Wadjet Eye Games’ Unavowed brings its point-and-click gameplay to the Nintendo Switch, and the experience is just as enjoyable the second time around.
Wadjet Eye Games’ Unavowed was one of the best point-and-click games of 2018, and its story is just as good the second time around on Nintendo Switch. The genre was popularized by games centered around meticulously-crafted characters like Guybrush Threepwood, Manny Calavera, and Roger Wilco, who, no matter the player’s actions, will always follow a pre-determined story arc which begins with them having fully fleshed-out personalities. That makes Unavowed‘s option of picking a name, gender, and background for the player character immediately stand out from other point-and-clicks, and that uniqueness is a quality which follows it to the game’s eventual conclusion.
Unavowed’s plot, which concerns a group of “supernatural police” who call themselves The Unavowed investigating a series of murders, demon possessions, and other forms of non-mundane phenomena, remains unchanged from its original version. The game offers players a lengthy story filled with fully-voiced, interesting characters who interact and converse with each other in a believable manner despite their fantastical surroundings, something which can be heavily attributed to Unavowed‘s entertaining and well-acted dialog.
Like Mass Effect or other BioWare titles, in Unavowed players accumulate teammates over time and can bring them along on different missions, which can then lead to different scenarios and dialog snippets than if another member of The Unavowed had been included. The game also sports four different endings depending on certain late-game choices, and features multiple situations where players must decide the fate of another character with no clear “right” or “wrong” solution, only shades of grey.
As in most point-and-click games, players mainly have the option of using a cursor, here controlled by the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con joystick, to navigate and interact with on-screen locations and items, but the added touch features of the Switch’s handheld screen mean players can also select areas with their fingers should they so choose. Given the Switch’s propensity for Joy-Con stick drift (which, if someone is playing Unavowed with an affected controller, is extremely visible thanks to the cursor constantly sliding to the side of the screen) using the Switch’s screen as a touchpad can be a useful alternative, and the D-Pad can also be used to navigate between room transitions and some (but not all) interactable items.
The world of Unavowed, which takes place in the same universe as Wadjet Eye Games’ Blackwell series, is strikingly beautiful, mixing fantasy and urban environments with colors and art that evoke and twist feelings of both magical fiction and gritty noir into something that feels oddly unique and memorable in its own right. The puzzles players are faced with aren’t anything terribly complex – veteran point-and-click adventure game players will likely have seen most, if not all, of these kinds of inventory item and environment combinations before – but the consistently intriguing story, which is ultimately just as much about internal conflict as it is external, is more than enough to carry the weight of its roughly 10-hour runtime.
Being a point-and-click adventure game created in Adventure Game Studio and animated primarily with pixel art, Unavowed will never be a game for everyone. For adventure game enthusiasts or Nintendo Switch owners interested in trying out something slightly more “retro,” however, it is an undeniably enjoyable experience, and one which works just as well as a handheld as it did when it originally released on Mac and PC. Unavowed expertly blends fantasy and crime genres with stellar writing, acting, and artwork to create a game that is both memorable and entertaining, and should be experienced by anyone who thinks the glory days of Sierra On-Line are the only time period where great point-and-click games can be found.
Unavowed is available on PC and Mac (via Steam) and Nintendo Switch. A Switch code was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.
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