Between the touch screen controls and convenient portability of the console, the Nintendo Switch has been my ‘go to’ place for point-and-click adventures these days. Sure, nothing really beats using a mouse and keyboard, but I get less time to sit at a PC these days so my Switch is perfect to take out and about with me or to play in bed. Basically, if a game in the genre releases on the Switch, I tend to play it, with Unforeseen Incidents the latest that I’ve stuck my teeth into.
It’s really good too, with the conspiracy-laden story, fun puzzling, and quirky visuals offering more than enough to keep me engrossed in the journey from start to end.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Unforeseen Incidents puts players in the role of Harper Pendrell, a small-town handyman who makes his way by doing odd jobs for people and helping out where he can. Things aren’t all peachy for Harper though, with a strange disease known as Yelltown Fever running rampant, causing death and despair for those who contract it. There’s not a whole lot known about the disease either, but that soon changes when Harper encounters a woman dying of it on the street. She pleads with him to deliver a message for her; a message that will help unravel the mysteries and conspiracy that lies behind the disease. This is a cause that’s much, much, MUCH bigger than one man alone, yet it’s Harper who finds himself striving to fight for it – with the help of a few friends along the way, of course.
I was a big fan of the narrative. Finding out what the implications of the disease were and what’s really going on behind the scenes kept me totally invested, whilst the slick writing ensured that even the most ordinary of scenarios in the game remained intriguing. However, it was the characters that stood out the most for me. Harper fits the bill of being the ‘ordinary guy in a weird situation’ perfectly, with his charming personality making him the perfect lead to tell the tale. Whilst the world is in a dire situation, his wit and comical reactions to each situation ensure that Unforeseen Incidents never takes itself TOO seriously. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a comedy by any stretch of the imagination, but it has fun with the subject matter and got more than a few smiles (and even chuckles) out of me. Add to that the fun relationships that Harper ends up sharing with the likes of his scientist friend Professor McBride as well as that of the reporter Jane Helliwell, and it quickly becomes clear that it is the people of the world that really make this story tick.
“Harper fits the bill of being the ‘ordinary guy in a weird situation’ perfectly, with his charming personality making him the perfect lead to tell the tale.”
Whilst the story is engaging and offers plenty for players to discover through branching conversations, there’s also plenty of puzzles to be solved too. It’s your typical run-of-the-mill puzzling for the genre really, with items needed to be used in peculiar ways or different objects interacted with to progress, but it’s all utilised in an enjoyable manner that complements the puzzle design. I’ll give the game kudos for not putting anything too obtuse in that left me frustratingly checking a walkthrough, but there were still plenty of moments where I was left scratching my head and, of course, using every object I held with every part of the environment… desperate times, right? There are plenty of clever puzzles where everything clicks into place too mind, and whilst it won’t necessarily win too many points for originality, players certainly won’t be disappointed with the offering.
One of my favourites things about Unforeseen Incidents was its presentation, with the quirky hand-drawn visuals showing off a forlorn world that still brings with it beauty and colour. It looks like something lifted straight out of a graphic novel with its hard-edged style, but it fits the vibe of the game perfectly. Admittedly, some of the character animations could look a little weird in places, but it didn’t hinder the experience. The sound design was absolutely on point too, both with the soundtrack that orchestrates each scene perfectly and the quality voice acting that makes each interaction all the more believable.
“One of my favourites things about Unforeseen Incidents was its presentation, with the quirky hand-drawn visuals showing off a forlorn world that still brings with it beauty and colour.”
I played through the entirety of Unforeseen Incidents on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode, which meant I could take advantage of the nifty touch controls to interact with the environment and get around. It’s a handy feature, though those who prefer a controller will find it accessible too, with players able to either move Harper around freely with the left stick or simply use the right stick to move the cursor to objects you want to interact with. It’s also possible to switch between all interactive items by pressing the direction buttons on the d-pad, or you can instead highlight them with a button press – it makes it easier for players to catch sight of everything around them, so nothing is missed in the game. It certainly alleviates the need for a mouse when playing, making it ideal for the Nintendo Switch.
Unforeseen Incidents Review
Unforeseen Incidents kept me hooked in until the very end, with the engaging narrative, quirky presentation, and enjoyable puzzles ticking all boxes of what a point-and-click adventure should offer. It all runs nicely on the Nintendo Switch too, with the visuals looking sharp, the controls accessible, and no real technical issues encountered during my eight-hour playthrough.
It’s just a finely crafted point-and-click adventure and one that I’d certainly recommend to all fans of the genre, even IF you might be a little bit fed up of deadly diseases in 2022.
Developer: Backwoods Entertainment
Publisher: Application Systems Heidelberg
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC