ReviewsReview: Unusual Findings

Review: Unusual Findings

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I’m a sucker for 80s cult classics such as The Lost Boys and The Goonies. These incredible films make you laugh, cry, and take you on a fascinating journey. I believe it’s fair to say that modern entertainment has lost this touch. Therefore, when something returns to these roots, it instantly piques my interest. According, when I saw the trailer for Unusual Findings, I knew that I had to get in on the action.

Developed by Epic Llama Games and published by ESDigital Games, this is an 80s-inspired point-and-click adventure title. What’s more, it has some ball-breaking puzzles, and a wonderfully rich and enjoyable plot to experience. Furthermore, it is loaded with nods to some of the best films, music, and games the 80s had to offer. As such, it will fill you with nostalgia as you lose yourself in its completely unbelievable plot.

Unusual Findings is a classic tale of adventure and friendship.

Unusual Findings does a wonderful job of delivering a classic tale all about adventure and friendship. As such, the game twists and turns and takes you along for this hearty and unbelievable ride. Furthermore, you are invested in the characters and their plight from the off. Quickly, you understand that your decisions and actions influence the flow and direction of the game. Accordingly, there are 3 unique endings and plenty of puzzles en route that must be solved in order to progress. However, these problems are convoluted, and tough, and will test the smartest of individuals. Subsequently, it was occasionally maddening when you got stuck with no obvious solution.

The game revolves around 3 young boys and their adventures at Christmas time. Vinny, Nick, and Tony are mischievous, naughty, and above all else, rebellious. All they want in life is to have fun and watch free cable TV. After all, who doesn’t want to watch some classic 1980s adult movies? In order to achieve this dream, the boys make a descrambler. Yet, something goes wrong as instead of getting their dirty films, they intercept a strange alien signal. Following this, a mysterious object crashes into the neighbouring woods and all hell breaks loose. A ranger is killed by a giant robotic alien, and the boys run for their lives. However, they decide in classic 80s fashion that they would stand up to this evil alien overlord, and thus begin their strange adventure.

Unusual Findings is full of classic 80s imagery.
Classic 80s entertainment.

Simple mechanics but unbelievably tough puzzles.

Unusual Findings has an undeniably simple concept. Effectively, the 3 boys must explore their surroundings while conversing with the locals and solving mountains of problems. Yet, this is where the simplicity ends, unfortunately. Disappointingly, Epic Llama Games has created a monstrously difficult point-and-click game that is borderline infuriating. With many hidden items and objects that must be combined, cleaned, fixed, and inspected, you never quite know what to do. What’s more, investigating your surroundings isn’t as easy as it should have been. No, instead, the side-scrolling method can be tricky to navigate at the best of times.

Unfortunately, the point-and-click mechanics don’t work particularly well when navigating each stage. Sadly, you’ll interact with many unnecessary objects as you make your arduous journey across each tiny location. This is made worse when you have to complete several journeys to collect items and solve each puzzle you face. If the developers had allowed the protagonists to move freely, this problem would have been eliminated immediately.

Other than the exploration, puzzles, and side-scrolling navigation, Unusual Findings focuses on plenty of conversations. What was great about this was that every dialogue option was laid bare for you to see immediately. Subsequently, you can steer each interaction however you saw fit. This was an excellent decision by the developers as you feel in complete charge of how the story progresses. Furthermore, depending on your decisions, the relationship between the boys, and the solutions to the problems, alter.

The comic book store is the home of every geek.
3 geeks one comic book store.

Unusual Findings looks incredible.

You’ll either love or hate the aesthetics. Accordingly, I adored both the visual and audio elements of this brilliantly dated game. With a pixelated finish, OTT sprites, interesting landscapes, and much more, it was a treat to play. Furthermore, if you love the 80s, you’ll be tickled by the amusing Easter eggs. On top of this, the refined UI and easy-to-use pointer make exploring each location a little easier. However, if there was a way to explore each area without the need to side-scroll, it would have been much better.

With a distinctly retro soundtrack, and some fun and interesting acting, the audio didn’t disappoint. The excellent music adds drama and danger and is reminiscent of some of the best film soundtracks. Moreover, the simple sound effects bring the game to life without being annoying, shrill, or in your face.

Unusual Findings is wonderfully 80s by design.
Where it all begins.

Frustrating but serviceable.

I didn’t have high hopes regarding the control setup. This genre never works well on console, and unfortunately, Unusual Findings falls foul of the normal issues. However, even though I found it to be frustrating, it was still serviceable, and it didn’t detract from the otherwise incredible plot.

Thanks to the dialogue choices, and ever-changing story, there is plenty of replay value to be had. What’s more, with 3 endings to enjoy, and a colourful and interesting world to explore, you won’t tire of what you experience. But you will become annoyed at the unnecessarily tough and impossibly long puzzles en route.

Unusual Findings is great, but it has its problems.

If you love nostalgia and a retro plot, then you’ll adore Unusual Findings. It does a great job of capturing the 80s in every aspect. Yet, the poor navigation and ridiculously tough puzzles undo most of the fantastic work. However, I still adored its script, the setting, and the aesthetics. Subsequently, I recommend that you buy it here! Can you save the town and stop the aliens? Solve puzzles, work together, and prevent the extraterrestrials from completing their ghastly plan.

SUMMARY

Unusual Findings is a point-and-click adventure title that is filled with nostalgia. With old-school references and wonderfully pixelated graphics, this is one crazy story that shouldn't be missed.


+ Fantastic graphics.
+ A retro soundtrack.
+ A fun story.
+ Lots of replay value.

- The controls aren't great.
- The puzzles can be hard to solve.

(Rating: PEGI 12 Moderate Violence, Sexual Innuendo, Mild Swearing Release date: 12/10/2022 Price: £15.99)


(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Unusual Findings</em> is a point-and-click adventure title that is filled with nostalgia. With old-school references and wonderfully pixelated graphics, this is one crazy story that shouldn't be missed.</p><br/> + Fantastic graphics.<br/> + A retro soundtrack.<br/> + A fun story.<br/> + Lots of replay value.<br/> <br/> - The controls aren't great.<br/> - The puzzles can be hard to solve.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 12 Moderate Violence, Sexual Innuendo, Mild Swearing <b>Release date:</b> 12/10/2022 <b>Price:</b> £15.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Unusual Findings