Unusual Findings Review
Unusual Findings is a point-and-click game where you follow the story of three teenage friends — Vinny, Nick, and Tony — as they stumble upon a terrifying alien menace whilst trying to steal adult pay-per-view channels from their neighbours.
Going into the game, I expected to step into a point-and-click version of Stranger Things, where three teens would stumble onto something way bigger than they could handle. The reality is that Unusual Findings is much more like the cast from It (2017), where the kids will usually just find ways to make things sexual, and the surrounding story and characters are prone to vulgarities.
Whilst I'm not the biggest fan of that type of joke, it wasn't so much the humour but the amount of it that bothered me. Everything I clicked, every conversation, and every story development had something dark or vulgar in it. It all boils down to sexual humour, 80s references, and strange, edgy characters. It's so much all the time that it begins feeling satirical and pointless.
This frustration was only cemented further as I went deeper into the gameplay. Whilst the bulky amount of dialogue was entertaining at first, and I really appreciated having to look for clues in conversations, having every character always be so satirical and over-the-top made it a chore to seep through the endless dialogue of bizarre humour.
This was unfortunately accentuated by the mismatched voice acting throughout the cast. Oftentimes the tone didn't match the context of the moment, and some characters' voices sounded clear and neat, whilst others sounded like they were recorded using a gaming headset. Although I don't much care for the quality of the sound, it took away from the immersion due to how unprofessional some of them sounded.
As for the gameplay itself, the puzzles feel like they don't have a proper flow or — at times — even logic behind them. I spent a lot of the time collecting items haphazardly, completing quests by accident (and with no proper order), and overall being lost due to the lack of proper indication on what to do.
While I don't mind getting lost in a puzzle game, the nonsensical tasks were a bit of a disappointment; particularly the one where you have to blow on a cartridge by giving it to an NPC and letting them place it in the console and then choosing the "talk" button at it. Every other time I had "spoken" to an item, I had just gotten a joke from the characters (and usually similar ones), so it never occurred to me to try it, which caused me to get stumped really hard.
This basically summarises my experience with the game in general. Although the idea of dropping hints for the player through the dialogue was a creative mechanic, it should have been paired with a bit more seriousness and depth in the characters because it becomes very easy to tune out what they say after being lost for hours.
Unusual Things has a lot of cool ideas — from the awesome 80s setting to the fact that your dialogue choices influence the ending. The problem was the stagnation: outside of sex jokes and dark themes, the game never found its personality.
Unusual Findings (Reviewed on Windows)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
A great idea that got bogged down by bad execution in multiple areas.