Tina and SAM-53 might just steal a spot in your heart next to the likes of Guybrush Threepwood and George Stobbart.
The protagonists of Encodya, a new point and click adventure from Chaosmonger Studio, are very much the heart and soul of the game. There’s nine-year-old Tina, who found herself orphaned a couple of years ago. But she’s not alone, because her robot guardian SAM-53 goes everywhere with her.
Players can take control of either Tina or SAM-53, and, as you’d expect, both have their own uses. There are things that only the hefty, robotic SAM can interact with, for instance, while Tina’s youth and humanity will come in handy more than once. It’s easy to instantly connect with Tina. You’ll likely feel sorry for her; a small girl left to fend for herself on the streets of a dystopian city. But she’s made of tough stuff, as you’ll quickly find out.
The setting of Encodya is the futuristic city of Neo Berlin, 2062. Robots are commonplace, but with megacorporations now in charge, it’s not a particularly pleasant place to be. Trouble lurks around every corner, but it makes for a fascinating backdrop to explore. As you’d expect from a point and click game, you can interact with a lot of the environment. There are numerous buildings to wander into, too, with lots of beautifully-designed interiors to gawp over.
Characters are fully voiced, and though the acting isn’t going to blow you away, it’s solid enough to help immerse you into Encodya‘s wonderful but dark world. The game’s dialogue is well-written and, like the most popular point and click adventure games of days gone past, it strikes that fine balance between serious and comical. Tina might live on the streets, but that doesn’t mean her life is completely devoid of joy, after all.
I’ve only played a little of Encodya, but as a fan of point and click games, it grabbed me immediately. Neo Berlin is a fascinating setting that begs to be explored. And Tina and SAM-53 make for excellent protagonists, who you’ll love spending time with. Needless to say, if you’re also a fan of the genre, this is one worth adding to your library.