It’s the year 2022 and it feels like we’re in a neverending cycle of news about latest Covid strains and world leaders completely messing everything up. So when I got Unforeseen Incidents to review, I did let out a little wince and a groan when I discovered it was a point and click game about a viral outbreak. Not intentional mind, the original PC game came out in 2018 and is only this month getting a Switch port. It is nevertheless a plot beat that maybe not everyone wants to experience as a real life pandemic rages on.
If you’re able to overlook this though then the mystery of the Yelltown outbreak (the town the game starts in) and what the organisation supposedly clearing up this disaster is really up too, is enough to intrigue. You start out in Yelltown, which is this decrepit looking, small town where everything seems to be falling apart. Playing as Harper Pendrel, a handyman who has a knack for fixing everything he comes across, you’re soon thrust into this mystery and it’s not long before you encounter a dying woman who hands you an envelope with specific instructions. The adventure begins!
It’s a traditional point and click adventure in every sense of the word. Almost too much of one at the start. Within the first twenty minutes my inventory was full of 14 different items, it was overwhelming and almost made me scamper towards a guide straight away. Make it further however and you realise why you could potentially have so many different items, it’s that the game is much more open than you might think. It’s possible to do certain objectives in any order. So with a rammed inventory, it’s not long before you’re whittling them down. Providing you can find their use that is, which is easier said than done.
Unforeseen Incidents definitely has a nice look to it graphically. A hand drawn art style, while lovely to look at does fall apart slightly when you’re moving your character around. When walking from left to right everything looks fine, it’s when you’re you’re moving from trhe background or foreground where it looks less than good. Harper almost gliding towards the screen, it’s quite jarring visually and does let down the otherwise neat visual aesthetic.
What does let it down more though is the slightly buggy nature of it. I played the majority of the game in handheld mode, and while you can use the touch screen, me being the kind of person I am, don’t neccesarily like touching the screen. So naturally I used the buttons. And there were a few times in the menu when the option highlighter would just not appear. On certain occasions I would press Start so I can select the Save Game option and the white hue that would appear around the selection option was non-existant. Pausing and un-pausing did nothing and I could only select any option by pressing my grubby hands against the screen. From a presentation perspective, this is really the only blemish on an otherwise well produced title as the music, writing and voice work is all top quality.
What you get out of Unforeseen Incidenents all depends on how into your old school point and click games you are. There is a lot of trying different combinations, backtracking is frequent and you have to click on everything, no matter how inconsequential it might seem. Luckily there’s a button you can press that highlights all the things that are interactable, which means no pixel hunting for that one thing you’ve overlooked. So it’s tough. Especially as it doesn’t really hold your hand, at all. It took a while for me to realise that you could actually combine two items in your inventory because no option actually came up for it, you just had to know that pressing a button on each item would do this. Maybe I just missed a tooltip, but I don’t think so.
The game does have an interesting story to tell (if you can get past the fact it’s about a viral outbreak) and there are guides out there if you get ridiculously stuck like I did on a few occasions. If you’re craving an old school point and click game for Switch then you could do much worse than giving this a shot.