It’s not often I even play a point and click game, much less feature one in CPCG. I haven’t played a point and click game since Discworld Noir in 2001 (the game was two years old at the time), so I’m hardly a fan of the genre; mostly due to my experiences with that particular game. The main problem was that I could not wrap my 11 year old mind around the intrinsically obtuse logic that Discworld Noir and, indeed, point and click games in general like to follow when solving puzzles.[drop]Strange then that I would encounter Jolly Rover in my weekly travels through my own Steam library and decide to actually try the game despite all mental shrieks to the contrary. It’s a pirate-themed point and click with a dry, sharp wit and an all dog cast that I couldn’t help but smile at all the way through.
The real problem I have with point and click adventures is the seemingly bizarre puzzles. I have a fishing net and I have to get into a hut on the top of a hill. How am I supposed to know that I am supposed to make a trampoline by hanging it between two palm trees on the beach below? Point and click games don’t follow any clear rules, you’re a slave to the developer’s imagination and unless you think exactly like that developer you’re a little screwed without help. Thankfully, Jolly Rover has a talking parrot with an affinity for crackers to provide that help. Stuck? Pull the parrot out of your pants and stuff a cracker in its beak and it’ll happily provide you with some hints or, should you be willing to part with yet more crackers, clearly laid out instructions.
This is good news for people like me, the sort of people who can look at two obviously compatible items in the game for a full five minutes with no solution presenting itself. The hint system will let you get over this puzzlement, and instead enjoy the hilarity of the game’s dialogue without having to work out the relationship between mango jam, a bird feeder, a barrel, and some coal.[drop2]’Jolly Rover’ is the pirate-y name that is reluctantly taken up by Gaius James Rover, the dachshund you’ll be directing through the game. We first join him mere moments before his ship is taken by pirates and he is thrown into their brig. After an amusing conversation with the bulldog Captain Howell (ha!), you’re left to find your way out of the room. From there your adventure begins, packed with explosions, bad puns, bad guys, magic, betrayals, and various other strange situations for Jolly to quip his way through.
There are various memorable characters and running jokes throughout the game, from the good natured, all’s fair Captain, to the very committed guard who goes from having no particular feelings towards hard-shelled fruit to not being very fond of them at all. The storyline itself is not exactly the most gripping, but it serves its purpose of linking together the jokes.
You should give Jolly Rover a chance, it’s funny and clever (the voodoo magic system is especially entertaining) as well as being quite charming. It only took four hours of my time and costs £4 on Steam for Windows and OSx, it’s up to you if you think that’s worth the comedy or not, but I certainly enjoyed myself.
Fun fact: As of the 30th March it will have been a year since I started writing Cheap PC Gaming. Get the champagne out.