I’ll be honest and say I haven’t played a point and click adventure game since I was a little kid. With the mountain of mindless shooters that smoother the gaming market like an avalanche of flashy graphics and fast paced action, it can be hard to take a step back and slow down with a game that features a slowly unravelling story and plenty of methodical puzzles. When I was given the chance to play Unforeseen Incidents by indie developer Backwoods Entertainment, the moment the soundtrack began playing and the gorgeous hand-drawn style visuals washed across my screen I was utterly charmed. My playthrough wasn’t without its frustration, though that could be chalked up to my inexperience with the genre.
The first thing that struck me when the game started was the incredible soundtrack. It’s always been my opinion that a good soundtrack can make or break a game, and Tristan Berger’s composition and sound design is stunning. The use of simple, slow guitar notes in the protagonist’s home truly make it feel familiar and safe. Take this as a contrast to the haunting violin that plays each time the mystery deepens, signifying that something dark and pernicious is at play. All throughout the game the music felt spot on, and on a couple of occasions I left the game running just to hear the music around the house.
The heart of the gameplay in Unforeseen Incidents is the enduring point and click style puzzles. A true source of frustration and relief upon completion, these puzzles ranged from fairly easy to pretty obscure. On more than one occasion after running out of ideas, I’d just start clicking every option I could. Maybe that speaks more about me as a person than the game’s content, but after looking up the solution online (yeah, I know), I was left with a raised eyebrow. This isn’t always a bad thing; the core of investigation is thinking outside of the box and anybody with an eye for a good clue will have an easier time than I.
In the spirit of mystery, Unforeseen Incidents’ story takes plenty of twists and turns. Our protagonist Harper Pendrell, armed only with his trusty multi-tool, is thrust into a dark conspiracy that runs deeper and deeper with each puzzle solved. Set across four chapters, the story is told through great voice acting and gorgeously drawn hand-painted visuals. Clicking around the set piece will expose collectable items and monologue lines, and the dialogue between characters proves to be some of the best clues you will get in order to move forward.
Despite pushing through the occasional frustrating puzzle, Unforeseen Incidents really was a pleasure to play. I constantly found myself immersing into the beautiful, mysterious world create by the team at Backwoods Entertainment. I felt a real sense of accomplishment by the time the game ended, which is something I’ve felt lacking in most recent titles. If you enjoy a mystery, or just a beautiful game and a gorgeous soundtrack, I can definitely recommend Unforeseen Incidents.
Unforeseen Incidents is available on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, and more for $19.99 / 19.99€ / £15.49. For more information, see the Backwoods Entertainment website.