After nine long years of development, developer DeskWorks has created what can only be described as the perfect epitome of when imagination takes over RPG Time: The Legend Of Wright. Spilling color, nostalgia and a bit of childlike glee into the pages of a notebook, this is a touching story about two friends at the end of a school day and a humorous interpretation of a heroic adventure.
The story is told by Kenta, a ten-year-old aspiring game developer with unrivaled ingenuity. Cardboardia’s construction, along with a set of unforgettable characters, sits on the classroom table, and every element of the game looks like it’s been lovingly handcrafted. Kenta is made up of puppets, cardboard cutouts, and some pretty incredible origami. Kenta is committed to sharing Wright’s story with the player from the moment you launch the game.
Assuming the role of Wright’s titular hero, you are told a story that you will no doubt be well versed in. Your task is to save the princess from the clutches of evil and restore world peace, and although we’ve been here a thousand times before, the way Kenta explains the story put a smile on our faces and a desire to participate.
The face of all evil takes the form of Dethgaud, a somewhat intimidating Godzilla-like character who is accompanied by an army of underlings that Wright inevitably has to deal with as the story progresses. These encounters take the form of a boss fight at the end of each area, and each level ends with a cinematic progression of the story, helping to make sense of the chapter’s sometimes insane and often unrelated content.
Although the gameplay does not reveal anything new, the game master has added enough passion and personality to prevent repetition or stagnation. Initially, while you have direct control over Wright, the game uses an almost point-and-click approach with Wright walking around and interacting with objects from time to time as Kenta talks too much about them. But as you gradually progress through the storyline and explore new areas, RPG Time expands from a 2D scrapbook adventure to a 3D journey filled with mini-games.
These 3D elements take the form of everyday household items, but when combined with Kenta’s phenomenal storytelling and the immersive nature of the entire experience, these items begin to come to life. From running into a man made of flies to racing around the track in a remote controlled car, it’s best to expect the unexpected and constantly check items that are usually useless.
Most of Wright’s adventures take place in the gamebook, however several chapters will take you through levels that vary greatly in content. While in one chapter we were exploring the haunted shack of a fearsome witch, in another we were playing baseball with an angry mole. Each area contains charming mini-games, such as collecting worms or leading Wright through a chemical escape, accompanied by memorable characters with humorous dialogue and personalities.
Boss battles tend to mirror the difficulty of the rest of the game, so they don’t pose a real threat. Pencil in hand, these turn-based battles require the player to “draw” (draw) an opponent’s weak spots for several turns before claiming victory. Dialogue before or during the battle will tell you how to win, but if that’s not enough, there’s a handy hint error on every Game Over screen. These battles are far from challenging and more of a testament to Wright’s progress as a hero, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a fun exploration break.
Despite the fact that the whole game is scripted, it still has elements of interaction with the player. For example, on several occasions, Kenta interrupts the gameplay to accept your participation. Whether it’s a question that’s integral to the gameplay – like asking which staircase you want to build – or an unrelated question – like what vegetable do you hate the most – these questions immerse you in the world and give you a sense of control. adventure.
Kenta’s passionate attitude is adorable at first, but the sheer amount of jokes and comments he makes throughout the game becomes a bit annoying over time. If he doesn’t constantly talk about your character’s movement, then he instructs you on how to get up every time your health is depleted. It’s the perfect representation of childish excitement, but when you’re near the end of a chapter and Kenta starts the same monologue you’ve heard before, it can get a little tiresome.
However, the unique hand-drawn look of this game is undoubtedly its main attraction. The magic of bringing prose objects to life immediately brings imagination to storytelling, and DeskWorks’ approach to storybook gameplay is a love letter to childish ingenuity. The visuals are enough to captivate you, but each innovative use of the item perfectly represents the developer’s creativity – right down to the chaotic yet charming pencil-engraved desk where Kenta proudly displays his work.
Also, Kenta puts down an MP3 player to help set up the scene. Throughout Wright’s adventure, each area is accompanied by a small set of tracks that definitely add to the game’s early action, but there are few, if any, really outstanding numbers. Unfortunately, as you progress, instead of encouraging your heroic rescue attempt, it’s incredibly easy to block the focus music.
The soundtrack elements can get annoying quickly too. If you find yourself trying an area more than once, you’ll be stuck listening to the same track – naturally – and while the minutes slip away, there’s a good chance your sanity will, too. The musical repetition is very similar to Kenta’s narration; charming at first, but gets bored pretty quickly.
RPG Time: The Legend Of Wright is a charming, imaginative RPG. The childlike glee of protagonist Kenta, combined with some inventive storytelling and fantastic delivery, makes it feel like this is more than just a one-to-one game. The six hour campaign is enough to explore to get you back next time, even if the storyline feels a bit sporadic and unrelated at times. It’s not perfect, with a soundtrack that quickly irritates and a narrative that threatens to do the same, but it remains a charming homage to childhood and a gentle reminder to every player to keep their imaginations going.