When embarking on a perilous point and click adventure to save the world, rescue people in distress, or retrieve a precious golden cookie coveted by evildoers, there are numerous puzzling obstacles to overcome which could leave you baffled. That’s generally just the nature of the age-old genre; a genre that right now is thriving due to developers coming up with various different takes on the point and click experience, incorporating fresh elements and making it more approachable.
If you’re up to the task, it’s time for one last adventure as we attempt to discover 5 of the best Xbox Point and Click Adventures of 2020. So, grab a backpack and stuff it with as many random items as you can for the journey ahead. Who knows when the half-empty tube of toothpaste or inconspicuous ornament will come in handy!
We find ourselves stopping off in the world of Memoranda first, a game developed by Bit Byterz which is inspired by the works of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The tale follows a young woman who gradually realises that she’s becoming forgetful, to the point where even remembering her own name is a problem. Is it simply that she’s actually losing her memory, or could there be another explanation for the situation at hand?
As a result of the influence from Haruki Murakami, what appears to be an ordinary story soon becomes utterly surreal and you’ll end up surrounded by weird anthropomorphic animals, the presence of ghosts, and even talking objects. These are brought to life wonderfully using charming hand-drawn art, which combines interestingly designed characters with lovely environments that are full of great shading and lighting effects. And to cap it off, the voiceovers are of such an excellent standard that it truly captures the madcap narrative.
Paying attention to everything within this rather magical setting is crucial to making progress, with clues in the most unlikely of places. You see, while the solutions to the inventory-based puzzles in Memoranda start off fairly straightforward, they do get rather more cryptic throughout and so a certain amount of frustration is expected – to the point where you may end up looking for help!
Nevertheless, if you’re after a bizarre adventure featuring an odd bunch of characters, complemented by beautiful artwork, then Memoranda ticks those boxes.
In a complete shift from the relaxing, cool visuals of Memoranda, the next offering is definitely more on the spooky side. Goetia transports us to a chilling Victorian setting for a mystery involving a ghostly spirit and her desire to uncover what went on in her, now ruined, family home.
Blackwood Manor was once a splendid residence, but the orb-like remnants of young Abigail Blackwood rise from the grave to find out that the entire family legacy is in tatters. All we know is that something related to the occult is to blame, with more details accrued through documentation located as you’re roaming the manor and the surrounding areas. In order to traverse the rooms freely, certain abilities must be acquired and objects need possessing for use in solving problems.
It’s the atmospheric world of Goetia that’s the most admirable aspect though, capturing the olden, eerie vibes. There’s also a terrific attention to detail in regards to the furniture recreation as well as the bits and pieces you’ll encounter, helping to tie together the gameplay and the lore.
One thing’s for sure: Goetia on Xbox definitely won’t be a breeze. Even with ghostly powers, the puzzles are challenging, but it’s worth the effort for a really clever point and click adventure.
The Office Quest
We love to test the old grey matter as much as you do, however point and clickers can be just as enjoyable with more emphasis on the fun side, instead of trying to complicate things for the sake of ‘puzzles’. Fortunately, former mobile game The Office Quest and its developers 11Sheep absolutely gets that.
Bored of his mundane office job, the nameless character at the heart of The Office Quest gets taken on a whimsical goose-chase following a red orb. Why? Who knows, but there are more important questions to ponder, especially when everyone is looking silly wearing themed onesies. It’s a world full of interesting personalities dressed up like animals and items of food, which just adds to the slapstick humour. There’s no dialogue either, ensuring it’s an even more impressive feat in conveying what’s occurring so brilliantly.
Although the use of inventory items to solve puzzles is a fairly standard routine for this genre, it’s the mini-games that truly shine here. Not only will they put you through your paces with a novel little Mensa IQ test, but also a version of Sudoku, Simon, Noughts & Crosses and a platforming segment.
As long as you aren’t longing for a full-on storytelling masterpiece, The Office Quest is brimming with funny situations, intriguing puzzles and a real variety of mini-games. Whack on a onesie and don’t look back!
When The Past Was Around
Before telling you about the penultimate title, we recommend procuring tissues, for it’s going to be an emotional ride. Ready? Okay, it’s When The Past Was Around, which promises to delve into the ups and downs of love, loss, and the road to moving on from such heartache.
In When The Past Was Around, you’ll meet Eda, who is head-over-heels in love with an Owlman. Through a series of disjointed memories, it becomes abundantly clear that all is not well in this love story; each section plays out her many struggles to come to terms with what’s happening to her muse. Due to the lack of voiceovers and text-based dialogue, it’s essentially going to rely on you interpreting the narrative, which is easy to do when everything is depicted so beautifully and wonderfully. The hand-drawn art and relaxing soundtrack really draw you in, to the point where you feel every emotion.
Furthermore, the puzzles aren’t designed to frustrate nor bloat the longevity, they just naturally weave into the tale and create a decent mixture of problems. There’s logic throughout, with clues to solutions within every nook and cranny, ensuring you’re fully engaged in proceedings. It must be said that piecing together the clues to work out the answers is rather satisfying too.
While When The Past Was Around on Xbox Series X|S will tug on the heartstrings, there’s plenty of charm and warmth to be had. It’s enlightening, generally lovely and won’t be too taxing on the brain.
Lair of the Clockwork God
And now, it’s time for something completely different. Arguably the best point and click adventure of the year is actually a hybrid, infusing the classic genre with platforming. But that’s just barely scratching the surface when describing the brilliant Lair of the Clockwork God.
The two protagonists, Ben and Dan, have very different ideas for how adventures should unfold. Ben loves a good chinwag and collects useless tat for his backpack, while Dan is full of energy and wants to run, jump and push things around. The culmination of this sees the best of both aforementioned genres brought into the experience as these long-time friends attempt to save the world. The fate of everyone relies upon the conversational skills and innovative ideas of Ben, and the platforming abilities of Dan. Yep, we’re doomed.
First and foremost, the satirical approach in Lair of the Clockwork God is going to have you in stitches. The writing is spot on with perfectly timed jokes, self-deprecating humour, and a fair few well-placed shots at the gaming industry. Funny moments aside, barely any dialogue between the characters is wasted as it looks to strengthen your attachment to the story and occasionally win you over with blatant nostalgia.
The level designs are deserving of praise too, seeing you racing across platforms akin to a spiky blue hedgehog one minute, before partaking in a creepy stealth-based segment the next. Developers Size Five Games even managed to squeeze in parodies of VR experiences and visual novels, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.
There’s no doubt Lair of the Clockwork God will make you laugh, but it’s one of those rare offerings which possesses a whole load of cracking ideas that have seldom been seen before on the Xbox Store.
So, there we have it, those are 5 of the best Xbox Point and Click Adventures of 2020 and we’d recommend checking them out. Do you have a favourite point and clicker from this year? Let us know what it is via the comments section below, especially if it didn’t make our list!