It’s easy to get the wrong impression of Golem at first glance. Released just today, this point-and-click adventure could easily be mistaken for a platformer, especially considering the pace of the action in the trailer within. Instead, what we’ve got is a purely mouse-driven game, telling the wordless tale of a young girl and her pet rock, by which I mean you get to go all Ico/Last Guardian with a shape-shifting pile of stone.
Reminding me a little bit of Wii point-and-clicker Zack & Wiki, Golem is controlled entirely through basic pointing, clicking and swiping, although your options look to gradually increase as you find new body parts for you Golem friend. The creature starts out as just a floating orb that you need to roll from place to place, but eventually it gains a pair of legs, and later becomes large enough to carry you around, returning the favour.
There’s apparently a decent chunk of story to the game, although it’s delivered entirely wordlessly. After all, only one of the two protagonists has a mouth, and the other is a magical sphere, so they’ve probably not got too much to discuss as they travel. It’s nice to see a game with such obviously detailed environments focus so heavily on minimalism in other regards, and this combined with the simple interface does seem like it’d make it a good starting point to introduce kids to an ordinarily unforgiving genre.
Golem is a bit of a departure for developers Longbow Games. Previously they cut their teeth on the long-running Hegemony series of historical real-time strategy games, so Golem is treading entirely new ground for the studio. The game also seems to have launched very quietly, with very few sites having reviews at launch, and only a couple user-reviews on Steam at present. The few opinions circulating do seem quietly positive, although it might be best waiting a few days to see how the earth settles over this one.