Everyone could use a hug…even you!
Point and click games are a genre that have been making a huge resurgence in the last few years, after having almost disappeared for a short time. Usually they require lots of reading or spoken dialog to convey their stories, and feature some interesting and brain bending puzzles at times in order to further progress. What if I told you there was a game that had no spoken dialog, featured a creepy looking yet loveable clown, and ultimately was a story about loving everyone equally? Sit tight, because Dropsy just might surprise even the most jaded of players.
Dropsy begins with a rather disturbing opening. It’s not to say that it’s overly graphic or even offensive, it’s just downright sad. A circus is performing, catches fire, and the resulting chaos ensues. We then flash forward a certain amount of time after the event and realize Dropsy the clown is still living in the old run down circus tent, with his father presumably.
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
How long to beat: 5+ hours
Presumably because the game never outright tells players exactly what or how Dropsy is related to the father figure or mother, but it’s implied heavily by its environment and details. Dropsy is a game without any spoken dialog, and any language that is seen on signs or billboards looks like gibberish. It’s fascinating because it’s a game that can be played without any reading comprehension, and everything story wise is delivered via visuals and details found throughout, and it’s a refreshing sense of storytelling. The same can be said for its story objectives, which usually only showcase a spot on the world map that signifies what players should be heading to or trying to achieve in that area. It’s different but it works wonderfully.
The gameplay in Dropsy is absolutely classic point and click. Players will be finding items, solve puzzles, and trying to figure out what the people need. In Dropsy, most characters have a problem, and Dropsy can walk around the areas trying to solve them. Once he does, he can give them a hug, and depending on who they are, they might end up allowing or letting Dropsy do something or grab an item needed for later because he was so nice to them earlier. Giving people hugs in videogames is refreshing, and almost feels like it should be included more often in games because it feels that good oddly enough. Yes, a videogame made hugs feel good in 2015!
Visually Dropsy harkens back and stays to its roots of 2D art style with pixelated looks, but the art design or characters and Dropsy himself look great. Big characters, huge faces, detailed, odd looking; the art design excellence extends to the environments also with a city, forests, desert, caves, and more to explore. It could potentially reminds folks of something more like a Saturday cartoon with a bit of adult humor or oddness to it, much like Ren and Stimpy for example. The soundtrack is oddly bouncy and happy, and even moody and creep all the same. Dropsy is a game about spreading love and helping people, but it also has an inner darkness to it. A sense of uneasiness hangs about in its atmosphere, and the dreams that Dropsy experiences showcase that very bluntly. This is a haunted clown, and he is scarred by the past events.
Dropsy is an odd, weird, funny, engaging, and surprisingly heartwarming experience. It’s unlike any other point and click adventure game I’ve ever played. Sure, it keeps to the same core style of gameplay mechanics, but the entire premise, the oddness surrounding it, the ability to share hugs and care about the characters around Dropsy even though he has no idea who these people are makes it unique. I couldn’t shake the fact that I’m playing this Clown who is deeply traumatized, yet even with the issues at hands, is loving and caring. We ourselves as humans could learn a thing or two from Dropsy’s unconditional love, and that’s rare to say when it comes to videogames. The only issue I had with Dropsy was the thought bubble clues that try to help you solve the peoples various issues. They can be cryptic and vague leading to trouble solving the puzzles, but otherwise everything else was completely sublime.
I judged Dropsy thinking it was going to be a kid’s game with little no challenge, randomly hugging people, and grow tiring. Instead I got a really interesting yet odd and colorful world to explore, a huge smile on my face, and a game that ultimately made me happy to see Dropsy love so many. I won’t soon forget you Dropsy. Hugs for everyone!
Review copy of game provided by publisher.