Adventure gaming has covered a staggering variety of themes, plots and characters, has toyed with a multitude of ideas and has come up with some truly wild stories, but has never dabbled with professional wrestling. Well, not until Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass (and admittedly it's less known prequel) it hadn't, for the latest Wadjet Eye Game and Icebox Studios release does indeed enter the ring of b-grade professional wrestling (with its eyebrow emphatically raised) and points and clicks its way to gaming victory.
Now, truth be said, ever since I reached the mature and enlightened age of 10 I've discovered that wrestling is simply not for me and moved on. It was far too silly and not funny enough to keep me interested, a fact that makes the achievements of Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass all the more important, as it effortlessly and despite an overburdened schedule kept me glued to the monitor for hours. Also, I laughed.
Being a sequel of sorts to 2004 indie darling Da New Guys, Day of the Jackass is a traditional point-and-click adventure sporting some decidedly non-traditional protagonists and a delightfully dry sense of humour. It plays with its plot, distorts its setting and actually comes up with an enjoyable story that serves its gameplay well. Brain, you see, the worst and most irritating brawler in wrestling has won the title belt and gotten himself promptly kidnapped. It is thus up to his mates, tough-guy Simon and soft-spoken Defender, to rescue him.
This of course is easier said than done, as this game not only looks old fashioned, but actually plays the old fashioned way, meaning that, yes, it is indeed tough. Da New Guys took me hours to beat and, unlike most recent adventures, actually demanded I consulted a walkthrough and even used a pen to note and sketch stuff. It can actually be difficult to the point of frustration and at times overtaxes ones ability for lateral thinking.
Still, after the first relatively subdued yet difficult act of the game is over, Da New Guys reveals what it's really made of and that's a huge variety of taxing, innovative, fresh and fun puzzles. Yes, they are tough, but not all games need to cater to all tastes. What is after all the point of being indie if you are afraid to take a few risks?
As for the game's graphics, well, they too are a matter of personal taste. They are far too idiosyncratic to please everyone, but they definitely have a certain charm, are very well animated indeed, and do grow on you. Besides, we adventurers do appreciate consistency, depth and production values and Da New Guys is bound to please the hardcore gamer hiding inside you and me reader.
Oh, and it's got a lovely soundtrack and sports some excellent voices too. The included achievements and unlockable art should also be considered signs of care and affection for a truly unique project.
Verdict: A great adventure game that successfully and hilariously challenges the hardcore point-and-clicker.
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