I have fond memories of my elementary school years, when my free time was often filled with classic LucasArts adventure games. Titles like Day of the Tentacle and Sam n Max: Hit the Road are easy contenders on my “Top Games of All Time” list, so I consider myself a pretty big fan of the genre. That wonderful genre of point n click adventures that impacted my childhood eventually subsided, with few notable titles releasing as the years continued. Games created by developer Telltale Games reignited an interest in adventure games, mainly with their release of The Walking Dead in 2012. Since then, the industry has seen a resurgence of classic adventure experiences, the biggest being Thimbleweed Park, released just this year. After having a gleeful time with that title, I secretly hoped that indie developers would again embrace the seemingly forgotten genre. I recently got the chance to play the demo for Splittown, a new indie game that makes good on those hopes.
Indie Super Gods
Developed by indie studio Super God, Splittown is less a modernization of classic adventure gaming and more of a replica. The small development team based in Oulu, Finland has one previous release; an action based rogue-like called Riptale. With a good interactive presence on social media (and generally being pretty cool people), the developer seems interested in getting quality responses from adventure genre fans. They want to do right by the community, and that is commendable within itself.
Cold War, Colder Circumstances
The world of Splittown is one of espionage, as you take control of Leonard Nimby, a once decorated agent of IM5. After villainous “SCUMM” agents make off with a prototype portal gun and leave your base members tranquilized, you must awaken your boss and hunt them down.
The demo picks up right there, decently far into the actual game. With your boss passed out on her desk in front of you, you must figure out a way to awaken her. You do this by interacting with items and hot spots, classic point n click style. By pressing the space bar, you’re able to see all interactive items, making Splittown an easy point n click to follow. This is a feature that I’ve seen implemented more and more in the adventure genre, and it’s a great way to direct the player without specific instruction.
The demo takes place across multiple rooms, and while there’s a decent amount of space to explore, there’s plenty of blocked paths. As I made my way through the main building, eventually exploring an outside street with a stuck car, I had an urge to fully examine my surroundings. Using the “look at” option on various items rewarded me with smartly written flavor text, and subtle animations brought scenery to life.
More to Come
Splittown‘s demo is short, only containing one main puzzle with a few steps. It was a joy to explore the various rooms, and I found myself trying to figure out solutions for puzzles that weren’t even included in the demo. The old school visuals of Splittown make it easy to fall into a comfortable pace of examination and observation, easily picking up on where to go and what to do. I never found myself stumped by a puzzle, nor did any of the solutions seem to be improbable.
In comparison to games like Thimbleweed Park or Broken Age, Splittown isn’t the prettiest looking adventure game, but it’s true to history and memory. I really enjoyed my time inside its world of spies, appreciating small nods to classic games and the inspirations drawn from them. Fans of the classic will no doubt already see the references, specifically the namesake of the SCUMM agents.
I can’t wait to see the rest of the game, and I urge you to check out the demo! It’s available on PC, Mac, and Linux, and you can download it straight from their website HERE. Additionally, follow them on Twitter for updates, and be sure to show your support for indie developers.