Tick’s Tales Points (and Clicks) Toward the Past
Point-and-click adventures drum up memories of a bygone age. Though they haven’t really stopped, their popularity has lessened and no matter what you’re playing feels nostalgic. Tick’s Tales: Up All Knight takes that nostalgia into account and acts as an homage to this era. Ignoring the Telltale style most modern point-and-clicks employ, Tick’s Tales is a linear and humorous venture through Tick’s world. Describing it as a comedic version of these games could put a bad taste into your mouth, though. This is more a Shaun of the Dead than a Scary Movie version of point-and-clicks. It has silly dialogue, breaks the fourth wall once or twice, but never ventures into parody territory.
Tick’s Tales is a story about a boy wanting to become a knight wanting to woo Georgia McGorgeous. All your bases covered? Moving on. Adding some trouble to his quest, Tick’s not much of a muscular hero. On top of that, he’s been a bit of a jerk to pretty much everyone he’s crossed paths with-rocks through windows, teddy bear theft, you name it. As such, pulling the Sword of Blergh and becoming a hero won’t be easy. Tick will have to slap Fate in the face and smooth things over with old pal Gandarf if he hopes to succeed. It’s a silly premise as well as a bit cliche but that’s more or less the purpose.
Visually, the game reminds me of a modern version of old Sierra games. The characters have a Space Quest/Police Quest vibe to their design, and it works well. There aren’t a ton of places to go throughout Tick’s Tales, but it works every bit out of each set piece through each chapter. The music was fun and varied throughout each segment and chapter without annoying me, and if I was really inspired the tracks came with the game, too. The game features an interesting shaky camera effect that can be toggled on and off, but it definitely makes the game more visually stimulating than other titles that just sit in front of you.
It’s not perfect, but at no point did I feel like the game went out of its way to hide anything. Some items are even shown with a subtle sparkle so you don’t miss that they’re on screen. There were a few moments where I completely missed what I was trying to find, but I never felt like I had to click spam too much or do anything that hadn’t been explained to me. The game doesn’t hand you any answers, but it sets them up in such a way that tries to keep you progressing. There were frustrating moments where I got stuck for long periods of time, and that could turn off a lot of players. On the bright side, once you figure out the issue the ball gets rolling pretty fast.
Context being everything it should be mentioned that the game’s developer, Digital Bounce House, is one person, and that’s really impressive. I’ve played a few other point-and-clicks that were a buggy slog, but with one man at the wheel it’s impressive that Tick’s Tales sets the bar higher than competent. It’s redundant to say if you don’t like a genre you shouldn’t play it, but Tick’s Tales will not be converting anyone to becoming fans of point-and-clicks. The game is longer than you’d expect, especially with so few set pieces, but the price point is just right. Tick’s Tales fits right in with the classics some of us know and love, and the light hearted nature of the title makes it worth trying. If you’re longing for the days of Sierra and other adventure classics, give Tick’s Tales:Up All Knight a shot.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed) ; Publisher: Phoenix Online Publishing ; Developer: Digital Bounce House; Players: 1 ; Released: June 9, 2016; MSRP: $7.99
Full disclosure: This review is based on a code for Tick’s Tales given to the reviewer by the publisher.