Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is a wonderful throwback to the old days of point and click adventure. A great throwback to the old days of titles such as Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island. Let’s take a look at what imaginarylab has to offer.
Willy Morgan details the adventures of the titular Willy, as he receives a letter from his archaeologist father who disappeared ten years ago. So off Willy goes, down to Bone Town in order to figure out the mystery behind his father’s disappearance. Willy will meet the remaining residents of Bone Town, a town that’s on its hind legs and starting to become a ruin of its former self. In the preview, we get introduced to some of the residents: the innkeeper, the librarian, the mayor, and a new resident who decided to open up a bar in a failing town. All the characters are rather unique and quirky, and are interesting to interact with.
Willy Morgan works mostly like any old-school point and click adventure: you click on things to interact with them, click on the ground somewhere to walk to it, and click on inventory items to inspect/combine them. To put it in a bit more perspective if you haven’t played a point and click before (for shame), you will roaming around the environment, looking for items and objects that can help you get other items you need, or help you to get into places you otherwise would be unable to. You can also use items on other items in your inventory to combine them.
Like all good point and click titles, this is met with a combination of puzzle solving, roaming around to find something you’ve definitely missed, frustration, and feeling dumb when you finally work out a puzzle (Editor’s Note: Can confim). Willy Morgan helps out a bit in this regard with the option to toggle on an “inspection” sort of mode, where any object that can be interacted with will be displayed on the screen as a sort of orange target.
Honestly I sort of have mixed feelings about this, as on the one hand, it saves a load of frustration if you just simply clicked a little too far off to actually hit the target, but on the other hand I’m old (Editor and Editor in Chief’s Note: He doesn’t know what being old is) and bitter about games that don’t provide that option and how “kids these days” have it easy. Yes I used the feature, no I don’t regret it. There’s no way I would’ve noticed the sign hole otherwise. The only problem is, at the moment, that if you bring up a letter or the map while the mode is turned on, the interaction points appear through the map.
Speaking of maps, the area of Bone Town you have to explore isn’t all that big, at least in the demo version. You are given a map that allows fast travel around which can be handy, as sometimes the streets of Bone Town can get a little confusing. Speaking of confusing, I have to hand it to the development team, as there were only two puzzles that stumped me for a while, one of which made me feel like a idiot when I finally got it, and the other was in the tutorial. Speaking of the tutorial, when I first started up the game my first thought was “this seems kind of like Day of the Tentacle”, quickly followed by “Is that a Day of the Tentacle poster on Willy’s wardrobe?” followed by “Yes it is.”, so you know inspiration was taken from a good place.
The art style is very cartoon-y, reminiscent of those old games you loved in your childhood, while not being grainy and tough to view like some “retro style” titles try and do. The scenery might be a little drab, but that is on purpose, and the amount of detail and little cameos and references thrown in throughout the game really bring it to life. I will call out the fact that, as of writing this, the only voice acting you get is in the tutorial section, which left me wondering when I was going to get the voiceovers back later. Keep in mind this may change for the full release however.