By: John C. Mayberry
Ahhhh, the point-and-click games. Normally an acquired taste for much of the gaming community, you are inevitably bound to come across some games that could be considered the golden examples of the genre. Lately I’ve had the privilege of playing through one such title on Nintendo Switch, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town. What sets this title apart from other point-and-click games is not only in the uniquely designed environments, or in the improvements made on the typical gameplay formula of this genre, but in a story of a fifteen-year-old looking for answers, after receiving a post-dated letter from his father who had been missing for ten years.
Leaving home and venturing to Bone Town on instructions left by his missing father, Henry Morgan, players will take control of Willy as they solve unique and challenging puzzles while encountering various characters throughout the beautifully rendered cartoonish, 3-D environment of Bone Town, while uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of the famed archaeologist. More of what makes this game enjoyable are the improvements made to the point-and-click style of gameplay, being able to instantly travel to another section instead of waiting for Willy to walk to the location, or speeding up character dialogue, made more innovative with the versatility of the touch screen feature of the Nintendo Switch.
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is a Switch title I immensely enjoyed playing, but as with most point-and-click games it may still suffer from the drawback of not being appealing to the entire gaming audience, since players seem to typically gravitate towards the more action-oriented game. Any other minor hiccups, which I call minor for the fact they don’t happen often, are occasional clipping issues. Not to worry though, since there’s no effect on how the game plays, just a few instances of things like Willy phasing through the guardrail of a staircase as an example. Aside form that, this is one point-and-click game that’s sure to be a beloved classic amongst fans of this gaming genre for a long time, with many wishing the game was a bit longer so there is more to enjoy. Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is something I consider to be the epitome of the point-and-click adventure, and something that will bring much more attention to this sub-genre of gaming in a way that has never been done before.
Soundtrack – The game’s soundtrack is light-hearted and adds a certain kind of charm that makes it memorable in the minds of whoever is lucky enough to play it. Even in its own whimsical feel it also manages to maintain an air of mystery and adventure which helps to immerse you further into Willy’s world.
Graphics – Not so much going the route of realism as it’s more reminiscent of something you’d see in a 3-D animated family feature, with unique and fun-looking designs in architecture and character models, the graphics are beautifully done and add a sense of wonder which pulls you in deeper and increases the charm factor many times over. Truly some virtual eye candy if I ever saw any.
Touch screen versatility – This is an excellent example of how versatile the touch screen feature of the Switch can be. Game controls are excellent either way, whether you choose the control sticks or the touch screen feature. The bonus of using the touch screen, however, is a smoother and somewhat faster means of navigating through the game without sacrificing any opportunity to really immerse yourself in this point-and-click gem.
Not for everyone – Although an intriguing game with many interesting aspects, it may not be appealing to as widespread an audience as other gaming genres, like action/adventure games or RPGs, for example. Because of this, this and other point-and-click games may not be as well-known or as widespread amongst many a gamer’s personal library.
Glitches – Although they’re not a common occurrence, the glitches that happen are an eyesore and take away, to a small degree, from the game’s experience. They are easy to forget about since the rest of the game is excellent, but a distraction nonetheless, especially when Willy appears to phase through solid objects or skip a few frames ahead in movement.
Short game – Even in the initial playthrough, the actual length of the game doesn’t appear to be very long. The only areas you really explore are Willy’s house, and Bone Town, which really does not have much to explore either as you’ll find yourself revisiting the same areas several times. A slight disappointment in that this is such a great game but will unfortunately leave something to be desired since, from beginning to end, you won’t be playing it very long.
OVERALL SCORE – 8.25 out of 10
For something that may be unfairly overlook in favor of something faster paced, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town for the Nintendo Switch is nothing to scoff at or disregard at all. For the more steady-paced, point-and-click gaming genre, this is by far one of the best examples I have played through since I first picked up a controller. It has everything, from an interesting story, the whimsical and wonderous look of the game itself, and the music to compliment everything great about this game. This is something I would say deserves to be played through at least once, and trust me on this, you want to. It is one of the most fun and relaxing times I’ve had playing any game.