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Unforeseen Incidents from Backwards Entertainment

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The Town of YELLTOWN in PORT NICOLA has been hit with an unidentified virus that kills its victims within a few hours, and as yet there is no cure because no one can discover where the virus originated and that the affected die too quickly to be treated. You are Harper Pendrell, a bum-like character that everybody seems to know - wherever you go they call you by name and appear friendly towards you. When you find a young newspaper journalist lying bleeding in the street, possibly dying of the disease, she is scared and begs you not to call in the authorities. You tell her you are going to make the call but again she pleads with you not to and insists you take an envelope from her backpack, but unfortunately an old busy-body hanging out of her window had overheard the conversation and makes the call anyway - you hide (lurk) in an avenue close by as the men in yellow hazmat suits arrive and take the young girl away. The expected letter in the envelope (which you have cannot open) has to go to someone called Halliwell - this sends you on a quest to find this Halliwell.

 

Harper knows a scientist who is working on a cure but he tells him (you) that he is nowehere close at the moment. You don't know what you can do but you decide to go about intent on discovering all and everything that you can. Not all folk in Yelltown seem concerned over the virus as many of them are concentrating on the upcoming (NFL) Football Game between the Yelltown Seagulls and the Blue Ridge Raccoons - it's like it is the biggest thing to hit Yelltown, even bigger then the Virus which, Hotel Manager Morton says is not as bad as the Yelltown Earthquake or the Yelltown Hurricane  -  sems like Yelltown is used to disasters. Two of the Football fans are watching re-runs of old games between the two teams; they aren't bothered about the virus because they are wearing their lucky charms, a pair of "lucky boxer shorts" and a "lucky Raccoon bra".

 

Later investigations sends you to all manner of places including the Woods where you discover a weird Death Cult who are perhaps worshipping (or worse) the virus. As you search for Halliwell and for clues about the virus you collect items along the way. These are automatically placed in your inventory which you can access by moving your cursor up to the top of the screen. Once at the inventory - it's a drop down menu with visuals of the items you have picked up - Special Tool (very much like a Swiss-Army-Knife), Glue, Tape etc - you can utilise the items and objects by clicking on and holding them, the get a red highlight outline, then dragging them onto the main screen to place/use in the appropriate place. Generally onscreen chat or visuals give you reminders of what you need to complete each puzzle, but not always - then it's usually a case of using your own brain power. Harper is out to save the world from the virus (and what else ?), just as soon as he can save Yelltown.

 

This is a point and click to move and point and click to act game. It is among many games of the same genre, but unlike too many of them this one has a much more creative background storyline along with some cleverly devised and designed puzzles and perplexities. Graphically, and in almost all factions, it is very good, but in all fairness, the character animation could have been up to the standard of the voice talent when it comes to giving the characters life. If you think I am nit-picking then watch Harper move up and down the steps, his legs barely move and his knees hardly bend, it's like he is tap-dancing up and down the steps.

 

This is a solid, point-and-click adventure. It moves along quite well and only has a couple of minor aggravations, such as the few areas where a lot of effort has been burned creating superior onscreen visuals but also where there is little to do and only one way in and the same way out which gets to be more than a little frustrating after a while. Despite the static, almost 1D, movement of the characters and the occasional frustration, there is so much fun and challenge in this adventure, that you cannot fail to be drawn in by its charm and range of archetype characters and buildings. It's like a Stephen King novel brought to life under the direction of M. Night. Shyamalan.

There are enough clues, dead-ends, red herrings and whatever to keep you guessing where it is all going, often with your own "absolutely definite" deductions falling apart at the last moment. This is a point and click adventure that even players who usually enjoy a more hands-on game will find hard to resist.

 

It's up to you to discover the truth and save the day.

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015