Emerald City Confidential

ecc4Score: 7.5
Ages: 13+
2009

Emerald City Confidential is considered a hybrid, something between a casual game and an old school point&click adventure. If one isn’t too anal about the classification, it can easily be called a casual adventure. And it’s a pretty good one too.

I had purchased this game already years ago but it sat on my Steam library dusting until it was picked up as one of those Adventure Gamer casual community playthroughs. Unsurprisingly, it was received very well there.

The thing about dancing between a “true casual” and “true adventure” can put off some people. For example: there are these huge quest windows popping in to give the player the next objective, and some incredibly silly tutorial points at the beginning. To someone who isn’t used to super casual games, it can feel rather ridiculous, but I recommend just playing through it, as the handholding does stop eventually and there’s a nice and fun adventure ahead. And likewise: to casual players this title is a great way of stepping into the territory of a bit more HC adventures.

ecc1ECC is an early title from Wadjet Eye Games, and a bit different from the later releases, but still a very solid adventure. The game has an excellent setting in the fantasy world of Oz, where things have gone wrong again. There was a war and magic is banned – licensed use only. The Emerald City is represented as a very noir town, and the protagonist Petra is the hard-boiled detective.

Initially I felt the abundant humour was a bit too much on the nose, but it grew on me – or got better. The plot at least picks up and becomes interesting. There are some delightful twists but the major lines are still quite predictable.

The magical world allows some inventive puzzles, which are actually excellent. They’re quite easy and simple but they work well. I still haven’t come across a Wadjet Eye game I didn’t have great fun playing.

ECC is a lengthy one for a casual game. Considering this, and all of its other good qualities, it’s surely worth the price of 9 euros.

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