Another 2D pixelly retro style point and click adventure, Guard Duty
offers about five to six hours of good hearted past and future fun. You
get to save both the world and a princess, defeat a monster or two, and
perhaps chuckle here and there. It isn’t a classic, but it knows what
it wants to be, understands its inspirations, and generally delivers.
Plus there is a puzzle with a goat!
And also one with a spider, a very large one (the spider not the
puzzle), that is one of the more interesting in the game. The bulk of
the puzzling is inventory based and fairly straightforward, whereas this
was a little more involved.
You play largely as Tondbert, 1000 years ago, after a brief
introduction about the extinction of the human race. He is a hapless
sort of chap, currently locked in his own bedroom without his pants (or
indeed any of his uniform). The drinking session while on guard duty at
the town gate the night before is clearly to blame, as it is for some
other developments. Tondbert’s main priority though is his current
predicament, especially given he has been summoned by the king. So how
to get out?
When you do, you will spend your time as Tondbert in and about the
Kingdom of Wrinklewood (population 52). There is a large misdeed afoot,
and Tondbert appears to be the only one willing and able to go about
resolving it. Which means leaving the town, which in these sorts of
games is never as simple as just walking out. Tasks and conundrums must
first be dealt with, a list in your inventory bag helpfully keeping
About two thirds of the way through the game, you get catapulted back
to somewhere around where we started. This time you are Starborn, part
of a resistance group fighting back against the evil forces that have
enslaved the world. You now have a radio, which should not be forsaken.
It was an easier part of the game I thought, and not only because
inventory items get used automatically when needed. It is far more
limited in size, with only a few areas to explore, which also contains
the exploration and finding things side of the puzzle equation.
Game mechanics are simple and familiar. Left click to move Tondbert
about, and to search the scene in front of you. Right click a hotspot to
examine it, left click to take or interact with the hotspot, depending
on its nature. The inventory pouch is top right, and again click to
open. You can examine items in the pouch, and select them to use in the
gameworld. All of this is neatly explained the first time you get
control of a character.
Double click won’t make a character run, but double clicking an
exit arrow will have them jump to the next scene. Some scenes side
scroll, and you will at times find yourself at a map page, from which
you can select one of a few available destinations.
Music accompanies you, and there is plenty of detail and life in the
game world. Colours are muted but plenty. The game can be played with
voice and text, or just text, and while the voices don’t reach any
great heights they aren’t such that you should avoid them. Many are
also provided by a very few people, which in my opinion always makes the
acting task that much harder.
The endgame sees Tondbert and Starborn (plus the goat) working
together to produce a much happier ending than at times seemed possible.
As it closes, it exhorts you to “never give up and to fight for those
you love” which is a nice note on which to end a solid game.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz