Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Feeble Files Review

The Feeble Files was Adventure Soft's rare departure from form once they began their successful Simon the Sorcerer series.  It didn't manage to live up to the magic of the first two entries in their most successful series, however, with some odd puzzles and an interface that was more frustrating than fun.

Feeble is a being from an alien planet who has a job probing lifeforms on other planets.  While doing his job however, he unwittingly becomes involved in a plan to overthrow the government.  It's a wacky setup, and the story does manage to mostly deliver on the premise, although often the humor falls a bit flat.

The art style is presented in pre-rendered 3D inside a fully two dimensional engine.  This makes for the traditional third person point and click style, with characters and backgrounds that have more depth.  It actually works pretty well for the most part.  Some of the 3D graphics in the cutscenes look quite a bit dated, but otherwise it's unique art style actually works well with the graphic style chosen. The puzzles are, unfortunately, a bit of a mixed bag.  There are some good ones that are fun to solve, however some of them are a bit lacking in logic, even for the wacky sci-fi world in which Feeble inhabits.

What really hampers this game however, is the interface.  The designers eschewed the LucasArts inspired verb bar of the first two Simon the Sorcerer games for an interface that must be opened, in order to have more room for background art.  Normally this would be perfectly fine, but in this case, navigating through the menu system is a pain.  It makes the game a lot more frustrating than it would be otherwise. The rest of the presentation thankfully makes up for some of its shortcomings, as the voice acting and music are both very well done.

Feeble Files is a real departure from form for Adventure Soft.  The story, music, and voice acting are well done, for the most part.  The pre-rendered 3D graphics in a 2D engine work well for this type of game.  However, while this attempt at entering the 3D realm fared much better than their later attempt at a full three dimensional game with Simon the Sorcerer 3D, the game has its share of problems that make it more frustrating than it should have been.  The puzzles sometimes are lacking in logic, but the main problem is the interface.  It's a shame, as if the team had implemented something more intuitive, the game would have been a lot more fun to play.

Final Verdict:

3 out of 5

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