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Adam Wolfe

Developer: Mad Head Games

Publisher: Legacy Games

Adventure
Casual
Puzzle
  • Price: $29.99
  • Release Date: Feb 16, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
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    An admirable attempt to take the casual puzzle adventure game to a new level that sort of works

    Ever since the early PC days there has been a market for more casually-oriented games, targeting both people with more subdued tastes in entertainment, and those looking for a mellow break from more intense fare. Then when tablets and mobile phones took off in availability that market appropriately blew up pretty quickly, as these devices were great for people with a little time on their hands to discover more passive experiences during their commutes, or while waiting for appointments of some kind. Since the Switch is very well-suited to these experiences, especially since it can double as a tablet, it’s no surprise that so many have found their way to the system.

    The thing is, it isn’t difficult to point to one pretty common problem these titles have had while trying to make a positive impression on the dedicated gaming hardware that is the Switch. Many of them are a bit older for one, but even more current ones tend to have middling production values at best. Whether it’s the sometimes dodgy quality of the voice work, the choppy and lower-resolution video sequences, or just the big picture lack of polished production values, most of these titles feel dated.

    It appears that at least one of the goals behind the development of Adam Wolfe was to try to change things for the better, and to lead the way towards more refined products in the space. The good news is that across its 4 chapters, each taking a small handful of hours to likely complete, the game consistently impresses in its look and style. Granted, you could take issue with the overall attitude and the fact that it seems to be trying a little too hard to be edgy, but up against the competition there’s no denying that far more effort has been expended to try to step things up. 

    The bad news is that while the game’s production values have taken a few steps forward, some of the quality in the gameplay experience itself is at least a half-step behind some of the competition. Failing to really break any new ground in terms of the types of puzzles you’ll deal with, it feels like there’s a bit less overall variety and ingenuity in the design of its offerings than its contemporaries. No matter how lush and colorful things may look, when the gameplay still ends up feeling more generic it’s a bit disappointing. Similar to its competition, there are also spots where it can be difficult to tell what you’re meant to be clicking on to keep things moving, and while there’s a hint system that can be used the lack of a feeling of some portions being intuitive is still a disappointment.

    So when all is said and done, Adam Wolfe shows some glimmers of hope that this category of gaming may be ripe for an overhaul in production values, but it also fails to elevate every part of the experience in parallel. If you’re a fan of more casual hidden object and other puzzle adventures, and have been feeling like they’re a bit stuck in the past this is at least encouraging. That said, if you value a bit more variety and polish in the puzzles themselves more than the overall production values you may be more satisfied with more traditional fare.


    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.0]
2024

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