Ferris Mueller – What We Think:
From Glitch Games – UK-based purveyors of all things adventure (including the Forever Lost series which has netter over a million downloads worldwide) – comes Ferris Mueller’s Day Off, an unapologetic send-up of the very popular John Hughes film starring Matthew Broderick from the 1980’s in a comical point-and-click adventure for iOS and Android devices.
Using a puerile hand-drawn style, you begin in what feels like a Wild Western border town populated by citizens of the equine persuasion, hence the “mule” variation in the game’s namesake.
You are immediately tasked with collecting a batch of 9 Golden Carrots to lure back your sickly mule who has mysteriously gone absent. You will encounter puzzles in various forms, some of which are a little obtuse, but a consistent hint-system is in place to give you clues as to what the developers are getting at with any gatekeeper standing before you and your current goal.
8 Days Off
A welcome mechanic, incidentally, is the ability to snap a PolaroidTM of anything you are looking at, including clue-based notes, or the actual puzzle, thus, you can solve these at any time, by considering them in hindsight. Also there are 8 discrete save slots so you can test out different courses through the conundrum.
In spite of its (deliberately) roughshod appearance, the game ran smoothly and at a good clip and I found myself engrossed in the environment and its citizens quite quickly.
The Hunt for Mule, Gets You Half-Assed Support
You will meet a wide variety of glib strangers, each with distinct and humorous personalities, often referencing the original film in addition to copious other pop-cultural references. It was actually quite fun to revisit the characters from the original movie, albeit in abstract.
The decision trees typically offer more than a couple of options, meaning that – though they may ultimately lead to the same destination – there is some variation in what may unfold as you select between responses.
Though the game can at times be a bit of a head-scratcher, there is some legitimate amusement on offer here. The 2D art style is elevated by frequent use of rack-focus, for example, and navigation is simple, but rich enough that you can engage with almost all visual cues in the environment.
For just under a dollar, Ferris Mueller is a refreshingly zinester spin on the standard point-and-click with some honest chuckles loaded in for good measure. High art it is not, but Glitch Games obviously meant that to be the case. It won’t change your life, but Glitch take a chance and, due to their experience with their other, slicker looking adventure titles, offer a seamless experience.
Note that this review is based on the iPad version – the phone experience may prove a little less enjoyable due to the form factor, but it certainly won’t put a strain on your processor and thus may prove a welcome diversion.