When I first laid eyes on Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, I was immediately transported back to my early days of playing video games. Adventure games such as Monkey Island, the Indiana Jones series, and more from developer and publisher Lucas Arts, colored much of my childhood. While fancy technological achievements in video games have mostly replaced these classic point-and-click adventure games, they do present a unique gaming experience that I believe everyone should have. Developer Imaginarylabs and Italian publisher VLG thought the same when they brought Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town to life.
Off to Bone Town on Your Bicycle
You’re placed in the role of Willy, whose father has gone missing a long time ago under somewhat questionable circumstances. Add in a mysterious letter that Willy discovers pointing him to Bone Town, and the adventure is afoot. As you get used to the controls, which are as simple as clicking where you want to go and what actions you want to perform, you begin by solving the game’s first initial puzzle, assembling your bicycle. The various parts are hidden throughout Willy’s home, some more obvious than others. It’s a great introduction to the classic adventure game mechanics of grabbing everything that’s not nailed down and then trying to combine everyday items into useful tools to accomplish your task.
Bone Town itself is lovingly detailed, though not terribly complicated. You begin by following clues left by your father, which leads you to meet each of the fifteen NPCs. To the surprise of nobody, everyone’s either got a task for you, a puzzle to solve, or a secret to hide. Willy’s a crafty kid, one who’s clearly played adventure games himself, and so the secrets don’t last too long, and your adventure is over fairly quickly. Unless you get stuck on the most obvious of all puzzles, of course. I’m totally not speaking from experience here.
Remember the Good Ol’ Days
Old folks like myself will feel very comfortable immediately and will scoff at some of the helpful hints the game provides. It’s effortless to determine which items in a scene can be interacted with, which does take a bit of the old hunt-and-peck method away from the player. However, it is a nice feature, especially for the potentially younger audience. I would highly encourage those of you with the ability to show this game to a younger generation to impart some of your experience and wisdom. Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is designed for both veterans looking to rekindle a love they haven’t experienced for a while as well as those that have never been exposed to this classic gameplay style.
Gamers familiar with the titles that inspired Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town will find several nods to the classics. References and Easter eggs can be found all over Bone Town and range from hidden items to humorous lines of dialog. Overall it’s a nice trip down memory lane and an excellent introduction for newcomers to the genre. The flipside of the nostalgia coin is that nothing here is innovative or new. If you’ve recently replayed some of the classic adventure titles on your retro battle station, or perhaps tried your hand at one of the remasters from Lucas Arts, you may find Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town a little bit lacking.
Sometimes it Really is That Simple
Most puzzles in Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town are straight-forward and follow the proven principle of combining items into a solution. Sometimes it’s obvious, and other times not so much. Most of the time, however, the answer stares you right into the face. You can also pretty much brute force any obstacle in the game by merely trying all available options. Willy will always tell you if you’re trying to do something stupid, leaving not a whole lot to the imagination. I suppose that makes things more friendly for the newcomers, but it can get a bit repetitive for experienced adventure hunters.
Before too long, you’ll find yourself at the conclusion of Willy’s adventure and solving the mysteries of Bone Town and the disappearance of his father. Completing the entirety of Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town took me only around five hours. At a retail price of $19.99, however, that’s not too bad. Imaginarylabs and VLG have certainly created an enjoyable adventure that is faithful to the formula of the classics that came a long time before it. If you’re an old fan of the series or have someone you want to introduce to the experience of these classic adventure titles, then Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is a great place to start.