When I played Joe Richardson’s first game, ‘The Preposterous Awesomeness of Everything’ I was struck by its unique nature. From the art to the existential satire, it was cutting edge and really stuck out to me. Joe has a knack for creating unique experiences, and ‘Four Last Things’ is no different.
Joe has swapped the fantastic homunculus-esque art style of the first game for renaissance art, and the visual aesthetic of the game is one of the best I think i’ve ever seen. Joe invigorates the already gorgeous renaissance art with carefully crafted animation that makes every scene a (literal) painting. Its a delight to look at and even just breathe in when you’re situated in a busy scene.
In regards to the gameplay, I think Joe says it best on the games Steam page. “It’s kind of like if Monkey Island had been made in 16th century Flanders by a time-travelling Monty Python fanboy”. Its a point and click adventure at its core, and it retains that excellent style of comedy that seems to be intrinsic to this particular genre. Plenty of belly laughs were had and the meta-jokes always managed to land. One of the puzzles involved acquiring paperwork for a lawyer to rob a family of their inheritance, but you can also ask him for advice about procuring public domain artwork to be used in another form of media… genius.
Little digs like that are littered throughout the game as you strive to repeat the seven deadly sins and atone for your deeds. The puzzles were all right in that adventure game sweet spot where its not ridiculous moon logic but also not patronising and easy. It was intuitive enough to make you feel clever when you figured something out which is my barometer for an excellent title in this genre. The solutions related to a lot of renaissance themes, and whilst the world exists in a limited number of set scenes, they were all used to great advantage, and I would often take a minute to just gawp at the sheer beauty of each locale. The art gallery, a repository full of beautiful Hieronymus Bosch paintings among
The game is quite short depending on your ability to work out the puzzles, clocking in at around 4 hours. Of course this doesn’t equate to its quality, and in my opinion the experience is entirely worth the price. This game is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, especially int his medium where the art style is concerned. This kind of creative gaming pivot is exactly the kind of thing we should endorse and support in order to push our favourite pastime in the right direction.
The adventure game genre has been experiencing a drought lately, but with titles like Four Last Things and Her Majesty’s Spiffing coming out of the woodwork with excellent new spins on the formula its a great time to be a fan. This unique title will make you laugh, gawp, and maybe even have an existential crisis when the game rounds off and delivers its prescient comments on Christian theology. Pick it up on Steam and explore this visual delight.