Wink: The Game!
Over two years old, Wink: The Game! is still a cute and entertaining little gem of a graphical adventure that was somehow overlooked by us here at Casual Gameplay. Despite its advanced age, Wink nevertheless has smooth playability and excellent production values; although sometimes repetitive, Andre "gel" Nguyen has created a very fun, addictive adventure that has withstood the test of time.
You play as Wink, a cute semi-stick figure armed only with his sneakiness, at least at first. As the niftily stylized intro helpfully explains, Wink's previous quest to rescue the proverbial princess ended with every adventurer's worst nightmare: The dragon (and so the fair maiden as well) is in another castle. Now, Wink must again traverse a fortress, eluding and defeating enemies along the way, to finally face his fiery-breathed nemesis.
Without doubt, my favorite part of Wink: The Game is the emphasis on stealth over brute force. Wink is not exactly a tough guy: his most useful skill is the ability to vanish into the shadows and, whenever one of the hooded, glowy-eyed baddies passes by, creep up from behind and knock the enemy out. Once this is done, Wink has the chance to purloin whatever staff the bad guy was carrying. You'll run across three different types: fire, wind and thunder. At certain parts of the game, different staffs are needed to open doors and proceed through the castle. More fun, though, are the elemental attacks; I couldn't help giggling every time a fireball or bolt of lightning sent a baddie hurtling through the air.
Analysis: Wink is a lot of fun. The keyboard controls quickly become intuitive and the sight, sounds and concept of the game are nicely united to create an experience easily immersed within. A minor quibble: the castle can quickly feel like a maze (a map would have been incredibly useful), which can create a tedious loop of exploring the same parts over and over. It would also have been nice to have had more of a variety of bad guys and environments; once you figure out how to defeat the suspiciously Shyguy-like enemies, the game loses much of its challenge. Still, on the whole Wink: The Game is definitely worth a look.
Come on, defeat that pesky dragon: