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Violett: A Pretty Point and Click Adventure with some bugs

Violett is a point and click adventure game by Forever Entertainment. The game was originally released for the PC/Mac/Linux on December 13, 2013 and then re-released on the Nintendo switch on October 26, 2017. The game follows Violett as her family has decided to move to a remote location. This doesn’t sit well with Violett as she is dragged away from her friends and harbors all the angst of any young child that is forced to move away from everything they know. Violett gets frustrated and sulks in her room, where she sees a strange glint in a hole in the wall. She reaches in to discover an amulet and then she is suddenly pulled into a mysterious world almost Alice in Wonderlandesque.

Violett 1

The game comes with two options for controls: 1) the standard controller (which is pretty intuitive) or 2) touch screen which is kind of clunky. You can move around the screen by moving the cursor and clicking the A button or by actually moving the left analog stick. This is a nice feature that makes it so the game doesn’t actually seem painful as the sensitivity of the cursor is pretty low and it can take time to move it to where you need to go. The controls are pretty straight forward, and they create some shortcuts to help you so that you aren’t trying to rush the cursor to a second spot when there are puzzles that require fast interactions between two objects to complete. The only confusing part was the left trigger button. In order to move certain items with a bit more sensitivity and control, you need to hold down the left bumper button and use the right analog stick to move it around. This wasn’t that clear and it took me a few minutes to realize this was how you got the sensitive controls for some of the puzzle pieces.

The games backgrounds and designs are colorful and bright and they really create an Alice in Wonderland type of environment, with tiny Violett exploring through all these normal items that are larger than herself. The game also adds a great element with a lot of levels that feel like they are right out of a painting, kind of like the stairs by M.C. Escher. The levels and puzzles are definitely fun, but they do fit the typical point and click adventure game, in that some of them require you to click every single item in the room, and try every single inventory item on the various clickable components. This can lead to a very frustrating process for players who are not used to point and click adventures, and then it’s a quick trip to a walkthrough or youtube just to get the answer and get it over with. This is not a fault of Violett but it is standard practice for all point and click games.

Violett 2

The game has been designed to be very levelesque. Each room has a preset number of puzzles and together they solve the big room puzzle. The game has been designed where once you solve the puzzles in the room, you don’t need to go back to them ever again. Which is nice for a quick on the go type game, but there is a unique challenge of old point and click adventure games of having to retrace old rooms with newly acquired items to try to move forward and solve the puzzles that you might not have been able to solve the first time around. If you get stuck in a room, the game provides four clues that you can get. It comes at a cost of a “clue point” (I dont know what else to call it) that refills once a timer bar fills up, so if you are impatient and use up all the clue points right away, you could be struggling with another puzzle for quite a while as you wait for the timer bar to fill. The clues aren’t enough for you to solve everything, but they do give you a heavy hand in the right direction. In some of the rooms, I found the puzzles challenging even after I had opened up all the clues available.

Violett 4

There were some big flaws in the game. First, the game has an autosave function, which is really nice for on the go. When the game goes to autosave it suddenly stops the music and you have dead silence for the duration of the autosave (around 5-7 seconds) which really ruins the mood and the feel of the game. Second, the controls are a bit slow and clunky and there wasn’t any great explanation how to do things, while a point and click is simple, a tiny manual would be nice to help a player figure out the nuances of the controls so they aren’t frustrated in an already infuriating point and click puzzle adventure. Third, the story is quite disjunctive, and the cut scenes abruptly stop and go to gameplay if you even touch the controller. I had to restart the game and create a new game because I accidentally touched the right analog stick during the intro sequence. Once I got through the story the second time, I got confused because one minute Violett was looking at the amulet and the next she was in a cage. I guess the player is supposed to put one and one together, but the developer could have put a little more work to really clarify what happened. Finally, the goal of the game is to collect the gems to restore the amulet, but this isn’t really evident and the player just needs to make the inference from the situation.

Violett 3

The game is a fun point and click adventure game that fits the mold well. Any veteran of the genre will enjoy the game, newcomers might get frustrated by it. However, the games glaring flaws really affect the enjoyment of the game. I was completely frustrated by the stopped music during the autosave that seemed to occur every five minutes. The issue with the inferences that needs to be made about the storyline also derail the game a bit. For this I give the gamplay a 7 out of 10 and I give the story a 7 out of 10. So the overall score for the game is 7 out of 10.

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