Adventure games are so dead that occasionally one goes on sale before I’ve even noticed that it was in development. Hoodwink is available now, nestled on Origin’s electronic shelving units. Developed in Malaysia, it’s the first game from E-One Studio and is set in a dystopian city. Dystopian but wacky and light-hearted. A noirish shadow falls over the lead character’s misadventure, although it’s somewhat dappled by zany robots, cel-shaded graphics, anime influences and a hoodlum who suffers from a severe case of anthropomorphism. That’s all based on the trailer, which you can judge for yourself below.
The guy at 24 seconds in is the happiest cop on that or any other planet. He absolutely loves surrounding buildings, more than he loves his wife and two young daughters. Give him the option between going to the game with his pals or surrounding a building with his workmates and he’ll have a perimeter around that building before you can blink.
I was almost entirely dismissive on first watch but about halfway through on a second viewing I realised Hoodwink’s world reminded me of something that I like, although I couldn’t quite figure out what until I thought on it for a while afterwards. It was Anachronox. Perhaps I’m just looking for something generous to say, but there are tonal similarities and if Hoodwink does come together, I imagine it’ll be by having hits and misses rather than coherence.
That doesn’t mean I’m convinced to put in the hours and find out though. In fact, I’m more intrigued as to how the game ended up exclusively on Origin. Perhaps one day there will be a point and click adventure about a man who travels the world, seeking out indie developers without distribution agreements, sidling up to them in a smoke-filled bar, opening his briefcase, handing them papers to sign.
Hoodwink is available now. £9.99.