Richard & Alice is one of those point and click adventure games that invests you in its post apocalyptic story. The characters, settings and overall feel of this game takes center stage and makes this game one that you will talk about for years after you completed it.
The game starts out ominously enough. It is the 1960’s, and a father and son are talking about the snow, not realizing that it would snow for years after that.. To pass the time, both characters tell their stories of why they are in prison and what life was like outside of said prison. The challenges Alice and her son, Barney, faces is perilous and along the way, the story makes some great twists that kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happens next, even pitting the characters and their families in predicaments that add more despair to an already hopeless situation.
A feeling of dread, sadness and despair is ever present in Richard & Alice as the snow essentially freezes hope and happiness throughout the game. Even in the prison, it feels like there is no hope for each of the characters. The 16-bit art style exemplifies the feelings quite effectively throughout the game, as it is dull and lifeless (and this is not a strike against it). The only downside to the art style is that although the characters crack jokes in the game, the character models present the same down trodden expression, resulting in some mixed reactions.
As in regular point-and-click adventure titles, puzzles are found involved items you must collect and combine to help with your eventual prison break. Some of these puzzles are simple, but others provide a good challenge. Combining two or more items together is somewhat frustrating, but once you do the game rewards you by way of the next step through the dialogue. Some of these hints are so subtle that I almost skipped out on a couple of the items needed to progress. I also found that some items are hard to click on, especially since the aspect ratio is fixed in 4:3 and some items are very tiny.
Richard & Alice is a great point and click adventure game that you can get immersed in. A frustrating item system and a small art style doesn’t dissuade a rich and engaging story.This is one indie game that will be a great addition to your library of great games.