Ramto enjoys finding troubles and solving them. After escaping some trouble that he had found himself in, hiding in a status pod he wakes and finds himself in a spaceship. He is ‘alone’ in a ship that he has no idea how to pilot, and among the heaps of weird devices created by a schizophrenic engineer.
Ramto is going to need to fiddle with computers, terminals, gadgets, and other hi-tech scraps. Deal with crazy machines, solve the mystery of the crew disappearance, all while the Galaxy has been engulfed by war and is teeming with traitors. Help Ramto to come back home! I found the story to be good and told rather well, it had me invested in the game from the get-go.
Something a little different
Usually, I would do my review in a set way, controls, then the most important thing about the gameplay, and work my way down. Here, however, it is going to be slightly… Ok, significantly different, as the only mechanics in a point and click and adventure is well in the name, you point, and you click.
Overview And Thoughts With Some History Thrown In
In essence, TARDY is a run of the mill Point and click adventure game. The gameplay revolves around solving puzzles. As the old saying goes “if it’s not broken don’t fix it.” The folks over at One Wing Cicada did just that, keeping the game as simple as it comes. I believe this was a good move on their part as I enjoyed this simplicity.
TARDY like almost all point and click adventures, they are generally made up of a single room of set pieces. Involving moving a pointer around the screen with the analogue stick and interacting with objects. (Touchscreen controls are also enabled)
TARDY will show the interactable items by showing an exclamation mark over the top of it. Once the cursor is over the top of the exclamation mark, it will change to an eye, allowing the player to interact with the puzzle.
There are however two slight deviations;
1. Ramto will find a dog that you can control fully to do some tasks. I know other games have had companions that will help throughout the adventure. TARDY, however, invests the player more by having some story behind it which I will not spoil here.
2. There is no HUD (Heads Up Display) meaning there is no inventory to put items in. Any items that are needed for that particular set piece can be placed and moved around the screen, as well as interacted with at any time. It can get messy, but it works well, having everything on the screen, so no messing about with inventory screens.
A little bit of History
The point and click adventure games originated back in the ’80s from text-based to the late ’80s/early ’90s with the point and click element added in the latter. The main focus is storytelling, with puzzle solving. They can be a first person or a 3D person perspective. These two elements have seen some of the best games ever made, for example, Escape from Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. To the more modern point and click adventures like Nairi: Tower of Shirin
For myself I grew up on some of the classics from Lucas Arts games, I still have fond memories of these games. The point and click adventure games will always be a genre I enjoy.
I loved my time with TARDY even when I wanted to throw my Switch at the wall for having spent 10-15 minutes stuck on a puzzle, to wanting to kick myself in my butt for figuring it out and the answer was staring me in the face the whole time (that happened a few times). A testament to the game design and the thought and care given to the puzzles.
The narrative and the atmosphere created by the development team is the show stopper here, from the ’80s inspired Alien film setting and computers, to the interactions you will have with other ‘people’ on the ship.
With all Point and Click games, there is one major problem no matter how good they are. Once you have finished the game, there is no real incentive to replay the game. Everything is the same and they don’t change. I am sure some people would play these games again (I am one), but for most, it is a one-time thing.
The soundtrack does a fantastic job of making you feel lost in space, or on a planet. When starting the game, I felt as if I was about to play a game based on the Alien franchise, the feeling of loss and foreboding is everywhere that was just with the music alone.
The sound effects are good and do the job but I found that the music overshadows everything here in creating a wonderful atmosphere.
Visuals & Performance
TARDY is another Pixel Art game, so if you have not got any pixel fatigue, then you are in for a treat. TARDY’s art direction is outstanding. The feeling of being lost in space, the look of destroyed worlds, the sci-fi consoles and screens top notch. The cutscenes are of high quality and some of the best I have seen.
TARDY has taken inspiration from the likes of the Alien films, from the 80’s themed computers and terminals to the general look of the ship and the worlds you visit. I truly loved the look of TARDY.
The performance was stellar, no problems (bar my own) within the game. Both in handheld and docked, I found handheld worked better for myself to play on as touchscreen made playing so much easier.
$9.99 $4.99 USD, £8.99 £4.49 GBP, TARDY is a total bargain at full price but while on sale it is crazy not to pick this up. If point and click adventures are your thing with brain teasers as well as a compelling story TARDY is a bargain.
The quality of TARDY is not reflected by the price one little bit, it could easily be £5-7 pounds more expensive and still be worth it.
Well written dialogue
Some tough puzzles which don’t seem logical at first.
Lack of replayability