By Franceen Robles on July 27, 2016 at 9:44pm
A quick search on Steam and it’s evident that there are point-and-click games aplenty. From horror stories to mystery-sniffing detectives to just a humorous jaunt down some lane, there’s always something available to cover this type of game. Yet Bryce Covert, the one-man team from Digital Bounce House, wanted something different. Something that goes against the norm of uber-heroic, super adventurous, ultra nail biting, and highly noble adventures. His response: “Tick’s Tales: Up All Knight.”
“Tick’s Tales” is an adventure point-and-click game sporting retro-style graphics and a narrative that doesn’t cater to the usual. Our titular character, Tick, is everything a hero is not: weak, easily scared, mischievous, and selfish. He really just wants to win the heart of the town beauty, Georgia McGorgeous.
Pulling out the Sword of Blergh wouldn’t hurt either.
The game starts you up in a dream sequence where it holds no punches back in showing its humor. It also serves as a tutorial of sorts, showing players how to use key items and manage their inventory. Everything is straightforward even though there are multiple choices for dialogue - the other choices are there simply to deliver humor. Once we’re awake, we are thrust smack-dab in the middle of town where we get our first quest. Loaded with that information, off to our adventure we go.
“Tick’s Tales” is a small game with only nine screens to travel through for the first half of the game. It’s also a testament to the game’s length - it can be finished in a few hours if you don’t get stuck in any of the puzzles. The meat of the game happens during daytime,where we get three quests simultaneously. There’s no required sequence to complete the quests, but their completion depends on when you get the necessary items. You also have a few more puzzles to be completed one at a time during the night.
The puzzles for this game are simple for the most part, but some players may find themselves unable to progress on a few of them. It’s not that the puzzles are hard and obscure, it’s simply because the solutions are very linear. Any alternatives you might think of will not work, such as using a balloon’s string for string instead of wool, or chopping open a teddy bear to get its white stuffing out because you can’t get the sheep to move closer to you.
In the grand scheme of things, the proper solutions make more sense. I knew I had to get wool but the sheep was too far away. Feeding it with carrots did not work (apparently, I had to click the ground with the carrot instead of clicking directly on the sheep) so I explored other options. I like that point-and-click games such as “Tick’s Tales” encourages creative thinking when needed, but it’s not fun when the difference between solving a puzzle and going nowhere is not clicking on that pixel perfect spot.
The humor is also good. I broke a smile here and there for some of the jokes that I found funny, while some of them were simply too obvious for me. Thankfully, the game was short so I never had to feel as if the humor was over-staying its welcome. The developer seemed to acknowledge this as well when he wrote one of the jokes to go on longer as intended, only to have Tick cut it short for us. The typical key-on-lock puzzle was also made fun of before actually making you perform that solution yourself.
And just like how this review is suddenly ending, I reached the game’s conclusion so suddenly that I was speechless for a few seconds. I’m not saying that to disparage the game in any way, especially if you consider the wordplay in the game’s title. I was simply taken aback when the game ended; I was just getting warmed up for more pointing and clicking! All loose ends were tied up and everything ended happily ever after. “Tick’s Tales: Up All Knight” is definitely a fun and quick nod to the adventure games of yesteryear.