In its heyday the point and click adventure genre ruled PC gaming. The 1990s were generally considered the golden age of the genre with many of the most popular franchises being released including the Monkey Island series. As technology improved the popularity of the genre started to die down as most people moved onto other genres. The indie video game scene has really started to bring the genre back though as fans of those games from the 1990s have tried to recreate what fans loved most about the genre. I was never a big fan of the genre when I was a kid, but I have come to really appreciate it in recent years. I bring this up because Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town seems to have been inspired by the classic point and click games including Monkey Island in particular. Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is a fun little point and click game inspired by classic games from the genre that fans should enjoy even if it is a little on the easy side.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank imaginarylab, VLG Publishing, and WhisperGames for the review copy of Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
In Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town you play as the titular character Willy Morgan. Ten years earlier Willy’s father Henry Morgan was searching for clues for a long lost treasure in the nearby town of Bone Town when he went missing. The game opens up with Willy receiving a letter from his father warning that he got into trouble and that he should head to Bone Town to pick up his research into the treasure. As his mother is off on her own adventure Willy decides to head to Bone Town on his own to find out more about his father’s disappearance ten years earlier. He soon discovers that the treasure that his father was searching for is intrinsically linked to Bone Town and might have been the reason why his father went missing.
Anyone who has any familiarity with point and click adventure games should already basically know what to expect from the gameplay of Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town. For the most part the gameplay sticks pretty close to the genre. Basically you find objects in the environment to interact with and click on them. A left click has you interact with the object or person while a right click gives you more information about what you are clicking on. Some of the objects that you interact with can be picked up and added to your inventory. This allows you to take them to other areas or use them with other items in your inventory. All of these mechanics are used to solve puzzles which allow you to progress the story.
As Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town sticks pretty close to the point and click adventure game formula your opinion of the genre is likely going to carry over to the game. If you have never cared for point and click games it likely won’t be for you. Fans of the genre should enjoy their time with the game though. I personally wouldn’t say that it is my favorite point and click game, but I enjoyed my time with it. The game doesn’t really have any particularly new mechanics to add to the formula, but it doesn’t really have to. The game succeeds because it takes what people like about the genre and focuses on those elements.
I think the game’s greatest strength is that it does a good job designing the game world. Without getting into spoilers the game is basically broken down into three chapters/acts. The game begins and ends with smaller more compact chapters that only utilize a few different screens to explore. In the middle is the heart of the game. You will arrive in Bone Town and will quickly start searching for clues to the hidden treasure. Bone Town is comprised of a lot of different interconnected locations that you have to explore and interact with in order to proceed. Basically this section of the game has you gathering different clues needed in order to find the treasure. These clues are hidden throughout the town though and each has their own unique puzzle that you have to solve. These puzzles require you to acquire objects throughout town and solve smaller puzzles in order to get what you need to proceed. In a way this kind of resembles the search for a hidden treasure as you will find an object in one location that has to be used in another location across town. I would highly recommend searching the entire town finding all of the objects that you can before proceeding to trying to solve any of the main puzzles since as you acquire objects it will start clicking in your mind what you have to do with them. This normally would create a lot of backtracking. The good news is that the game has a very good fast travel system as you just have to click on a location on your map and you will be teleported to that part of town. This makes moving between locations a breeze.
As for the game’s difficulty I would say that it is kind of on the easy side. I will preface this by saying that I have played quite a few point and click games recently so I could have just been in the right mindset which made the game seem easy. I generally found a lot of Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town’s puzzles to be kind of easy though. In some ways I see this as a good thing as you don’t have to worry about puzzles that make no sense. The puzzles in the game make logical sense which is a good thing as nothing is more frustrating than a point and click puzzle that makes no logical sense. As soon as I encountered a new area I had a good idea of how to proceed and once I acquired the right object I knew what I had to do. Because of this the puzzles can be solved pretty easily if you think about them logically. If you are familiar with the genre you probably won’t have many troubles solving the puzzles which might be a disappointment to some. On the positive side this could make Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town a good game for people new to the genre or even older children.
I would say that the hardest part of the game revolves around finding the objects that you can interact with. At one point in the game I thought I was stumped as I didn’t know how to proceed. I thought this was because I didn’t know how to properly use the items in my inventory. It turned out though that I hadn’t picked up an object from one of the locations mostly because it was hard to see and actually looked like part of the background. Once I discovered the object I knew exactly what to do. Normally this would be kind of frustrating, but Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town includes a button that you can press that indicates everything that you can interact with on each screen. This would have solved my issue immediately, but I mostly avoided using it except when necessary in order to make the game a little more challenging. I like the addition though as it helps when you have no idea how to proceed.
Outside of the puzzles the other thing that drives most point and click games is their story. In this department I think Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town does a solid job. I would say that the story is a little predictable, but I enjoyed it. The story is basically about a boy looking for clues about a treasure in a town that has a strong connection to the treasure. The game is set in modern times, but Bone Town seems like a town stuck in its old pirate roots. At times the story kind of feels like it was written for a younger audience, but I think fans of adventure games should still enjoy it. I would say that the game is moderately funny even though it seems to rely on a lot of Easter Eggs and “dad jokes”. The characters are interesting as the town is filled with unique personalities. I think the game’s graphical style is also pretty good as it reminds me a lot of older point and click games with a modern twist. If the game’s story intrigues you I would think that you would enjoy it.
As for the game’s length it is going to depend a lot on how fast you solve the puzzles. The game features quite a few puzzles and locations to explore. If you solve the puzzles quickly it will obviously take less time than if you get stumped. Based on my experience I would guess that most people will probably be able to finish the game within about 4-5 hours. As for the replay value the game doesn’t really have much outside of just replaying the game in its entirety. The game doesn’t appear to have alternative endings or anything else that would impact a second playthrough. I could see playing the game again sometime in the future, but it likely would be a while as I would have to forget about the game’s story and puzzles.
I generally enjoyed playing Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town. The game basically feels like an homage to classic point and click games. For this reason the game doesn’t really add any new mechanics. Like every other point and click game you just point and click on things in the environment in order to interact with them to solve puzzles. The game may not innovate the genre, but it doesn’t really have to as it focuses on what fans of the genre mostly care about. The game does a good job creating an interconnected world with good puzzles that have logical solutions. This does lead to the puzzles being a little on the easy side, but the game is still fun. The story is solid as well as fans of old adventure games from this genre should appreciate it.
Basically my recommendation comes down to your opinion of the point and click genre. If you don’t really care for it, I don’t see Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town changing your mind. Fans of the genre though should enjoy the game and should consider picking it up if the premise intrigues them.
Buy Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town online: Steam