|Five little speckled frogs, sat on a speckled log...|
- Developer: LookAtMyGames
- Publisher: Plug In Digital
- Release Date: 3 December 2013
- Time played: 2 hours
At first glance, Finding Teddy isn't usually the sort of game I go after. Games that look like retro, 8-bit platformers are commonplace nowadays so even though I know I should never judge a game by its screenshots, this is what I thought Finding Teddy was. I originally got the game as part of one of the Humble Bundles, even though the original intent of purchasing the Humble Bundle was to gift it to a friend. Turns out he already had many of the games so I ended up with quite a few (and now I feel like Homer Simpson in that episode - you know, the one where he buys Marge a bowling ball as a gift).
Anyway, on closer inspection turns out that despite the game looking like a retro platformer, it's actually a retro point 'n' click adventure - well sort of - without the verb interface.
So what exactly is this game about? Well as you've probably guessed by just reading the title, it's about a little girl on a quest to find her teddy bear. One night, what appears to be a giant spider, grabs the girl's teddy bear right out of her arms and drags it into her wardrobe. The little girl pursues her teddy bear's abductor and ends up in a magical world. The wardrobe being a portal to another world is obviously inspired by the likes of "The Chronicles of Narnia" and the little girl exploring a cute but dangerous fantasy world seems reminiscent of "Alice in Wonderland".
Since there's not really any information about the world and no conversation trees (as you would normally do in classic Lucasarts point 'n' click adventure games) a lot is left to your imagination and while that's generally a good thing it also means there are several questions left unanswered, not to mention it's hard to find anything deep and meaningful in the game if you don't know what exactly you're dealing with.
Alternatively, there probably is a hidden meaning to the whole story (maybe the little girl is fighting her fears and doubts personified or something?) but it's so subtle (at least to me) that it just flew over my head.
The game claims to be "the revival of Point 'n' Click" which is a bit misleading, unless you take the term literally in that you can point and click using your mouse, but even then many games already use that as a control scheme on the PC so it's not exactly a revival then either. Anyway, what I think they're trying to say is that it's a revival of point 'n' click adventure games and while that'd be the closest genre to this game, it's a very basic point 'n' click adventure if you wish to define it that way. Sure you click to interact with items or to pick up items - you can even store items in your inventory and use them on objects in the environment. Besides that though, there are no conversation trees and no way to examine or look at items. This was quite annoying sometimes since thanks to the retro graphics, it was hard to tell what exactly I was carrying in the inventory at times: a plastic bag? A parachute? A vest? It would've been nice if they at least allowed you to hover over the item and a tooltip popping up notifying the player of what the item actually is.
Also, puzzles are generally easy once you figure them out although sometimes I found that I was at ends with the controls. For example, in order to use items from your inventory, you have to click on the protagonist, select the item and then click on the environment. There's no help to indicate how you're meant to use the interface so I just assumed you drag and dropped items from the inventory onto the environment. Sadly, this would result in me just interacting with the environment without using the inventory item and I would often die as a result, mistakenly thinking that the inventory item didn't work. So half the challenge was learning how the game actually worked instead of actually solving the puzzles. This is about the time that I come in and say "you can tell this is a port of a mobile game".
One aspect of the game I did like was solving some puzzles through the use of musical spells a bit like the old Lucasarts adventure game Loom. However, unlike Loom you'll discover that these musical spells are just a front for something else...
|Isn't Tarant a city in Arcanum?|
To be honest, I don't actually recall much in the way of sound effects besides the sound the inventory makes when you open it. Music plays a much larger role in this but the sound effects that do exist are effective enough.
If you purchase this game on Steam you'll receive the soundtrack for free - it's just a pity that it's not exactly something I'd recommend. I mean sure, the music complements the game well but it's just a minimalist, ambient affair. If you want an example of a retro-themed, mobile-centric adventure game with a fantastic soundtrack I'd recommend people check out Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.
Graphics are of the pixellated, retro kind. I guess it has a certain charm to it (if you're into these kind of graphics) otherwise it feels like a bit of a time warp back to the 1980s (although with more colours).
The game is incredibly short; it only took me two hours to complete and I was stuck on puzzles half of that time too! Consequently there isn't much reason to replay the game unless you want to unlock special scenes and Steam achievements. You're also able to earn Steam Trading Cards.
Game doesn't seem that buggy to me but then again you wouldn't expect it to be considering how minimalist the game is :).
Score – 7/10Don't do what I did and immediately throw Finding Teddy into the generic retro platformer basket: Finding Teddy is a simple but entertaining point 'n' click adventure inspired by the likes of "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Chronicles of Narnia". While the game is terribly short, it's a nice little distraction for point 'n' click adventure gamers for an hour or two.
Finding Teddy is available from these retailers:
- Steam - $6.99 USD
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[ LINK: Official Finding Teddy website ]