How do you fight a virus? With another virus of course!
Developer: Feline Fuelled Games
Publisher: Feline Fuelled Games
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
Type: Single Player
Release date: May 5, 2017
When you want to get away from reality, what could be better than getting sucked into your favorite video game? While books are close to that level, video games can easily provide that kind of interactivity. So, is it unheard of for someone to wish they were actually part of another world then? Imagine, though, if you were actually sucked in involuntarily.
This is exactly what happens to Sandra and Woo on the fateful day of the last rehearsal for a school play. Sandra wakes up from a nightmare, depending on whether the tutorial is selected or not this varies in length, with her naked on stage and understandably nervous. Sandra is playing the Swan in a play and didn’t make a costume till the last second. You help her gather all of the clothing items before her father comes in to scold her about not being in bed. Strangely, she throws herself back into bed, still in costume, just moments before she gets sucked into her computer and into a fantasy video game in the same era of the play. Luckily, they get a chance at having an adventure.
This leaves Sandra’s friends Larisa, Cloud, and Landon to wonder what happened to Sandra and why she was absent from school. With Larisa and Cloud originally finding Sandra missing, and most of her room, they enlist Landon to help with the technical aspects after finding out about the game. They try to figure out how to get her out by using something from the real world, with the ultimate solution being smart and honestly not what I would’ve thought of.
On this note, I do think some things could’ve been worked on for the models and some of the sound effects. The character models do look like they belong in that world for sure, but the animations do need to be worked on as I often found them needing to look straight on before talking. The voice acting does depend between characters, but luckily the main characters do have solid people behind them. Honestly, though, there is an actual swan that shows up and I thought it did a great job playing a ditzy princess that thinks they lost their prince…even though it is a dark timeline for her. There are two sound effects I did not exactly like. One of them did not make sense in context, and this is towards a quest in finding a bell for a jester. By the sound effect it sounds like a bell you would ring to get a cashier’s attention, even the indention looks like it, but in reality, it is a bell you would put on a costume. And lastly, the kissing sound effect which turns a sweet scene off with how it echoes and how high pitched it is.
I really liked this back and forth between sceneries and characters. Both sides of the story contrast well together, and even flipping the script. While sure, Sandra and Woo are literally in a fantasy video game they are doing those quests you will often get such as fetching an item from a hidden place. So, when it switches back to Larisa and Cloud, they are trying to find solutions that end up exciting and the events that up the stakes happen here before they become visible to Sandra and Woo. They all also have their own different puzzles (excluding one) they need to solve and they do go about solving it their own way with different values. While Cloud refuses to look through someone’s mail and damage property, Larisa barely cares. And one little thing, I do like how they all have different carrying packs they use. It is not only symbolized by the inventory icon, but also shows up at the bottom of the inventory as if it is their preferred way of carrying everything.
The puzzles are mostly all fine and do make you laugh at yourself for not realizing how to solve them. Though, at some points it does suddenly use logic from video games. Yet, for the most part, they do give you some way of figuring it out. Along with this, there are minigames that are tied to the puzzles. With some of them obviously not that enjoyable, the most notable is one connected to the DJ Woo achievement, mostly due to how long the replay is and only a few options not in the final product. There is also a hacking minigame that I can completely see why others do not like. It can be annoying, with limited moves, and you have to think in terms of getting pieces from a horizontal movement plane to where you need it in the vertical plane. At least they give you bonus tiles to help and you can skip the hacking minigame after one level.
There is an oddly used narrator, F1. Sadly, it feels like it is used to explain what happened because they couldn’t think of a way to naturally reveal things in the story. I do wish what he tells you with his few appearances were naturally put into the game or were found in the real world so you can have more interaction with it. By the end of the day, they all do not know how it was even possible for real world items to be transferred to a game, and I wish they did. It would have been interesting to see Landon researching it or going into the game’s code to find out the creator intended for his free game to have a Trojan and all the computers with green lights had the game on them. Perhaps with them watching Sandra and Woo as well, or maybe have Sandra and Woo find various items that the creator put himself in. As for F1 finding out, maybe have him send vague messages, trying to free up space on the computer to suck them in, and basically doing more than having Landon only doing a hacking minigame. It would be nice to show him at the end and hint that he was probably working for someone else like they did.
This way, you are actually getting the info by playing through it and going “Huh…this seems suspiciously linked to this event” and “Wow we must be close if he is trying to stop me”.
+ Interesting story
+ Little joke about the help center (by pressing F1 in the game)
+/- models can use a little more work in their animations
+/- some sound effects didn’t make sense for some items or was weird
– I wish the narrator/F1 was used less so the information he gives you is naturally revealed to you and the characters
Sandra and Woo in the Cursed Adventure is ultimately for the fans of the webcomic. As I am not familiar with the webcomic, excluding the few I looked at, or how these characters are portrayed in them, I do feel like I would know them better if I did, especially since the story is pushed forward by character interaction. However, the whole fantasy game scenery does seem to imply that the game is trying to bridge a gap for the people who might not know the pre existing characters. It makes this game a must play for fans, but a maybe for those with no background with the characters.