Point and click adventures are my thing. I’ve always enjoyed them and I love it when indie studios release new games in the genre because everyone has a different take on it. Some studios try to create homages to their favourite series, and some think they can completely redefine the genre, with varying degrees of success. Neofeud, created by indie developer Silver Spook, comes in as a combination of the two.
The story in Neofeud surprised me a little. I started the game, and the introduction sequence didn’t make a lot of sense. It seemed very much like they were tossing a few sci-fi words together and hoping for the best. Despite that, once the game got going, the story was really interesting. Set in a futuristic hellish reality where the human race is split between regular humans and humanoid machines with some level of consciousness. There are a few machines that have proven themselves worthy of being deemed ‘human’ – ones that have helped create cures for diseases or invent incredible things. However, even though a few machines have been built that help mankind, there are millions that are considered defective and discarded. Discarded directly into society, where, due to their lack of human credentials, they are unhireable. This divide in society is on the cusp of breaking down, and you are placed right in the middle of it as a machine deemed human enough, working in the welfare offices. Just reading about that made me curious about the game, and playing through it is even more interesting. It just keeps building levels upon levels to make it such a great story that is a challenge to put down.
An adventure game without good puzzles is not much of a game at all. Just a story with occasional walking sequences. As long as the game is pretty enough, some gamers will excuse it, but fortunately, Neofeud has puzzles. Not just rubbish puzzles either – they have some terrific ones. Some are easy, many are tricky, but they all go somewhere. There aren’t any pointless puzzles, they all tie in to the story well. They also make you think. Instead of being immediately obvious, sometimes you will have to actually take a moment and think about what you’re doing. This may just be trying to find the right things to say to people, but it could go as far as figuring out how to diffuse a potentially deadly situation and save someone’s life. You’ll always be considering what the best option is, and how to rise to the challenges you face.
Neofeud is solid in quite a few ways, but the presentation isn’t one of them. While the graphical style isn’t the worst I’ve seen, it’s definitely not great. Some parts do look pretty decent, but overall it is fairly shoddy. I can understand it to a certain degree as indie games will only rarely have a dedicated artist, but it may have been worth speaking to one to refine the artwork. What bugged me most of all with it wasn’t that it looked a bit ‘high school project’, but the fact it was very cluttered. Adding items to a scene can certainly give it a bit of character, make it feel a bit more real, but it comes with pitfalls. The more items that are added in, the more cluttered and rubbish the scene looks. Neofeud falls foul of this so many times, because each scene has been stuffed full of useless little pieces that distract players from what they need to see. I did also find the voice acting a bit hit and miss as well. Obviously, I don’t expect the voice actors to be too professional, but some were significantly better than others. It really does hamper the overall game which is a shame.
The Final Word
Presentation aside, Neofeud is a very interesting and intriguing game. Decent music, a very cool story and characters that are bizarre, yet lovable all make it a game worth playing. There are some terrific puzzles to go along with the story as well, and it culminates in a lengthy game. Clocking in at double-digit hours in time spent, as long as you can forgive the slightly shoddy graphics, this game will keep you very interested for a very long time.