daughter into point and clicks so we can share the experience, and she played the first half of the demo, and when I went back in to get screenshots, she asked to play again – result!
Like The Wardrobe, there are quite a few in-jokes and references to other titles such as a Day of the Tentacle poster in his bedroom or perhaps a nod to the cat clock in the kitchen and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders; only it’s all very subtle and far from in your face.
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is due for release later in the year, and I haven’t hesitated in adding this to my wishlist. Sure, it’s not Cyberpunk 2077 or The Last of Us Part II, but this is my favourite genre, and what I’ve seen so far is on par with some of the greatest.