Friday, 06 July 2018 09:00

Unforeseen Incidents Review

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As the scene opens, a beautifully-drawn backdrop of a dangerous, curved road fades into view. The night’s rain pummels the mountainside. A sincerely distraught violin wails as thunder crashes in the background. A lone flickering light illuminates a sign board while a massive radio tower peeks over the tops of trees. The flutter of seagulls and the rising sun’s light highlight the sandstone-colored buildings of Yelltown. The phone rings.

Unforeseen Incidents, by Backwoods Entertainments, is an atmospheric point-and-click that draws you in with its mystery. The initial scenery, dialogue, and story grabs you right away. You play as Harper Pendrell — a cowardly, lazy college-dropout with a knack for tinkering and love for his multi-tool — as he navigates the incidents surrounding an outbreak known as the Yelltown fever. Encountering an infected woman on the street with a mysterious message, his courage and mettle are immediately tested. With an epidemic on the rise and a shady health company claiming a monopoly over the town, what would a small-town handyman who’s never even had a cold be able to accomplish?


Excellent comedic timing and wit creates an interesting contrast as it carries you into the horror of the epidemic, with people continuing to die. The soundtrack (one of my favorite parts of the game) creates an apt tone and is thematically compiled so that each area has its own unique music. The only thing throwing Unforeseen Incidents off balance is the loading screens in between. At times, it completely ruined the flow of game. On rare occasions when loading between scenes you’d get a smooth transition into the next piece, but other times the cut would jump jarringly to the next piece.


The puzzles are simple, yet obscure, and can sometimes break immersion. I spent a while on certain puzzles when it wasn’t quite clear what exactly had to be done. Sometimes solutions were simple, but other times the solutions were very specific and involved guessing which item you need. There were also times where in order to progress you had to interact or speak to certain citizens in a specific order, though there wasn’t much clarity as to who went first.


A playthrough should clock in at around nine hours, give or take, depending on your skill level. If solving a mystery via an old-school point-and-click appeals to you, this one has all you’ll need. Nearly every aspect is well-polished and details are well tended to, so content doesn’t feel rushed or like an afterthought. You can just dive in and enjoy finding out the answer to one simple question: How you will combat the fever?


The Verdict: Great

Even though there were some minor hiccups, Unforeseen Incidents is a great experience. From the tastefully composed soundtrack (courtesy of Tristan Berger) to the aesthetically-pleasing visuals (courtesy of Matthias Nikkuta) I believe that Backwoods Entertainment may just be one of the developers to watch.

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