Bye Willy, hope you find your dad!
Willy lived a relatively peaceful life after the disappearance of his famous archaeologist father 10 years ago. He and his mother tried to adjust to a world without their family’s patriarch, and, nearly a decade later, had fallen into a comfortable routine. Everything was going alright for the trio down to two — until one fateful day, when Willy received a letter from his father that would change everything.
So begins Willy’s adventure in Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town, a point and click game currently in development from imaginarylab with publishing being handled by VLG Publishing. With Truberbrook vibes and a Monkey Island feel, Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town promises to be a point and click adventure that leans heavily into nostalgia while still keeping it fresh.
Like any point and click game, controls in Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town are exceedingly simple — you point, you click. Left click will have Willy either interact with the item or make a remark about why he can’t or won’t interact with it, while right click serves to enlighten players on any information on the item itself. For the most part, left click will be what drives the story forward 98% of the time; if you feel stuck, try right clicking items in an attempt to proceed. There were times where I felt like I had left clicked every single item multiple times, only to try right clicking once on something and unlocking the next step.
The story itself is charming and intriguing — Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town takes place (initially) in the titular town, which has become largely abandoned. With only a handful of citizens holding on, Willy wanders through the empty streets, collecting items and clues along the way. He soon discovers he needs to find nine map pieces to uncover the location of pirate treasure — the very treasure his dad was seeking before his disappearance 10 years prior. Through clever ingenuity, Willy collects all nine pieces and finds where X marks the spot; can he get to the treasure without being tailed? Or will he share his father’s fate?
When it comes to puzzles, I didn’t find them to be too difficult; in fact, I really enjoyed how each map piece was broken up. Essentially, Willy’s dad figured out that there were eight pirates and their captain who split the map nine ways. Willy’s dad gave him a piece and told him the names of the remaining eight pirates — it was up to Willy to find the rest. Luckily, the names were easy to spot, either through their items they left behind or their progeny; Tom Raleigh, for example, left an envelope behind “for his descendants,” while Eddy Belamy’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandson held onto his map piece to give to “the chosen one.” It was nice to be able to hop around from area to area, working out one piece and moving to the next if stumped.
I found the art style in Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town very interesting and unique — it even grabbed the attention of my usually-less-than-enthused husband, who was particularly fond of the ceilings in the library. There was a hint of realism to the design while still being firmly grounded in a warped, cartoonish fantasy. I also thought the music was well-suited for the title; ambient without being overbearing, which is nice, as there’s nothing worse than trying to solve puzzles with annoying songs. One weird thing that came up was that half the game seems to have voiceover — Willy speaks in the first level and at least one line in Bone Town itself, but no other characters voice lines. It was oddly inconsistent; here’s to hoping they’re recording lines for the final version.
Despite its unfinished state, the hiccups experienced were few and far between; it’s safe to say that this love letter to Monkey Island will be enjoyable to anyone who grew up on the genre. Be sure to wishlist Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town on Steam, and check out the free demo while you’re there!