Many many years ago Maniac Mansion was among my favourite games, yet years on, various remakes of titles like Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island seem to have covered most bases on the ageing point and click adventure.
I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the slow paced puzzlers, but with a good story and plenty of challenging puzzles, I’ll occasionally get hooked so I jumped into the Armikrog fortress with an open mind.
The game begins with little in the way of direction, you control an odd looking character known as Tommynaut and his faithful companion Beak-beak, You can switch control between man and his dog with each offering a slightly different style, Tommy is obviously human
like, so can open doors, pull handles and climb much easier than his four legged friend.
Beak-beak (Let’s stick with Beak) is a little less able when your trying to climb up a tricky vine, however he can access small holes that Tommy can’t get through and while he’s colourblind, Beak can pick up various wavelengths which offer possibility to a range of character switching puzzles that are sure to test your metal.
Initially some of the challenges seemed quite a bit more of a challenge than I would anticipate in the early stages of a game with little hand holding, but experience in previous point and clicks will push you in the right direction. The overall variety is pretty impressive with some puzzles requiring some degree of exploration and plenty of patience, relying heavily on a gamer’s patience is never the best method and the constant back’n’forth between rooms which are commonly similar meaning repetitiveness soon rears it’s ugly head.
Thankfully there’s plenty to keep you interested, even when things do start to feel a little familiar, scattered throughout are some genuinely fun puzzles, and that’s before we touch the graphics and presentation.
As soon as you start on your escape from Armikrog, you’re sure to be hooked by the fun and high quality animation and presentation, with an art-style matched perfectly with some catchy music will leave you in awe of the audio-visual direction.
Gameplay wise, it’s a pretty solid affair with only a few issues where the cursor just doesn’t seem to catch it’s target. While the PC issue was plagued with early issues, the numerous patches seem to have gone some way to fixing things.
Unfortunately, the graphics, sound and overall quality only go some way towards the final product and while mostly positive, that repetitiveness is always an issue, even though we’re looking at a fairly short story it makes the overall product feel slightly rushed and unfortunately the characters and story just didn’t come across as interesting enough to make me think otherwise.