I’m a big fan of point-and-click adventures and I especially enjoy games that are a bit weird, so the journey of a strange bloke and his chicken sidekick was always going to appeal to me. Yes, developer La Poule Noire’s debut title Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac might sound odd, but there’s no denying that it’s full of charm and will certainly appeal to fans of the genre. Unfortunately, whilst it has all the hallmarks of a traditional point-and-click adventure, it’s lacking the gripping puzzling that makes the genre so great to begin with.
The best way to describe Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac’s tale is as bizarre, but I mean that in the nicest way possible. Players take on the role of Edgar, a peculiar squash-farmer that lives in the wilderness with his trusty chicken companion Precious. When his squash-crop gets ruined by insects after his repellent runs dry, Edgar has to head to the city of Bouzlac to gather the Razidium required to fix it. However, he soon finds that something peculiar is going on in the city – it’s up to you to discover what exactly that is.
I don’t want to go into detail about the story too much because its silly and fun nature is the highlight of Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac. You’ll find yourself in plenty of peculiar situations throughout the game and interacting with all kinds of quirky characters, but its always charming to see play out and makes the story all the more interesting. Admittedly, it can be a little bit of a slow-burner in places with the tale only really fleshing out during the second half, but with a four-hour runtime it’s easy to find yourself completely invested in what’s going on.
Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac plays like a point-and-click adventure, with players guiding Edgar through an assortment of environments, interacting with characters to learn more about the world and progress the story, and collecting items. Like a lot of titles in the genre that have made their way to console, you don’t have to literally ‘point-and-click’ to control Edgar – it has a modern control scheme where you can use the analogue stick to get around.
Puzzles are synonymous with the point-and-click genre, but unfortunately Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac doesn’t really have any tricky enigmas for you to dive into. Sure, progression will be blocked and you’ll have to work out what you need to do in order to progress, but this typically boils down to speaking with the right character or simply giving them a specific item from your inventory. It’s a lot more narrative-driven than your typical point-and-click adventure and won’t have you scratching your head too much – that’s fine, but it’s worth knowing if you were coming into the game expecting a modern take on the genre that really tests your puzzle-solving capabilities.
Fortunately, the story was wacky enough to keep me invested in what was going on, though I did find myself wishing that the game offered that little *something* extra to spice things up. Simply moving between NPCs and talking to them in order to find a way to progress could grow a little tiresome over time, especially during the moments where I wasn’t quite sure who I needed to talk to in order to move the story forward. There’s no doubting that Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac has a quirky and fun premise, but it doesn’t always offer enough in the gameplay department to back it up.
One area in which Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac excels is with its visual presentation, with the game’s unique aesthetic making Boulzac a wonderful location to explore that’s full of unique sights and peculiar NPCs. There isn’t a huge world to explore here, but it’s so full of charm that it’s hard not to find yourself completely absorbed into it. It’s delightful.
The music of the game was on point too and certainly compliments the absurdity of the adventure. However, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any voiceovers for your interactions with other characters. Now I’ve played and enjoyed plenty of other point-and-click adventures in the past that didn’t have voice work, but Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac would’ve certainly benefitted from it – especially with its reliance on interacting with NPCs over solving puzzles. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it would’ve certainly been appreciated and gone a long way in making Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac a more charming experience.
Whilst I did enjoy my time playing through Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac, there is no doubting that a lack of meaningful puzzles or varied gameplay mechanics do hold it back. The impressive visuals and wacky narrative do enough to save the point-and-click adventure from mediocrity, but with very little to do outside of simply talking to the Boulzac’s inhabitants to progress the story, it’s hard not to find yourself a little underwhelmed by Edgar and Precious’ quirky escapade.
Developer: La Poule Noire
Publisher: La Poule Noire
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC