The demo for Crowns and Pawns: Kingdoms of Deceit showed a small but promising slice of a point and click adventure game. The game had an aesthetically pleasing look with painted backgrounds and 3D models. The puzzles were solid and the overall air of mystery in the narrative did a great job of pulling me in and making me invested in wanting to find out the answers.
You play as a young woman named Milda Kovas. Your grandfather passed away recently, leaving behind a mysterious message about a family secret in his will. Curiosity getting the better of her, Milda flies immediately to Lithuania to get to the bottom of things.
The demo starts off at your grandfather’s house. The first thing I noticed was the art style. It looks pretty, with the backgrounds having a hand painted feel while the character model looks 3D. As for the game play, it’s standard point and click adventure fare.
You move around and observe and interact with items and locations. Milda has a voice line for every item and some voice lines give clues for future puzzles so interacting with everything and paying close attention to the dialogue is essential. For example, you need to assemble a pair of scissors to cut some poisonous plants blocking your way to a tree. All you need is a metal bolt but it’s nowhere to be found. Earlier on, if you interacted with the garden, Milda described it as a place to loose small things. This gives you a hint that you need to use the metal detector found earlier to find the bolt buried somewhere in the garden.
The puzzles are pretty fun and not too frustratingly difficult. Some point and click adventure games go a little too far in making the puzzles difficult because of the stretch in logic you need to get to the solution. As far as I can tell from the demo, the puzzles seem pretty fair with enough logical hints given from interacting with the objects. Some of them require multiple steps and are nifty to solve. For example, one puzzle required you to collect blank pages and then reveal the secret message written in invisible ink by using a lantern. The message gave you bolded words to arrange a puzzle in the right sequence in order to open it.
Some of the puzzles tie into the overall narrative as well and help add to the overall vibe of a mystery blowing up into a larger conspiracy. The game has scenes with voice acted dialogue that add to the feeling of a movie mystery. It blends well with the puzzle segments to create an immersive experience.
Overall, Crowns and Pawns seems to be shaping up to be quite a point and click adventure. With pleasant art design, solid voice acting, and overarching narrative keeping everything together, it’s seems to be a very promising game.