If you are an 80’s child/gamer like me you will hold a special place in your heart for point and click adventures. Classics such as Monkey Island and pretty much anything that came out of Lucas Film for the Amiga. Apart from Broken Sword and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld on the PS1 I really struggle to think of a really good point and click adventure that has invoked those same nostalgic feelings. Yorkshire Gubbins hit that spot sweetly last year but is only available on Steam. The Wardrobe, however, has decided to address that issue by releasing on console as well as Steam and boy is it a treat!
It all happened five years ago, during a picnic arranged by Ronald and his best friend Skinny.
Things were going well until Ronald pulled out two very tiny plums from his basket, one for Skinny and one for him. Not knowing about his deadly allergy to plums, Skinny didn’t think twice about eating it, and immediately went into anaphylactic shock which caused his sudden death. Ronald ran off, terrified.
When he woke up, Skinny discovered that he had become a skeleton and been sentenced to live in Ronald’s bedroom wardrobe forever. Since then, Skinny has watched over Ronald constantly, without his knowledge… but now things are going to change! To save his best friend’s soul from eternal damnation, Skinny will be forced to reveal himself and make Ronald admit his ‘crime’. Not a simple challenge at all!
The Wardrobes control system is extremley simple. Press X on the screen to walk there, Hold X to interact with an object and it will bring up four interaction choices. Look, Pick Up, Interact and Talk. A nice addition to the point and click genre is being able to press R1 at any time and see all the items that can be interacted with in that scene ensuring you don’t miss out on anything.
The main character Skinny is witty and funny. Every scene in the game is chock full of pop culture references. There are a ton of cool easter egg/ geek nods to notice. Such as Wreck it Ralph sat on the construction site, The cake is a lie graffiti scrolled on the bedroom wall and my favourite 4 coloured ninja masks and a dead rat hanging from a pipe in the sewers! I must have spotted hundreds of references throughout the game and I am positive there were some I didn’t get or simply missed.
The humour while witty and fun is reminiscent of the Lucas Film classics. Whilst feeling like a solid staple of the genre it seems to be done in reference and not laziness. Everything about The Wardrobe is done with both respect for the giants that went before it and a desire to forge its own identity in a sparse genre of mighty legends.
The puzzles in true point and click style follow some ridiculous and twisted form of logic. Sometimes they can only be achieved by simply trying to merge one item in your inventory with everything else. One puzzle sees you need to help a giant crocodile with his toothache. Using a drill to remove the tooth seems quite logical. How you get the drill bit, however… well you have to figure that out yourself.
To say The Wardrobe is bright and colourful is an understatement. Just look at the screenshots in this article and you can see just how much the colours really pop. It is a wonderful example of how colour can really enhance backdrops. The constant pop culture references have you scanning each scene for something new everytime you enter.
The Wardrobe seems to manage the impossible of feeling modern yet old school at the same time.
The Wardrobe is a nostalgic walk down memory lane for old-school gamers. Yet at the same time brings the point and click adventure into the modern age. Priced at just £11.99 on PSN and £12.99 on steam it is amazing value for money.
It is truly a game that transcends the boundaries of generations. Whilst playing this to review my 14-year-old son’s interest was piqued so much. He turned off Fortnite in order to play with me and try to solve puzzles. In 2018 I can’t find a bigger compliment than that to give to a game