Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Whether or not you got to experience the 80s yourself, there’s no denying that there’s a massive nostalgia factor for it and Epic Llama Games’ Unusual Findings delivers. Channeling a bit of weirdness right before our Halloween, even if Unusual Findings happens a bit before Christmas, our protagonists find themselves in a crazy plot doing what teenagers do best. Getting themselves into trouble.
Starting off grounded in your room as our main protagonist Vinny, you’re already presented with a choice as your father takes away your gaming console. I mean, you weren’t “supposed” to be playing anyways. You’re grounded. Apologize for blowing up the neighbor’s front garden with your friends Nick and Tony, or don’t. Either way, you’re losing your console and this leads to one of the most important elements of Unusual Findings. Try. EVERYTHING.
While always in direct control of Vinny, Nick and Tony will always be by Vinny’s side as they are just as important as Vinny. Each has their own set of skills, like Vinny being the leader, Tony being the IT guy, as even in the 80s, you had the IT guy, and Nick is… Nick. Kidding, Nick does have a set of skills but those are for you to find out! So while in control, you as the player, can click around the screen to move your party around or interact with an interaction point in one of three ways. You can look at it, you can talk to it, or you can grab it. Simple in concept and in execution, making it through this adventure may be anything but.
And that’s a good thing.
Unusual Findings isn’t what I would call hard, but it’s a solid Point and Click adventure that’s going to cause you to think. While thinking at times can be easy enough as you’ll take one look at the scenario with your Sherlock Holmes hat, there are plenty of others where you may be tempted to rotate the screen for even just an inkling of what to do. It’s also entirely possible at that point in time that there is nothing to do because you may not have the item needed on hand, or, you do but you don’t know it yet.
When I say try EVERYTHING, I mean it as I was oftentimes stuck trying to figure out how to move forward because I didn’t merge two specific items in my inventory. I had tried other combinations, but the ones that I specifically needed? Nah, why try that, that’ll never work… oh. Well then, time to move forwards! Other times, you may still be missing the required items either because you haven’t come across them, you haven’t moved something out of the way, or, you haven’t distracted the person who’s currently in your way to get to it.
All of these scenarios can be solved easily enough if you explore everywhere that you have access to, and again, try everything while exploring them. This is also where Unusual Findings is going to be throwing the charm and the 80s nostalgia at you. Kids these days (I was born in the 80s, grew up in the 90s, I’m allowed!) will never know what it was like before the dark times… errr times before the internet, smart phones, and not knowing what it was like to go into a video rental store and not be able to rent what you had been looking forward to all week. ALL WEEK.
This setting, alongside a stellar voice cast and great gameplay options, makes Unusual Findings a hell of an experience to go through. Only adding to this is that there’s a replayability to Unusual Findings as all of your original choices lead you to one potential ending. With three available endings, and trophies / achievements for each selected major choice, there’s no reason to not simply restart and then choose everything that hadn’t been previously chosen. It’s only natural to want to know where the other path leads.
If I were to have one “complaint” about Unusual Findings it would be within the controls. While they are often fairly solid and work great with a gamepad, because of how some of the interactive elements are designed, it can be a bit of challenge to move your characters around some of these areas. When trying to figure out what you could be missing and revisiting time and time and time again, it would have been nice to be able to pan the camera to click on a further point in order to move. Because other than that? Everything else worked great.
Overall, Epic Llama Games’ Unusual Findings delivers a fantastic 80s based Point and Click nostalgic adventure. Between the crazy plot, the well written and even better voiced characters and a well designed interactive gameplay, whether you were there for the 80s or not, you should be there for this!Score: 8.5 / 10