The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter One
The inimitable Zeebarf returns, armed with The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter One, and you'll be pleased to know that his work just keeps getting better. The plan is to release a new episode each month, so devotees of pointing, clicking, and walrus mustaches rejoice!
Your job is to guide opportunistic exterminator Reemus and his ursine companion Liam through a series of eight oddball misadventures on a quest to... well... do something or other. Go to a castle and save the world, I guess. They get sidetracked a lot. There's an epic threat to life as feudal society knows it and all that, but Reemus doesn't really care. He's too busy looking for his next meal ticket and representing that amazing mustache. What's that? You say I already mentioned the facial hair? Oh, I don't think so. You mustache been mistaken! I'm bear-y disappointed in you! Hahahahahahahahaha *snork*
Analysis: Slick animation: check. Colorful fantasy world full of imaginative flora and fauna: check. Weird, sometimes illogical puzzles: unfortunately, also check. This adventure follows in the footsteps of The Visitor (who gets a cool cameo appearance) and Reemus Zero by giving you two or three showstoppers, and filling the rest of the scenes with random sprite-hunting. But the showstoppers are really clever, and even the most brainless puzzles are at least entertaining to watch unfold. One major improvement is that you can't ever completely cut yourself off from a solution; there's no need for restarts (well, unless you run into some random bug, which I did a couple of times).
The problem right now is this: I'm not sure who the player is supposed to be. Clicking on objects causes them to do all kinds of complicated things. Ropes tie themselves into loops and hurl themselves over parapets, swords fly into the air and sharpen themselves. Most of the time, it's clear that either Reemus or Liam is supposed to be performing these actions, and the only reason you don't see it happen is the sheer time and resources it would take to animate them doing everything—which is fine. But occasionally you'll be asked to manipulate objects that neither one of them could possibly reach, and you suddenly feel like a helpful passing poltergeist. The logical derailment is jarring.
However, this is still Zeebarf's best game to date, although if you were into the violence, he's definitely lightening up on that. The story blends seamlessly into the gameplay, the cut-scenes are crisp, and none of the puzzles feel outright unfair. If the author can live up to his episode-per-month promise, we can look forward to swimming in mustaches for some time. I don't know what that means.