Manon tries to finish the Comp (49/75)



CODENAME OBSCURA is a relatively simple parser with a retro-vibe, reminiscing of 80s spy movies (à-la James Bond), where you must rescue your partner in a small village in Italy, finish his mission… and save the world! The game includes in-game hints and an external walkthrough. I used the walkthrough a handful of times to solve some puzzles.

From the premise, the game screams trope spy movie, almost to a silly degree*. You must catch the big baddy that took down your partner, or at least foil his plan to maybe save the world(?). Getting to him is not an easy feat! You must clear(-ish) your name of a murder you didn’t commit, run around town buying/trading/gamble things for something else, pick up anything you can on your way, not get scared of the crows**, maybe pet a cat (or not), spy-ily find a way into the baddy’s villa to find some secrets, and “break” some things to stop him. Oh, and there’s the fighting sequence!
*a boomerang?!?!?

**are they following you???

The visuals of the game feel very retro, with 8-bit pixelated illustrations* and little colour**. The illustrations have different sizes or placement, adding a bit of depth into the mapping of the game. It was pretty neat and added to the funky vibe.
*there was the hangar one that didn’t change even after the plane was gone :: /
**a bit of contrast with the different text elements would have been neat.

Most of the game is relatively smooth, though I did find some friction with certain commands: insert instead of use, or having to use adjectives instead of the noun*, or not having synonyms for certain verbs (pet/pat/stroke; climb/climb over; turn/move…). There were moments where the game reloaded the page, removing important information a bit too quickly (for passwords), while it wouldn’t automatically for actions like opening/unlocking a door or digging. It would also have been nice to have the translation of Italian phrases in-game/passage (please keep them, they added a lot of charm), to avoid missing information (Adventuron doesn’t allow copy-paste…).
This is not the game’s fault but just me being an idiot, but I keep examining items before picking it up… and there were a lot in this game xD

The puzzles were a-plenty and quite diverse, but I still struggled a tiny bit with some, especially the box in the bedroom, the safe password, and the computer one. The rest involved quite a bit of running around*… I think I liked best the changing your costume ones the most (reminded me a bit of Agent 47).
*this was a bit annoying, but by the time you enter the villa, no more frustration