Point-and-click adventure games have been around since the dawn of video games. The simpler nature of point-and-click gameplay means that those games generally require less skill. Its simplicity also makes it difficult to riff the concept of gameplay without obscuring it into another genre.
NoteReleased on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on January 21, is a way of playing that is far from traditional point-and-click games. But the story goes to some strange places, and the voice actors and characters provide good reason to finish the experience of about three hours.
Note, Studio BitByterz’s debut game Partially funded Kickstarter.. First released on PC in 2017, it was released on Xbox and Nintendo Switch this November. Point-and-click games are best played with the mouse, but I played the newly released PlayStation 5 version. Manipulating the on-screen cursor with a joystick certainly had some nasty moments, but the problem was minor. Clickable objects did not always have a large area to work with. This was tricky for some puzzles with keyboards and number pads.
All in-game conversations are fully voiced, and in most cases voice actors provide excellent performance. The main character, Mizuki, has a rare accent and gives an impressive quality. The game also breaks the fourth wall several times due to the comedy effect.
Art is a series of scenes that are mostly static and have some slightly moving animations. When you click on an item to operate it, Mizuki moves around. The controls are simple. You can click on an item to talk to the character or say something about the item. Items in your inventory can be combined and used for things around the world. As such, the game is a standard point-and-click fee.
So Noteof The title card says, “I was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story.” I’m new to the work of Japanese writers, so any mention came to my mind, but the story has many mythical elements. Many characters are switching from humans to animals and vice versa. Moreover, Mizuki suffers from insomnia and amnesia. She has a hard time remembering her name, which is the driving force behind the story.
Surrealistic characters bring fun colors to the world, especially since not all characters are weird. Some are Mizuki’s ordinary friends, neighbors, and family.
The story is fun enough to endure some of the typical frustrations of point-and-click puzzles, and experienced players will probably find it easier to understand the language of the game. There were some cases where I had to rely on a guide because I didn’t know what to do. Several times I tweeted to myself, “Why did it work and how was it supposed to be understood?”
Some puzzles are interesting and pleasant to solve. Even with some tips, the solution is a bit insensitive. A mixed bag of frustration and satisfaction.
But the more I played, the more I understood what the game wanted of you. There are clues everywhere, Note It does a great job of showing you what you can interact with. When you press the trigger or shoulder button, the “hotspots” that you can operate are highlighted. This is very useful because you don’t have to wonder what you can do and click.
Note It also does a great job of providing a to-do list. Mizuki takes notes in a journal that acts as a kind of quest log. This helps remind you where you left off if you sat down a few times to complete the game.
Overall, Note A relatively run of a mill point and click adventure. The puzzle is nothing special, but it has a pleasing art style, good voice acting, and a compelling enough story. If you like the genre, this may be a fun few hours, but it won’t stand out.
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