Skip Around the World: Finland
In Skip Around the World: Finland, the first installment of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure series, Skip, as you might surmise from the title, is a world traveler who winds up in Finland. And hey, visiting Santa's Village is fine, and sure those Northern Lights are all breathtaking and whatnot, but what Skip really wants is to meet Oiva Vasta, the "sauna guru", who apparently shares Skip's passion for sitting around wearing towels and sweating with strangers, which is basically my nightmare scenario. To find his hero, Skip will need to travel around and see the sights, solving puzzles and performing favours for the locals as he tries to find someone who knows where Oiva might be. Just click to interact when the cursor changes, and click an item from your inventory to pick it up so you can try to use it somewhere. And hey, you might actually learn something about Finland in the process!... sorta. Maybe?
Like most of Carmel Games' titles, Skip Around the World: Finland is unapologetically goofy and silly, which means at any moment you could be helping a hard rock fan complete a jigsaw puzzle, or dealing with a cantankerous bear in a fancy restaurant. It's this dedication to being lightheartedly weird that makes some of the puzzles a little less than intuitive, but as long as you explore everywhere and take anything not nailed down, you'll be fine. What's neat is that the game uses real locations and actual Finnish items and language, making it educational too as it showcases different places and things. The art is particularly well done here, too, with more use of shading and depth on the characters and environments. It's on the break-sized side of length, so it won't overstay its welcome, and as long as you don't try to take it more seriously than it takes itself, it's a solid start to a new series that can make you learn a bit while you play, as long as you're the sort of person who likes to Google every new term and name you encounter.