To some, the point and click-style adventure game feels old. To others, it’s entirely unfamiliar (as a twitch streamer, I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “what type of game is this?”) It’s definitely a classic style of game – I even remember playing hidden object games in my early childhood on my family’s first computer – but these days they’re becoming more popular again, and truthfully the adventure game never really left at all – you just needed to know the studios to keep track of.
Point and click adventures are a fabulous gaming experience because they let you immerse yourself in a world and truly get to know it – searching every corner in order to solve puzzles, talking to every character. You can’t just rush your way through with brute force. They hold a very special place in my heart and are my absolute favourite style of game – which is why I was very thrilled to have a chance to meet with Dave Gilbert, the founder of Wadjet Eye Games, to have a talk about two of their upcoming titles.
Wadjet Eye Games is a Brooklyn-based publisher and developer focusing on adventure games. They’re particularly well-known for the Blackwell Series (all of which can be purchased here in a convenient bundle), but have a pretty wide portfolio to choose from if you need more where that came from.
They also have two promising titles on the way: The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow (Developed by Cloak and Dagger Games) and Old Skies (Developed by Wadjet Eye Games).
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow (Cloak and Dagger Games)
I’ve had my eye on The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow since it was still titled as Incantamentum, and I’m very happy to say that it will be releasing soon, on September 28th. This folk horror narrative-driven adventure takes place far from the hustle and bustle of city streets, set in rural England. When Thomasina receives a letter to the remote countryside, she doesn’t find her contact, but instead distrust and wariness.
While I’m excited about the game in general, two things really stood out about The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow.
The first is the incredible voice acting. A full English cast, the voice acting is skilled, believable, and adds on to the gaming experience. Interestingly enough, the game wasn’t initially being created with voice. When Dave first played a demo, he knew that voice would be a fantastic addition to an already exciting game, and so the partnership between Cloak and Dagger and Wadjet Eye to publish The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow was born. On top of the voices, the game’s sound design is superb – we started looking over the game on a rainy night, and the sounds of the raindrops were lovely, as was the building tension in each scene.
The second is the art style. Pixel art is pretty en vogue these days, but you’ll usually find a modernized, polished version of it. While this is lovely in its own way, Hob’s Barrow really leans into its classic pixel art style, even in animated cutscenes and character profiles. It gives the game a stunning visual edge that’s well-matched to its horror tone and historical setting.
I’m also very pleased to say that we will be reviewing The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow – stay tuned for our thoughts on the game’s September 28 release date!
Old Skies (Wadjet Eye Games)
Old Skies is much further off from its finished version, so unfortunately we don’t have a release date yet. What we do have is a demo, which you can pick up on Steam to take an early look at yourself!
Old Skies is a time travel adventure starring Fia Quinn – a time agent working for ChronoZen. Fia’s job is to help (and watch over) travelers who want to go back to the past. Each traveler has their own reasons to do so, from curiosity to unfinished business, and each wants to travel back to a distinctly different era. As Fia, you’ll travel to seven different times, including Prohibition and the Gilded Age.
Interestingly, you can also die – one of the less common mechanics in adventure games. However, Old Skies takes advantage of its time travel theme. Can you really ever die if time can just be rewound? You’ll retain memories when you rewind back, and through each death you can piece together the right way to move forward.
I loved the art in Old Skies, and the smoothness of the animation – characters even had idle movements while talking! Like Hob’s Barrow, Old Skies will be fully voiced, and given Dave’s passion for voice acting in games I expect it to be equally impressive.
While our meeting was more for a look at demos than an interview, I did have to ask Dave one personally important question – what does he look for when creating or publishing a new adventure game? He told me that he can’t really put it into words, but that he wants to feel something – especially something different.
If you haven’t taken a look at Wadjet Eye Games’ library yet, hopefully you will now! They have lots of classic-style adventure games to choose from, and we’re really excited by what we saw at PAX West. We hope to see you again for our review of The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow on September 28th, but for now – go pick up a point and click to play! There are plenty to choose from out there, and it’s a classic gaming experience for a reason.