She’s hot, she’s blonde and she’s barely 17. But she’s also a royal pain in the arse. Sunny is the main character in So Blonde, a point-and-click adventure with an oldschool LucasArts feel, which revolves around a ditzy heroine who, after falling from her cruise ship, is washed up on a tropical island populated by pirates. Sounding familiar?
With a story written by Steve Ince (of Broken Sword fame) and promised by the website to be “wacky” (which rung alarm bells), we’d hoped for a heavy dose of irony, but was instead given shopping mall and cell phone jokes. The puzzles aren’t bad once you get back into that convoluted ‘combine tubing with bellows to make a milk frother’ mindset, and there’s also a handful of minigames thrown into the mix, all of which are patronisingly simple, especially as they come with auto-win options. Annoyingly, the game insists on making you run from one end of the island to the other, and with too-long loading times between screens for a 2D game and no chance to skip to an area, this becomes tedious.
Thank God for the graphics then. While the 3D characters are OK, the backgrounds are lush, vibrant cartoon 2D affairs, teeming with quirky details and animation, and loads of interactivity. The game also has a bunch of pop culture references, including a manhole cover in the jungle bearing the code from Lost, an encounter with Elvis and the somewhat obligatory nods to Monkey Island, given that the game seems to borrow liberally from it. And would you believe it, there’s also some fairly decent voice acting on offer. There’s plenty to see and do, but we can’t shake the feeling that with more adult humour and irony, So Blonde would have been much more.
Oct 29, 2008