Unusual Results PS4 Review. Unusual Findings repurposes the great point-and-click adventures of the late ’80s and ’90s to a newer audience. Aimed at today’s gaming audience, Unusual Findings capitalizes on the success of Netflix’s Stranger Things while engaging with its witty writing and great storytelling.
Unfortunately, the point-and-click formula creates mountains of frustration for those who struggle with critical thinking.
Unusual Results Review (PS4)
A funny story with an unusual writing style
Unusual Findings follows three friends as they witness something falling from the sky into a nearby forest. As they investigate, they are stopped by a police officer, who in turn is killed by a giant alien robot. After escaping, the children set out to stop the alien and prevent a possible alien invasion.
The story takes a few twists and is very well written. The three friends are the highlight; her dynamic brings the story to life and is a pleasure to listen to. Not only is it great to listen to the main cast, but it’s also a pleasure to have conversations with the supporting cast and the various townspeople as they provide useful information to help you progress and expand the world building.
Since this is a point-and-click adventure, you’ll spend a lot of time going back and forth between locations trying to solve puzzles with the various tools and items you discover. The city isn’t very big, but it’s not the only place you can visit. Secret military bases and a neighboring town are just a few other locations.
Unusual findings keep you going back and forth for hours
The actual puzzle-solving is where the game not only shines, but also its biggest flaw. I love the traditional way of solving puzzles found in most point and click adventures. Those who have never played one will find that games of this genre never hold your hand and don’t offer a lot of hints or help.
The only clue you get is what your final destination is in your area. For example, your first goal is to build a trap to capture the alien by digging a trap and catching it with a net. These are you just hints
You can easily find the tools you need to achieve this goal, but acquiring these tools is not that easy. That means you’ll find random items that you might think you don’t need, but that particular item is needed for something that you can trade in for what you need. It’s not just about trading. You have to combine items and sometimes mix items in different environmental machines and science labs.
Brutal puzzle solving that also feels rewarding
As I mentioned before, solving puzzles is also Unusual Finding’s biggest flaw. It will be difficult for those who want to get in and enjoy something causally. While I love the puzzle solving here, it can lead to a lot of frustration. I spent hours going from one place to another, examining everything I could and using every item I had to figure out what to do.
Some solutions are easy to figure out like using a bear trap in a dug hole to capture the alien. However, others require serious critical thinking, like mixing chemicals in a lab to get the right combination.
Knowing your periodic table helps a lot here, but for someone like me I had to resort to a lot of trial and error. After hours of trying, I found a clipboard with the right formula. The problem with most exploration is finding the items and tools you need to keep going.
So many times I was lost and stuck because I couldn’t see the items because they blended so well with the surroundings. This also applies to hidden rooms that you can go to. Another problem is that items and tools can be hidden in places you wouldn’t look.
Great visual style that pays homage to the classics of the genre
You will be given three options when you select something to interact with. speak, examine and touch. As an example of this, I needed to find some fertilizer but couldn’t figure out where to look on my life. Because of the three options, I finally found it in the back of a pickup truck. I had to touch it to find it. You would have thought the truck would have told me on inspection that it had fertilizer in it.
Visually, the game is a pixelated delight, not unlike the Monkey Island franchise. The animations are pretty good too, although most of the action sequences are few and far between. Thankfully, the voice acting and music are outstanding. Each character is voiced to effortlessly fit their personality, while the music is another bright spot, combining licensed 80’s tracks with an original soundtrack featuring great electronic music.
Unusual Findings is not a game for everyone. If you’re into traditional point-and-click adventures with challenging puzzles, this game is for you. There’s a reason to replay the game multiple times thanks to the inclusion of multiple endings and the choices you’ll have to make to unravel the narrative.
While I personally love the tricky puzzles, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this element will drive many players away.
Unusual Findings will be released on October 12, 2022 on PS4 and is backward compatible with PS5.
Verification code kindly provided by PR.