Point and Click adventures are making a bit of a comeback of late and continuing this trend is Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, the latest title from the So Blonde universe written by Steve Ince, developed by Wizarbox and published by Reef Entertainment. We take a look at a PC preview build of two levels.
It starts off on Bounty Island as you take control of eight year old Morgane as she performs chores for her mother, plays with friends and awaits her pirate father’s return. It’s immediately striking how much care has been taken in the visuals. Each scene is beautifully detailed and has a scattering of animated features to really bring each scene to life. From glowing sun beams to fabric waving in the breeze; the presentation is certainly immersive. Character are also well animated and detailed, blending into the background.
The puzzles start off simple, with Morgane dusting her home, filling water jugs and washing windows. This is mirrored by simple controls with the point and click for movement and interacting with objects, and dragging and dropping for objects already in your inventory to use or combine. Additionally you can activate a help system which subtlety points out environment objects that can be interacted with. Once the house is clean Morgane heads out to meet with friends and the puzzles becomes slightly more taxing but still logically sound. There’s no developer logic to fathom here, it’s all very intuitive.
For level two you are fast-forwarded nine years and witness Morgane taking on a bunch of responsibilities on her father’s ship as second mate and acting captain. So Blonde veterans who are already familiar with Morgane from her cameos in previous titles will appreciate the back-story and no doubt be intrigued by it, but it also acts as a brilliant starting point for newcomers. Veterans may be thrown by her new voice though. It’s a change for the better, her Spanish accent now replaced with a clear and crisp British one making her easier to understand, although subtitles are always present as well. The puzzles now became far more involved, with multiple stages to complete and a little more thought require. Yet still they remain logical, making them accessible and not overly taxing.
The charm begins to shines through at this point. The unoriginal setting of pirating in the Caribbean certainly throws up some warning flags early on but the dialogue takes on a personality all of its own. It’s quirky and clever without heading into whimsical Threepwood territory. Pop culture references and in-jokes make for amusing asides to the adventure and keep things light enough to endear it to you yet serious enough to compel you to see what going to happen next.
The preview build then comes to a close, having set the scene brilliantly and shown off the potential behind the full product. The puzzles so far have been well thought-out and logical to grasp and the map screen allows you to warp between zones within a location to quicken the pace. Unfortunately, even if you skip through dialogue you have to wait for animations to finish when speaking with characters and interacting with objects. Also characters frequently talk over each if you skip through it, but they’re minor complaints on an otherwise solid point and click adventure and I’m certainly looking forward to the full game.
Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle is due for release later this year on PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and DS.