A part from the recent remakes, good point-and-click adventures games are scarce these days with the era of Sierra and Lucas Arts adventure titles now just a distant memory left in the 90’s. WadgetEye Games however took me back to that marvelous decade with the supernatural thriller, Unavowed. As an avid fan of point-and-click games ever since I was a kid, I was very excited to see how this game would hold up against the grand daddies of the genre and it stood out in more ways than one.
The game begins upon a rooftop in Brooklyn, NYC with our main protagonist being interrogated as to who they are. You choose whether you’re male or female, give them a name and choose one of three professions; an actor, bartender or a cop. This gave Unavowed an RPG-like feel that I wasn’t expecting, the way your story begins and whom you’ve already befriended depends on which profession you chose which I’ll come back to later. For the last year your character has been possessed by a blood thirsty demon. Luckily a neophyte mage named Eli and a jinn aka genie by the name of Mandana, two members of a mysterious supernatural society called the Unavowed, come to your rescue and exorcise the demon from your body. However, this isn’t the end of the story for the demon as he is still at large afterwards. Eli and Mandana go onto show you the massacre you’ve left behind during your time of possession and inform you that you’re wanted by the police for countless murders. Luckily for you, they provide you with a magic veil that disguises your true identity and only those who are void touched can see past it. After a frightening encounter with a demonic creature whose attention was drawn from across the void after your exorcism you’re taken back to Unavowed HQ, your new home. You learn that the group, run by Mandanas father whose also a jinn himself, are supernatural peacekeepers who have been around for thousands of years protecting the mundane world from the evils of the supernatural realm. Threats are escalating and you’re instantly sent out on your first mission as a new member of this ancient society.
However, these missions the Unavowed get sent on all seem to be connected to you, which causes certain locations to give you haunting flashbacks. A lot has happened in the last year leaving citizens across New York City affected in one way or another. Party formation consists of yourself and two other members of the Unavowed who not only accompany you, but provide help in certain situations using their own unique supernatural abilities. There are no right and wrong companions to take with you as solutions in the investigations tailor to the team members you’ve chosen to bring. You and you’re team investigate these supernatural occurrences by talking to the various characters you come across. There is a lot of this and a lot of going back and forth whenever you pick up new information which becomes a little tedious after a while. There’s also the traditional “inspecting” different things and picking up certain items but as a sucker for painful puzzle solving, I was left a little disappointed with the lack of that I’m used to from point-and-click games like Day Of The Tentacle and the early Leisure Suit Larry titles. There were a few of these moments where I had to mix one item with another and search my way around figuring out how I was able to progress but being left stumped for answers was even rarer. Talking to companions also provides helpful clues on where to go or what you should do next if you’re ever stuck. After each mission you start back at HQ, waking up to a new day. While you’re here, you get a chance to debrief with each of your companions which became a little repetitive but you also found out a lot about them as you progressed.
And this is what really stood out for me, the story telling and how not only your backstory of the last year was being told but also those of other members of the Unavowed which gave a lot more overall character depth than I expected. Certain companion backstories are a little different depending on which profession you choose, which is the extent of how the story as a whole differs no matter how you begin. In saying that, it’s still nice to replay the game just to see how characters stories change by choosing a new path. Your choices within the game also make a difference which I will not spoil.
Unavowed is also a visual treat that made me feel like I was playing something straight from the 90’s, from the backdrops, closeup shots, character sprites, even seeing the dialogue subtitles pop up using the classic 80’s/90’s game font brought back so many memories. Along with subtitles and great voice acting, dialogue is also accompanied with illustrated headshots of the characters delivering these lines with facial expressions changing depending on their mood. It all brought me so much nostalgic joy that I wish this game came in the form of a big box with 6 floppy disks to install.
Overall, Unavowed delivered a great branched out story in a format I fell in love with years ago and even though it lacked in brain boggling puzzles, I still recommend this game to anyone who missed out on the 90’s point-and-click era or to those who just need the flashback.
Unavowed is available now on PC and Mac.
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