Pointing and clicking in real life is hardly as rewarding on the computer. Aside from potentially leading to things like restraining orders and being escorted from the premises in museums, you rarely get anything more exciting than dirty fingers. (If you find dirty fingers exciting please feel free not to share that.) This week's edition of the Vault is a compilation of some of our favourite point-and-clickers that succeeds where the real life equivalent fails... by taking us on adventures of all kinds.
- Anika's Odyssey - Tricky Sheep's lovely little storybook tale starts innocently enough; Anika emerges from her idyllic country home one morning and a giant disembodied hand instructs her to take her bucket and fill it at the water pump. To do so, however, she has to put down her cherished stuffed rabbit, and when a giant bird takes off with it, Anika sets out to bring it home. This game has a lot going for it; apart from its endearing story and protagonist, it's also absolutely gorgeous, with fanastic backgrounds and character designs. From beginning to end it's an absolute joy to experience and should not be missed by fans of fairy-tale-esque adventure, adorable moppets, and bizarre skittish swamp beasts.
- Pricilla Gone Missing - When dear old Aunt Prissy goes missing, it's up to Ernie (that is to say, you) to come investigate and track her down. Johan Törnkvist of Sweden brings us this surreal, engrossing little title that marries simple, logical puzzle solving with an apprealing and distinctive visual style. Unfortunately, the game is ultimately unfinished, since the "to be continued" at the end has yet to actually be continued (although Johan himself is clearly still an artistic force to be reckoned with). Still, it's more than worth a play, and who knows? Maybe one day we'll see it continued if we all close our eyes, believe, and clap hard enough. (Game developers are like Disney fairies, right?)
- Submachine Remix - By now Mateusz Skutnik's wildly popular Submachine series should need no introduction, but if you've somehow missed this challenging and reality-warping series there's no time like the present to catch up. The game is initially a little confusing; you find yourself alone in some sort of building (a lighthouse, maybe?) full of puzzles, strange items, and little direction. In the six years the series has been going on, however, it's taken us to all manner of unnerving environs and proven itself to have a surprisingly robust narrative. With puzzles that require more brainwork and an eye for detail than most, it's easy to see why this mysterious title remains a fan favourite even today. Remix is an extended and improved edition of the first game, but if you like you can also revisit the original.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!