Title: Wily Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town
Publisher: VLG Publishing, WhisperGames
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Available on: PC
Version Tested: PC
Official Site: http://vlgpublishing.com/willy-morgan
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Where To Buy: Steam Store
Point-and-click adventure games have always been a staple for PC gaming, even if the popularity of the genre or names like Monkey Island have been overshadowed by other games nowadays. imaginarylab‘s latest release, Wily Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town seems to be one of the titles that are trying to reinvigorate the genre for younger players. Unfortunately, it didn’t manage to find a happy medium between pleasing newcomers or veterans. As a decent start for another adventure though, it might achieve greater stuff in the future.
The game starts you off as the titular Wily Morgan, son of world-famous adventurer and archaeologist Henry Morgan, suddenly getting a mailed letter from your father who has gone missing without a trace for 10 years. The letter tells you to “go as fast as you can to Bone Town” and to not trust anyone. It’s up to Wily to honor his father’s last wish and to discover what mystery Bone Town is hiding.
The Welcoming Allure of Bone Town
The first thing you’ll notice is the game doesn’t offer much in options. There’s only language selection, resolutions, fullscreen, subtitles, and volume. The second thing, once you get past the main menu, is its stylized 3D graphics. In the same vein to those weird but mesmerizing European cartoons such as Wallace & Gromit or Smurfs, Curse of Bone Town is packed objects with unusual shapes and fish-eye effects. This isn’t surprising though considering imaginarylab seems to be based in Italy.
The pre-rendered backgrounds look nice and add more depth than smaller releases, who focus more on real-time rendering. The accompanying soundtracks are also atmospheric enough to make you enjoy exploring Bone Town, a once-popular tourist attraction but have fallen into disrepair for the last few years.
Unlike most point-and-click games that force you to “pixel hunt” to look for clues and items, Wily Morgan and Curse of Bone Town is generous enough to add an interactable indicator button by holding Space or clicking the top left icon every time you move into an area. This is nice, but it would be better if it’s a permanent toggle so you don’t have to click the icon every time you switch areas or hold down Space all the time. Moreover, once you get into Bone Town, the addition of a fast travel system via the town map is extremely welcomed, especially since Wily doesn’t like running. Perhaps he should’ve fixed his bike again after the crash.
The “Curse” of Bone Town
There isn’t much choice in the dialogue options. Just like any adventure game, most of the time Curse of Bone Town gives you a list of things to say to progress the plot, but if you skip the extra flavor texts, you end up feeling like there’s a conversation missing instead. This makes picking every available option (from top to bottom) always preferred.
And talking about… talking, all characters’ voices fit perfectly in Wily Morgan and Curse of Bone Town. You got the gruff sounding sketchy innkeeper, the calm and stern pastor, the warm and welcoming mayor, and more. They may be unique, but there are weird volume fluctuations in the dialogues and most of the deliveries are a bit wooden. For example, I like Willy’s voice as it fits the plucky, adventurous main character type but his speaking tone barely changes from normal conversations to when stuff gets more urgent or when he finally witnessed a life-changing surprise.
Thankfully, Wily Morgan Doesn’t Overstay Its Welcome
Everything about Wily Morgan and Curse of Bone Town is pretty straight-forward. Puzzles are accessible, make sense (if a bit cartoony at times), and there are no mind-bending, non-sensical solutions or dead-end traps like in old Sierra games. Although, if you’re pretty new to the genre, the very first puzzle could stump you for a good while. Everything after is smooth sailing; just don’t forget to inspect stuff often.
Even the bed-time-story-like plot is very light-hearted to a fault. It’s very predictable and, once you have a good guess where the story is heading, I can assure you, your guesses are completely right. When you’re hoping for a bit more things to do, the story unfortunately ends. Overall it only took me three and a half hours to complete Wily Morgan and Curse of Bone Town. Since the dialogues and puzzles aren’t particularly exciting, there are little reasons to keep coming back. At best you run another playthrough to unlock the secret achievements and looking around for all the classic point-and-click games references this game can throw out.
Thankfully, Wily Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town doesn’t end with a cliffhanger. Every problem Wily stumbled upon or his main motivation to go on an adventure are neatly resolved. imaginarylab simply teased us a promise for future adventures to come.
Verdict: New players won’t find the true potential of adventure games from Curse of Bone Town‘s simplistic story and easy-going puzzles. Experts won’t be easily amused by the references either. Despite that, imaginarylab has made a solid framework for their future endeavors with this title. It may not be an innovative title, but it’s one you won’t regret your time with.
- Streamlined point-and-click gameplay
- Accessible puzzles
- Neat visuals
- Too short
- The voice acting is a bit wooden