Hope you don't have coulrophobia
It takes a special kind of game to evoke feelings of familiarity and extraordinary strangeness at the same time. Dropsy, a point-and-click adventure starring a handless clown by the same name, is one such game. Reminiscent of classic LucasArts SCUMM games, but unafraid to take on completely uncharted territory, Dropsy looks to be as intriguing as it is goofy and bizarre.
We should start from the beginning, with the origin of this misshapen, simultaneously hideous and adorable clown: the Something Awful forums. It was there that creator Jay Tholen started a "Choose Your Own Adventure" thread, inviting others to decide Dropsy's fate as he explored beyond the confines of the circus. The result was a weirdly funny tale of a clumsy clown and his canine companion; that vibe is what Tholen wants to expand upon in the finished product.
Verbal communication is something we've come to expect from adventure games--but Dropsy does away with it entirely. Given that Dropsy has zero familiarity with the English language, dialogue becomes a pictographic puzzle. There's also an ingenuous mechanic we haven't yet encountered in a point-and-click: a completely optional dream world, filled with bizarre visions of Dropsy's darkest fears and happiest memories.
Tholen cites games like Earthbound, Grim Fandango, and The Neverhood as inspirations--all of which made a mark with their weird, exceptionally unique style. We desperately want to see the Dropsy Kickstarter reach funding--not because we have a vested interest, but because we're fascinated by the possibilities presented by its outlandish world. Toss a few dollars its way, and you may just get a trippy, nostalgic, mildly creepy throwback to your favorite adventure games of yore. Check out the following screenshots for additional info and impressions!
Dropsy isn't alone in the world--he's got a trusty dog to keep him company, complete with his own clown makeup.
As you might've guessed, this man really has a thing against vampires. The question is, how can Dropsy use this to his advantage?
Dropsy awakens from a particularly harrowing nightmare. Visiting the dream world isn't always a pleasant experience.
Most puzzles revolve around interacting with your environment. Tholen completely did away with the annoying trial-and-error item combination of old-school adventures.
Dropsy's interactions are limited to four basic expressions: yes, no, excited, or sad. You can probably guess which one is being used here at gunpoint.
This trip to the dream world is a reference Gulliver's Travels, with tiny people trying to tie Dropsy down. Oddly enough, this is one of Dropsy's happier dreams.
Tholen made the map absolutely huge, with over 100 areas to visit. One of the best landmarks: a village populated by Rastafarians who worship mellow versions of Norse gods.
Like Guybrush Threepwood before him, Dropsy stores inventory items right in his physics-defying pants.
Tholen got his start making games with Klik & Play, a rudimentary game maker that was packed in with his copy of SimTower.