Right now, I’m really embracing the short, free PC games, as well as the point and click genre yet again, having recently beaten one where a magical forest critter rescues his stolen sister, one where a grumbling D.I. saves a his town from exploding, and one where a medium solves the mystery behind a murderous street psychic. Oh, and early on in January, I finished up the final two episodes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. So yeah, points and clicks–it’s happening. I really hope I’m still embracing the genre like so by the time Double Fine’s Reds (codename only) comes out. Y’know, whenever that is.
Until then, there’s plenty of small, free point-and-click adventure games out there on the Interwebz to eat up my time, like Patchwork. Which is a fantasy adventure game from someone under the username of Ilyich. Sorry, that’s all I could really unearth about the dev. If you know more, please enlighten me. In it, you take control of both a scientist named David and a young student mage from another realm called Lin as they struggle to close the rift between their two worlds that they themselves inadvertently caused. It’s ironic and fun, with colorful screens and soft, ambient music that kind of lulls you into a daze, pulling you into another world. The animation work isn’t too bad either.
My favorite part of the game is that you get to control two characters, and just like with Rosa and Joey from Blackwell Deception, Lin and David can interact with items in strikingly different ways. Even more, Lin can see what David can’t considering he is in her magical realm, a place that is just normal in her eyes. For instance, on the screen above, David just sees a large tree, but Lin knows it truly as a dryad and can even speak with it to learn that she desperately needs her roots watered. Both characters have their own inventories, and you can also combine items to make new ones, though it’s not always clear if the item creation failed because the items didn’t gel or if I clicked wrong. Think a simple “No, that doesn’t make sense.” kind of comment would have greatly helped, especially as I tried to make a pair of glasses for a certain eyesight-impaired blacksmith using every item I had. What? Just stick ’em on a rock and go.
The only nitpicks I have with Patchwork so far involve, naturally, basic grammar issues. The writing itself is lively and fun and not very serious, but “it’s” is incorrectly used every single time, and there’s a love for writing “all right” as “alright,” which is a personal pet peeve of mine. Would also have loved if Lin (or David) was able to carry the spellbook with them, as it does offer clues on how to get each element, but I have to keep returning to Lin’s house to read it. Nothing terribly devastating, especially when you remember that this wee adventure comes at no cost.
If any of the above sounds like your cup of point-and-click, head on over here to download the game. I suspect I’m about midway through it, only have to get a few more items to summon a rain storm and Back to the Future (I’m using that title as a verb) David to his true world. Just need to solve the cave puzzle of humming crystals, please the fire spirit, and water the tree by somehow opening up that fire hydrant. I think. Wish me luck.