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PC Game Review
It’s never easy making your way in a post epidemic dystopia. Michael Bezzle, is a small fish in a big pond, not one to attract attention, unfortunately he has come to the attention of the all-powerful corporation, Unicorp. Can Michael duck the law and marry his girl...?
Hoodwink is a new point and click comedic adventure game by the novice Malaysian based E-One Studio, which created many of its tools from scratch. This is the company's first game to come to market and harkens back to a time when games were more thoughtful, less frenetic.
There are a number of basic options which can be played with prior to starting the game, mostly small adjustments to the sound and graphic resolution. Be warned, the minimum specs of the box are not just for show, whereas most games will run, albeit slowly, Hoodwink just crashes. You can also play the game in a number of European languages, with hints and subtitles. There are three difficulty settings, Bluff, Con Job and Hoodwink.
It’s a shame that there is not an option to change the mouse sensitivity as the default setting makes some actions unnecessarily frustrating. Almost from the start you have to turn a handle, now it’s bad enough that the on-screen pointer is difficult enough to control, but it’s worse that the game will let go of the handle even though you haven’t let go of your mouse button. It’s the little moments like this that makes the gaming experience less than it should be. Most people will buy the game for the story and puzzles, not to waste time trying to wrestle with the interface.
Starting the game, the first thing that you notice is the beautifully rendered environment which looks like a pencil and water colour painting. You start in a small office looking for matches, after all every good detective story starts with a cigar. Movement is fairly straight forward, click to an area and your character will walk towards it. For the most part this works well, though Bezzle has a tendency to walk sideways, which is a little odd. There are hints aplenty, and as you wave your pointer around the game will also highlight areas you can interact with.
So, we are in the familiar territory of walking around, picking everything up and trying to work out what the hell we are supposed to be doing. The game goes for a futuristic film noir feeling, even if the lead character looks a lot like a cross between a punk and Frodo Baggins.
Minor annoyances aside, the overall game is reasonably good, the voice acting can be a little cheesy, but then noir is notoriously difficult to pull off and the line between gritty and cheesy is minuscule. The soundtrack by Leon Willett is atmospheric, adding much to the overall feel of the game. The game displays a quirky sense of humour. In Act One poor old Michael only wants to get some flowers for his girl, so that he can propose to her, a simple task, you might think, until Michael discovers that they are guarded by a mutant plant, called Munchies.
Things pretty much carry on in this vein as Michael tries to get his girl, whilst at the same time falling foul of the law.
The game has a unique look and overall it’s an enjoyable experience. Mouse problems aside, the game offers tasks and puzzles which range from easy to difficult, but none were illogical and if you’re stuck, the hint system will help you out. If you like point and click games then Hoodwink offers something which is a little different.