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Freeware Garden: Bickadoodle

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

Bickadoodle starts off with an apparently distressed damsel waiting in her tower for a knight to come and do knightly stuff of the typical light fantasy variety. Like, for example, serenade her. Or maybe kill the threatening dragon who has irritatingly just dropped by and seems intent on destroying a perfectly adequate romantic evening and a perfectly comfortable trope.

Instead of kidnapping the good lady though, the beast slightly burns the knight and flies him to its lair, thus, refreshingly, leaving her to face insurmountable odds, save the realm and free the armored brute in the only way known to sensible people: by pointing and clicking on things.

So, yes, Aetheric Games have indeed created a lovely little adventure game that is all about subverting tired clichés, while looking and sounding brilliantly unique. The vivid, colourful graphics feel as if they were hand-drawn on a school notebook, the animations are simple yet effective and all characters are glorified stick figures who speak in mumbles and illustrated speech-bubbles.

Mind you, those are voice-acted mumbles and the devs did promise everyone at least one almost intelligible word. Almost.

Not entirely unexpectedly then, Bickadoodle is a comedic offering, complete with its fair share of visual gags, ignorant peasants who mistake you for a witch due to the pointiness of your hat, and realistic coconut sounds. Obviously, the well-designed adventure-y puzzles fit in perfectly with the overall mood and you can spend a couple of extremely entertaining hours using potions and hunting for treasure in a quest that will lead you to an amusing and quite frankly unexpected finale.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

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