Heavily inspired by the LucasArts and Sierra classics of yesteryear, A Boney Night does not do much to stand out in the crowd. That said, it’s still an enjoyably short, retro point-and-click adventure, featuring hand-drawn backgrounds and original music. Plus, there’s a talking mushroom that you basically pepper-spray in order to bottle its tears. I know I have your attention now.
A Boney Night‘s story is something akin to a one-off episode of a Saturday morning cartoon. For some reason, I keep thinking about The Smurfs, for whatever its worth. Undra, a witch witnessing her later years in life, is suddenly awoken to her talking mushroom making a racket outside. Unfortunately, she needs to create a potion to be able to comprehend its words, and so the quest begins there. Once you do hear what it has to say, you’ll learn that a great evil is taking over the land. Spoilers: it’s zombies. Help Undra stop the undead by teaming her up with Kijo the surprisingly sensitive orc and creating more powerful potions.
Your clickable actions are threefold: examine, touch, and talk. You can do this for every item, person, and noun you come across in the wild, as well as whatever thoughts you have in your inventory. I suggest examining everything at least once, as it sometimes does advance the plot or give you a hint about what you need to do next. All of the puzzles are fairly logical, though I stumbled for a moment on “a dash of honesty” during the first repel aura potion Undra had to make. Here’s a clue: look inside the orc. Despite there only being three actions, I still found it tiring to cycle through them, but I guess that’s just part of that old-school adventuring charm.
A couple small critiques. Strangely, there’s a save/load function included in A Boney Night, but the game seems like you can complete it under an hour. I think I was probably around the thirty-five or forty minute mark, taking my time to read everything and explore all areas. Not really sure if you’d ever need to save your progress, especially since you can’t lose or screw anything up by missing an item. While the game features some catchy original songs, especially the one that plays at Undra’s home, it also does not contain any sound effects, which is a little jarring. I really wanted to hear some loud whooshing when I released that wind potion on the walnut tree. Pretty sure those old LucasArts/Sierra games had sound effects…right?
I ended up downloading A Boney Night to enjoy on my laptop in bed under the heated blanket (what, too much information?), but it looks like you can now play an HTML version of it right in your browser. If you’re looking for a retro point-and-click adventure game starring a witch sporting an attitude and wicked beehive hairdo, here you go.