The announcement of the Retro Video Game System, a cartridge-based console, is the latest case study in the debate of whether gaming should continue evolving beyond its roots.
The Breakout Preview
Only a few days ago, I was gushing about my love of classic point and click adventure games. After writing the article, I was itching to play a new adventure. Thankfully, I was notified of a demo for a new point and click adventure game currently on Kickstarter known as The Breakout. Set in a World War II POW camp, The Breakout challenges players to control Lt. Guy Kassel, who is shot down in enemy territory and must escape capture from the Axis.
My demo instantly picked up with Guy Kassel’s plane crashing, and I was given direct control. The demo gave me a rather constricted area to explore, with only five total inventory items. Every item I could interact with had a description when I scrolled over it, removing any possibilities for a pixel hunt. While this is a nice touch, I found the objects large and obvious enough to know which ones to click on without the need for descriptions.
My first order of business was to steal a motorcycle from a nearby cottage. The few following puzzles are hilariously easy, presenting you with ‘challenges’ such as using a flare gun on a massive stack of firewood or sticking a fuel tank under an obvious fuel leak. With such easy puzzles, I was able to complete the demo in roughly five minutes or so.
Near the end of the demo, I was spotted by the cottage owner and shot in the chest. Game over. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lose state in an adventure game, especially since a good amount of Adventure Games (Mostly made by Lucasarts) make it impossible to die. The respawn was extremely forgiving, however I don’t know how it will carry over to work in a larger area.
Once I respawned, I realized that my main character’s animation had stopped. I know it’s still in early development, but I guess the tension of trying to flee from the Axis forces is lessened when your main character glides around the level like some sort of air hockey puck. Other than that hiccup, the graphics and animations were all fairly impressive.
I’m honestly unsure of what to think about The Breakout. It has potential, promising a mix between The Great Escape and Monkey Island. At the same time, I wasn’t very thrilled with my short demo. However, with just a little more difficulty added to the puzzles and some more tension, I can see this game being the hero Adventure Gaming needs. With only five days left in funding, I think this kickstarter is worth giving a look.