Let’s take a look at … – Bulb Boy

Classic Lucas Art’s point-and-click games, such as Maniac Mansion and Grim Fandango, are a unique style of game where you solve mysteries by finding items, talking to the right people, and visiting the right locations to progress the story. They usually require a lot of thought on what items to use and when, and can be somewhat tedious as a result, even though the story might be the real payoff. Bulb boy is a short, simple point-and-click adventure game that doesn’t rely on story to make it fun, the gameplay and overall silliness of the game do that just fine.

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You start off in a room with your flying dog and grandfather. You’re “bulb boy”, and you see your grandfather get taken away by a monster, of sorts, and have to find a way to get him back. This starts off a room-by-room, point-and-click puzzle adventure that lasts about 2 hours. Each item you find will be used in the room you are currently in and doesn’t require a lot of inventory management which I found to be refreshing. You use the items in logical ways to solve the room puzzle and then move on to the next.

Most rooms are comprised of roughly 5-6 interactions that usually include a boss fight. Finding a way to not get killed while you hunt the room for items to use it is key. In one instance, you fight a walking turkey that will eat you immediately upon seeing you. If it starts to come close, find one of the various hiding spots in the room to hide your glowing head, and it will walk right past you allowing you to explore more and solve the puzzle.

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The art style is very twisted though adorable. Bulb boy is a little guy that glows to illuminate the room around him, revealing monsters and death scenes that are mildly gruesome, but not distasteful. I laughed a few times, and cringed at others, but I was charmed by this game even though it was so short. I really enjoyed the flashback scenes in where life is grand and no monsters loom. They still function as a point-and-click mechanic but don’t involve the fear of death and having to restart.

I wanted to mention lastly that the game does save for you in pivotal points so if you do die, you won’t have to restart the whole level. It’s a great feature.

Tl:dr – Bulb Boy is about a 2-hour point-and-click adventure game which was a successful Kickstarter project that launched late last year. It’s charming, creepy, and gross, but overall adorable in the way it presents itself. Even though it is short it provided a lot of fun and a decent challenge to make it worth playing. Though it’s hard to say if it’s worth the admission price of roughly $10.00, I would definitely recommend playing it, especially if you are looking for a less stressful point-and-click adventure game.

Rating – 9/10

Purchase – Steam £6.99/$9.99

Trailer  –

Let’s take a look at … – STASIS

STASIS is a sci-fi point-and-click adventure game from The Brotherhood. Kickstarted back in 2013, STASIS received $132,523 of its $100,000 target, and today launches on both Steam and GOG. Inspired by the game Sanitarium, and made by a one-man-band Chris Bischoff over the past five years, STASIS promises a true, horror sci-fi experience. Let’s take a look.

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STASIS starts with an awesome, movie-like introduction, showing a ship flying through space. The music, art, and direction show clearly already that the title is not lacking production value. You wake up on an abandoned ship, fresh out of a stasis chamber, with no recollection of what’s happened. The last thing you remember is you, your wife, and your daughter were heading to Titan.

You are alone. Not only on the ship, but in regards to gameplay and problem solving; you are truly on your own. There are no goals, no objectives, and no tips on where to go next. Only through meticulous exploration of your environment, and taking careful note of your surroundings, and the scraps of information provided, will you be able to progress.

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Gameplay is typical of point-and-click adventure, and the isometric environments help pull you into the environment. The art utilizes pre-rendered 3D environments, with a gritty, film-grain like layer atop. It creates a very grungy atmosphere, that when coupled with the ambient backing track, and the terrifying sounds the ship makes, creates a very tense and uneasy feeling.

The music and sound in STASIS go a long way, and thanks to the highly successful Kickstarter campaign, two world class musicians, Mark Morgan and Daniel Sadowski worked on the project. Same goes for the excellent voice acting. The Kickstarter funds also allowed professional voice actors Ryan Cooper, and Rebecca McCarthy to join the project. All interaction is excellently narrated which goes further in immersing you in the experience.

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The game starts somewhat slowly at first. You’ve taken damage and are ill, so can’t move too fast. Your first task is to find medical help. You come across an old machine that can help, and the first puzzle presented is to get it up and running. This is a great example of how the game doesn’t molly-coddle you, and leaves it up to you. There are no prompts on where to go. No suggestions on how things work, you just have to work things out. There is a circuit breaker on the wall, and to learn how to use it you have to press all the buttons and see what happens. It’s authentic, and the sense of adventure and the unknown is great.

Information is gained by exploring items, and reading computer terminals. Often, things like this can feel disjointed from the task at hand, and somewhat superfluous. Asif you’re going out of your way to learn extra, non-critical information, but not with STASIS. Everything is relevant to the storyline, and you need to gather the information in order to continue. It’s just you, the operating system that runs the ship, and your intrigue.

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After more delving, and puzzle solving, you discover that you appear to be on a scientific research ship that’s been running for 50 years. How long you’ve been here for god only knows. As you explore the ship further things start taking a turn for the macabre. Corpses lie in empty corridors, screams radiate throughout, and shadows of creatures scurry past the edges of your vision. I’ve also come across another human, and have been instructed to leave the area I’m in immediately. Things are ramping up, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they’re taking me.

Narrative plays a large part in what makes STASIS great. Diligent reading and exploration will yield the greatest results, and you’ll get out of it what you put it. I think if you rush through it, just solving the puzzles in order to move forward, you might have a lesser experience.

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I’m about an hour and a half into STASIS, and it’s clear that a rich and well produced journey lies ahead. A grungy and rich aesthetic makes the environments real, and the excellent voice acting brings the characters to life. I love the fact that the game really leaves you in your own. It’s a true adventure game, not ‘Go Here, Do This, Collect That’. If you don’t have a sharp mind and approach the environment diligently you won’t get too far. For fans of adventure games, STASIS is a must-play.

Tl:dr – STASIS is a sci-fi, horror, point and click adventure game. With great production value, including the effort of great musicians, and professional voice actors, a fitting world is created to host the rich narrative. It doesn’t hold your hand, and it requires a sharp mind and key eye to progress. You’ll get out of it what you put in, and if you invest in it you will be rewarded with a great experience.

Rating – 8.5/10

Purchase – Steam £18.99 | GOG £18.99 (£15.29 with launch discount)

Trailer –