From a cursory glance at the title, you would expect that Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town is a pisstake, or at the very least it’s a game that wears its heart on its sleeve and its pants around its feet, not shying away from the toilet humour that it includes. However, Willy Morgan is a (somewhat) serious pirate-themed point-and-click adventure that bears none of the traits its title would suggest. Despite the confusing title, Willy Morgan is a fairly solid addition to the point-and-click genre, even if it does play things a little safe at times during its eightish-hour campaign.
Have to honour that Bone Town dragon
Players assume the role of the titular Willy Morgan, a young kid who sets off on an adventure after receiving a letter from his father (Henry) who has been missing for the last ten years. This isn’t a story of Henry sneaking out for a pack of cigarettes and never returning, instead Henry Morgan was a well-known adventurer and archaeologist who went missing during an expedition. Henry’s note says Willy’s journey will take him to Bone Town – a town the family would visit frequently in better times.
With Henry Morgan’s disappearance still largely shrouded in mystery, Willy arrives in Bone Town hoping to find answers to ten-year-old questions, but instead he discovers that his old man was in hot pursuit of pirate treasure, supposedly buried somewhere in Bone Town. With Morgan Senior leaving little Willy his piece of the treasure map and clues to find the missing pieces, Willy must explore the dwellings of Bone Town to piece together the map and find the treasure, as well as the truth behind his father’s disappearance. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but after playing the preview recently I was keen to see where the story went as I’m always partial to a pirate adventure. Sadly it doesn’t turn into the swashbuckling and rum-swigging adventure I was hoping for, with the game’s story fizzing out with a somewhat inane twist.
Easily the biggest addition to the game’s review build was that every character is now voiced, which given the amount of dialogue involved certainly gives the world and its characters a little more personality. They don’t always hit the nail on the head with the voice acting, but the misses are few and far between.
Let the lighthouse guide your stay in Bone Town
Gameplay-wise it’s fairly standard point and click fare. Willy will explore a bunch of areas and interact with items that will often be used for things that aren’t their normal purpose, such as horsehair that can be used as a cello bowstring. Willy will also need to engage with the locals to glean more of Bone Town’s history which will point him in the right direction when it comes to progression.
All the puzzles here are fairly tame, and while the answer wasn’t always instantly obvious there was never a moment where I was truly stuck, which depending on your preference can be a nice change or a wasted opportunity. As someone who plays puzzle games frequently I enjoyed the lighter challenge and found most of the puzzles fairly clever and well thought out. Not every point-and-click game needs to feel like an IQ test.
Point-and-clicks have always been backed by some seriously good art styles, and Willy Morgan’s visual combination of Trüberbrook and a Nickelodeon TV show definitely looks the part and brings the game to life. Bone Town looks rustic and time-forgotten with its empty streets and ramshackle buildings, while the populous all have their own distinct look.
One aspect of the game I didn’t like when previewing it was the soundtrack – I found it excessive and overbearing at times to the point where I’d turn it off. I wasn’t expecting imaginarylab to change this at all, and as expected it’s just as annoying at times as the preview. There is the occasional moment where the music will fit, but these are often the game’s more subtle tracks, something the genre is more known for.
Science is big in Bone Town
Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town embodies the saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ It doesn’t excel in any area, and nor does it have any major flaws (the soundtrack is a nuisance but not a hindrance). It serves as a great entry point into the point-and-click genre for those looking to dip their toes in, but some more experienced adventurers may lament the lack of challenge while others may embrace it.
Reviewed on PC // Review code supplied by publisher
- VLG Publishing, WhisperGames
- August 11, 2020