There’s nothing quite like the thrill of an adventure, right? It’s the reason many of us indulge in the escapades of Indiana Jones, Tintin, Finn and Jake, Dora et al. Maybe Dan could be added to the list, for he’s the protagonist of the new point-and-click adventure Like No Other: The Legend Of The Twin Books.
With developers Actoon Studio proclaiming Like No Other: The Legend Of The Twin Books is easy to pick up, doesn’t require much skill, and is devoid of violence, there’s real potential for it to be a fun and exciting caper that all of the family can enjoy. So, is Dan the man to deliver a memorable experience as he embarks upon his first foray into adventuring, or is Like No Other: The Legend Of The Twin Books one to forget?
Legend has it, there was once a talented artist who created an almost perfect forgery of a book that’s on display at a museum in Red Pines. The replica was so on-point that the staff actually left the original copy behind by mistake while being evacuated from the town during an earthquake. Whether the tale is true, or not, is unknown. Fortunately, an ageing chap named Dan has decided to venture out and find out either way.
There’s not much else to the narrative to be honest and it fails to dig its claws into you from the outset. The development of Dan is lacking and you won’t learn much about him, or his backstory, throughout. As such, I didn’t particularly care for the main character nor the quest undertaken by him. Even the couple of other characters you bump into along the way don’t really add anything worthwhile to the storytelling, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
To further pile on the bad start, the control system doesn’t feel intuitive in the slightest as it requires you to move Dan around and use a cursor simultaneously – one thumbstick for each. Naturally, you’ll want to interact with everything while roaming the streets and building interiors, because you may find something useful. A lot of the interactions lead to a handful of the same seriously boring and pointless comments; don’t expect to hear any charming or quick-witted retorts here, for just like the story, it’s dull.
The good news is that it’s there where most of the criticism is finished, and so the attention can turn towards the more positive aspects of Like No Other. I must say that the inventory-based puzzles are logically sound, with very little outside the box thinking required to solve them. A pet hate of mine is having a cluttered inventory in a point-and-clicker, but you won’t have such issues in Like No Other as there aren’t an abundance of the typical inventory-related problems to fix. In fact, there are other puzzling antics to enjoy.
One of the first you’ll come across is slightly similar to the old Pipe Mania game, albeit this uses squiggly lines on tiles that you flip over instead of rotating pipes. Ensuring all lines are connected is an enjoyable task that won’t be overly difficult to overcome. The other puzzling moments bring a decent mixture of ideas to the table too, with a spot of stealth, a more action-focused towing activity, and a problem involving matching shapes. There’s even a section where you need to outsmart a cleaning robot, which is perhaps the only objective where you have to be cunning.
Upon succeeding at the puzzles within Like No Other, you’ll certainly be pleased with yourself. Sadly there aren’t enough of them for my liking, which is undoubtedly due to the overall experience lasting under two hours long. It’s hard to cram any more in I suppose. As for replayability, you may go through a second time to pick up the collectible caches hidden throughout and searching for them is pretty fun, but chances are you will gather the lot in a single playthrough.
In the visual department, Dan is well designed and looks the part as an old guy readying for his first adventure in a colourfully illustrated world. There’s not much to dislike about the environments you’ll traverse, except for a lack of minor details. It’s nice to look at, but nothing draws the attention of your eyes too often.
Ultimately, Like No Other: The Legend Of The Twin Books fumbles its narrative and fails to give you a reason to be invested in Dan’s inaugural escapade. The control setup isn’t initially welcoming either, but if you stick it out then the point-and-click staples are pretty good. And by that I mean the inventory based problems, as well as the more creative puzzles, will provide enjoyment suitable for the entire family.
The puzzles may just have enough of a pull to make you consider purchasing Like No Other: The Legend Of The Twin Books, but you might need to use your imagination to conjure up an interesting tale to go along with it.
Like No Other is available from the Xbox Store