Back at home from their adventure in the Spooky Mansion, Moxxie and her brother Shaggy are looking over their spoils when Moxxie comes across a treasure map. Curiosity spiked, Moxxie tries to persuade Shaggy and Boar to go on another adventure. But when they hear her plan to go back to the Spooky Mansion to figure out where to start looking for treasure, they are unsure.
Moxxie goes back to the mansion alone, (seems she’s aptly named) and uncovered a video. The video states that the Professor (the owner of the mansion) has gone to Africa taking the treasure with him. After some discussion, Moxxie and Boar decide to go but first they have to find some funds since tickets to Africa aren’t cheap!
This game was a bit harder than I was expecting from the “family friendly” description on the download page. That’s not a bad thing, though. I liked the challenge. There were many moments where I really had no idea where to go next, so I was glad for the help button in the form of a question mark next to Moxxie’s image. As you can see in the photo above, there are speech bubbles which give some direction and progress the story. More often than not, when you enter a new scene, there will be one or two things you need to find which are displayed in a white bar at the top of your screen. All the current goals of the area are listed in the lower right corner. These are added as you find them and removed as you complete them. There are a few cut scenes as well in which the dialog is inside a black band at the bottom of the scene. Since there are no actual voices, there is nothing to do during those except watch and read. Though they are skippable by way of a yellow arrow in the lower right corner, I recommend against using it. I did once and I felt like I missed some important information
The art is very cartoony. If anyone is familiar with the web comic Homestar Runner, it reminded me a lot of that. The scenes are fairly detailed despite the cartoon aspect, however, and objects are very well hidden. There’s no indication that an item is interactive, you just have to click things. Almost everything you hover over will be identified, whether you can grab it or not. This game does have a lot of moving back and forth between rooms in search of items but there is often one thing you need in a room to used in another room. Useable and needed objects are stored in a bar at the bottom of your screen. You can hold many things at one time, but nothing is held onto for very long. It is always used before you move on to the next area.
The first thing that happens in Africa is that you’re detained.
There are so many puzzles in this room, it blew my mind.
There is also a trophy system, which I like, and a points system, which I don’t. I like having surprise goals (eat all the fruit, pet every animal). But with no way to share your points I don’t see the absolutely benefit to that aspect. To see what trophies are available and which ones you’ve earned there is a Trophies tab on the main page. That does lend itself to replay-ability. I’m a bit obsessive about 100% completion on these kinds of things so I’ll be running through this game at least once more. And since two of the goals are to complete the game in both Casual and Difficult modes, it’s likely to be replayed two or three times more.
Overall, I enjoyed the Jolly Gangs Misadventures in Africa. I loved the sassy female main character and the challenge of the puzzles. It will be interesting to see how much harder the Difficult mode is. I imagine that the hint button will refill much slower but I don’t know what else will be different, though, since it was already a pretty challenging game.
This review was based on a retail copy of the game provided by Alawar Entertainment.