July 21, 2011 4 Comments
Point-and-click adventure games were staple of PC gaming for over a decade. Although many hardcore gamers mourned their passing, I couldn’t have possibly cared less. I always found them to be as dull as a rusty butter knife. Then again I was around ten-years-old when they died out. By time I was old enough to appreciate them, I didn’t see the big deal. The appeal of stuff like Myst, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, or even the beloved Grim Fandango were just completely lost on me. Sure, the writing was occasionally well above the standard of most games, but getting there meant having to slog through the laziest style of game design this side of Tic-Tac-Toe. You find objects, click them against other objects, and hope something happens. How can anybody be shocked that this genre didn’t last?
Well now it’s 2011 and these games are having a mild resurgence. Mostly this is in the form of hidden object games like Mystery Case Files. Others rely on text-heavy, logic puzzle based design such as the mildly enjoyable Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis. Even if Watson creeped me the fuck out. And I really, really enjoyed the Professor Layton series on the Nintendo DS. But I still mostly don’t get these games. They seem to cater to people who want to “play” a “game” with as minimal game as possible but find the Metal Gear Solid series too involved.
Now that I have my own gaming blog with a handful of loyal readers, I feel obligated to try genres I never particularly cared for. Thus when I saw Tourist Trap hit the marketplace yesterday I knew I would have to plug my nose and dive in. It’s a typical item fetching click-a-thon where you’re trapped in a wacky museum. There you learn about how the moon was colonized and some guy fought a dragon and other loony bullshit. The museum is haunted by the ghost of a Jackalope who drove the founder of the museum to suicide with insults.
The story is as squirrely as they get. As for the gameplay, it’s exactly what you would expect. Pick something up, rub it on something else, rinse and repeat. Early on you have to take a quiz, so pay close attention to the crazy shit that’s said. Some of you might require alcohol to make it through this part, and that’s okay. Late in the game, you catch fire and can die unless you find the right thing to use on yourself to put out the flame. After that, you light some torches and that’s it. I tried to light the torches using myself but apparently the game frowns on that. The whole experience took me about 45 minutes, which is likely the length of its development time as well.
The graphics would fit in with the Nintendo 64, with flat textures and, in my opinion, a poor choice in color schemes. The shinning design choice here was using public domain songs from the 1930s. The song choices do give the game a foreboding vibe to it. But that’s all for naught, as there were no spooky scare moments. I actually expected to see the Jackalope stalking me, but he never appears unless you make a correct choice with your items. This was a lost opportunity. Overall, I didn’t care very much for Tourist Trap but I wasn’t this game’s target audience in the first place. Having said that, if you’re one of those weirdos who actually likes this type of game then I’m sure you’ll find this too short and shallow, like the deep end of Danny DeVito’s swimming pool.
80 Microsoft Points rubbed themselves against a tube of toothpaste to create liquid nitrogen for a jetpack in the making of this review.
SPOILER WARNING Tourist Trap game solution: Since posting this last week, one of the most popular Google searches that is leading people here is an explanation how to beat this piece of shit. First off, my condolences to the many Microsoft points lost to this game.
Since the specific question that is searched the most is how to put yourself out when you catch fire, I’ll let you in on that. But first, you have to promise to read at least two other reviews here and fall madly in love with my wit, grace, humor, and most of all, humility. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
When you catch fire, quickly make your way to the display shelf by the cash register. Once there, grab the syrup from it, open your inventory, and choose to use it on yourself. That’s it, problem solved. After this all that’s left is to light the six torches that surround the building. If you’ve made it this far you should know which items is needed to do that. By the way, if you actually needed help with this game I must say you are a certified retard.