Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town by imaginarylab
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town starts off with a compelling hook.
Willy’s father has sent a letter to his son on the 10-year anniversary of the day he went missing. Playing as Willy, you set off on an adventure to find out what happened to him.
Yes, It’s Called “Bone Town”
From this point forward, the narrative is sparse. The game then drops you into a completely open world – the titular Bone Town – to explore. It’s a town filled with characters who quickly become wrapped up in the mystery surrounding your father. The town also has secrets of its own, having historically served as the stomping grounds of some now long-dead pirates.
Most of the time the narrative takes a backseat and the game becomes more about solving puzzles to find pieces of a lost treasure map, which ultimately ties to the mystery behind Willy’s father.
This ultimately means that a lot of characters can be one-dimensional, existing solely as obstacles for the main character. This isn’t a bad thing, because the characters don’t get in the way of the puzzle-solving, but don’t expect a whole lot of world-building or detail-orientated detective work.
Logical Logic Puzzles
I like how the game’s puzzles don’t rely on nonsensical solutions. Most involve fairly simple solutions but still require though to solve them. Some definitely made me feel smart when I finally figured them out, but the simplicity means that you’ll be less likely to get stuck with no idea what to do next.
For example, in one puzzle I had to distract a horse with food so that I could cut off some of its hair, which I then used to fix a cello’s bow. Stuff like that is not completely out of the realm of real-world logic. I liked that because it meant that I didn’t get frustrated at all.
Some nice quality of life improvements also ease frustration. Since Bone Town is so big, there is a nice fast-travel feature to quickly get where you need to go. Also, there is not a lot of useless stuff you can pick up. Things have a use, and you don’t waste time picking up stuff you don’t need.
This could become an issue for those looking for a more challenging experience, but I found that the puzzles provided the perfect amount of challenge. It reminded me a lot of Day of the Tentacle in that it’s clearly focused on creating an entertaining adventure game as opposed to a challenging experience.
Rattle Them Bones
Sadly, I can’t talk a lot about the voice-acting because there isn’t any yet. According to imaginarylab, it’s an area of the game that’s the developers are currently still working on. But even without voice-acting, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town manages to create a lot of character and ambiance thanks to its wonderful soundtrack.
It has a nice clean style that gives off a whimsical feel. It makes for a more lively atmosphere, which makes the overall mood of the game more inviting. The characters and backgrounds look great and are nicely detailed, especially when entering Bone Town interiors.
Its soundtrack utilizes a varied mix of electronic sounds to create a fantastic score, with different tracks based on your location in town. A jaunty video game-inspired tune within the town’s pub made it hard to leave sometimes, and my favorite was the modernized but swashbuckling-inspired town-wandering music, which created a mysterious ambiance.
Every track conveys a particular mood that fits with its location. It expertly breathes life into the world and its inhabitants.
There’s Already Meat on These Bones
Visually the game pops, thanks to its art style. Models give off a sculpted look, similar to clay models found in games like Trüberbrook.
The preview build I played lasted about two and a half hours, and I must say I really enjoyed it. It’s a nice little adventure game with some charm and entertaining puzzles.
It’s perfect for adventure game fans like me that are fans of the less complex LucasArts adventure games. Where the focus is more on delivering an entertaining experience above everything else.
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town will be available via Steam in 2020.
Check out the official announcement trailer for the game below: