SMKS's new title, Blue Karma, is a point-and-click game that's big on ambition. Descend, if you will, into the dystopian sci-fi world of New Vale City, a decaying urban center being fought over by rebellious gangs and fascist police. You play as one such agent, a dour-faced man named Riley, tasked with leaving his luxurious apartment to go nab an undesirable down in the slums on the bad part of town. In order to get there, you'll need to explore a truly impressive amount of detail in the game world, clicking to interact with just about everything in each scene, and absorbing an exhaustive amount of voice acting. Creator Shaun Michael K. Stone promises a novel based on the game's universe is expected in November of this year, so you know he's got some high hopes for this series. And frankly, he's off to a darn good start. Seriously, how often do you see a free online game put on such airs?
Like many point-and-click titles, Blue Karma is a mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, and trial-and-error. The puzzles and reflex challenges are a bit... back-loaded. They all sort of drop on you in the last few minutes of the game. Not a deal breaker, just a bit unfortunate, since there's so much creativity on display. It's for this reason, coupled with the fact that a fair amount of the options in the game feel a tad underdeveloped, that Blue Karma feels a bit like a demo at times. Which is fine. The game's undeniably fun and well-made, a solid introduction into this world we seriously hope we'll get to revisit soon. Point-and-click games are an oft-overlooked genre that are especially well-suited to the experimental realm of browser gaming, and if Blue Karma manages to inject a little vigor into the genre then we're all for it. Also, you can feed the dog. Don't be cruel. Play Blue Karma, and please feed the dog.