Lord Winklebottom Investigates: The Case of the Expired Axolotl
If there’s one thing you can say about the point-and-click genre, it’s that it loves to be quirky, and Lord Winklebottom Investigates embraces that to the full. There’s a great humour to its anthropomorphic world setting, casually casting asides at humanity, whose role is reversed with the animal kingdom, amidst a varied cast of characters.
If you’re looking for interesting puzzles with challenging but sensible solutions, this fully voiced and illustrated adventure, in development for PC, consoles and tablets, is worth watching, via its website. We have also covered the game previously.
Diving the furthest back in time at Adventure X was Talesinger, a narrative RPG set in Iron-Age Wales. The demo we played introduced us to apprentice bard Gwen and her master as they begin their journeys together. We were impressed with the characterisation of both characters, bolstered as it was by well-voiced, clay-like animations.
Talesinger claims to involve no combat, focussing instead on magic systems covering songs and stories. In practise, we encountered a rune-crafting system where you matched words on a wheel to match the intended purpose, which was an interesting mechanic. You can find out more about the project and support it on Brightlocker.
Luna, an enigmatic, illustrated point-and-click puzzler from Lantern Studio we’ve covered before, doesn’t shy away from challenge — which is probably why it took me over an hour to finish the demo (sorry, anyone in the queue behind me). The incredible obscurity of its puzzle solutions is intentional, forcing you to look for clues in the curious landscape to progress.
You progress through a series of rooms one above the other in a steep, seemingly endless tower, along with a strange new friend. In an effort to uncover the secret of the tower, you travel upwards. Each room is a separate puzzle, mysterious and beautifully drawn, with its environment providing a unique method to move onto the next room, from pattern recognition to timed jumping puzzles.
A personal favourite was a room where you could navigate to different seasons via a door. You could have each character in a different season at once, and each one would appear different to the other in a way that gave that ‘aha’ moment to solving the puzzle. This transformation then served as a method for solving the remainder of that room’s puzzles.
Luna has a great visual story to tell and because of its difficulty, the sense of achievement you get when you put two and two together without outside assistance is immense. If that sounds interesting to you, you can download the demo and subscribe to its newsletter to keep an eye on it.