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8 Nov 2021

REVIEW: Lone McLonegan: A Western Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I was given a copy of Lone McLonegan on Nintendo Switch by the excellent PR team at Flynn's Arcade, and I do like me a 'point and click' adventure game, so I happily decided to check this one out. Now I have played plenty of these types of games over the decades, mainly on PC, and the odd one on Xbox, but I thought that I would see how such a game would work on Nintendo Switch, and a Switch Lite specifically.

Let's start out with the storyline.

"Lone McLonegan used to be "The Most Wanted Outlaw In The Wild West" but now he's a little rusty and out of shape. Bragg Badass, his arch nemesis, is now number one on the most wanted list and the new idol of the West.

When Lone learns of Badass' latest exploit, he finishes his mojito, jumps off his couch and decides to reclaim his spot back by robbing the Bank of Oldewell, which holds the most secure safe in the county. That will no doubt put the highest price on his head again and he will once again outdo Badass at last!

Halfway through the journey the stagecoach in which Lone is traveling is attacked by Badass' hitmen and Lone must walk to Oldewell to make history again."

The game plays like all Point and Click games, but with the Leisure Suit Larry games making a huge come back, and setting the bar very very high in this genre, does Lone McLonegan add anything to the genre?

Firstly the controls, for some reason, you have 5 different choices for the cursor, and these are switched by pressing a button on the controller, you have a pointy finger, which is pretty self-explanatory, a fist which picks things up, an eye which examines/looks at things, a mouth (I think???) that allows you to talk to people, and a cowboy boot that allows you to kick things. For a start this is too many options. In these types of games, you should have 3 options at most, examine, use, and move. Adding the extra options just makes play slightly more frustrating, as you scroll through the options to find the one you need.

Pretty early on in the game you will get hold of a map, now here is another big problem with the game, once you open the map, you have to choose a destination on the map, you cannot (as far as I can figure out) just exit out of the map. So, if you are in an area, where you speak to someone, and ultimately, they will add a location to your map, to do this you need to select the map and give it to them, the problem is that out of the 5 choices you may often find yourself accidentally opening the map, instead of selecting it, and unless you are in the opening area of the location on the map, you may find yourself back at the entrance of the area and not the place you just was, meaning you then have to go all the way back to find the person you was speaking to, to get them to add to the map. It is a small problem, but one I continually found myself doing. 

Also in nearly every modern P&C game I have ever played, there is always a button that allows you to highlight every interactive thing on the screen, this game does not have that, and especially using the small screen on a Switch lite, moving the little cursor around isn't the most accurate, so easy to miss things, and scanning the whole screen for things is a pain. And because you can't highlight everything you can interact with, you will sometimes completely miss locations, for example a side street, off screen. There is no indication of some locations at all, so unless you scan the whole screen with the cursor it is easy to miss things.

With those issues aside, there are plenty of things you need to do within the game, plenty of characters to interact with, conversation choices to have, which in turn will help you proceed in the game. As with most games like this, sometimes trial and error is needed to figure out what you are supposed to do next, and you will find yourself going back and forth a lot trying to figure things out. Luckily the NPC have poor memories, so if you go down the wrong route in a conversation you can just start again and choose a different reply, until you get the desired result.

The game makers are Spanish I believe, and as such some of the translated humour missed the mark slightly, but that is forgivable as this is their first game release. One thing to note is the graphics are all hand drawn and you can tell that a lot of care and time has been taken in making the game. Sadly, there are no voice acting, so all the dialog is via text on screen, but you can skip through dialog by pressing a button, which is great if you accidentally go down a conversation route you have already read.

There are also stars hidden in the game, in various locations, click on them to collect them, and try to collect them all.

There is no hint system in the game, so sadly when you become stuck, and you will, there is no way other than going to every location again and again, trying to combine inventory items over and over, and generally making yourself go mad with frustration. In the modern era you will find that you will either just give up, or find a walkthrough online, and the moment you do find that walkthrough you will find yourself repeatedly coming back to it the moment you get stuck.

The lack of a hint system is a major omission from the game makers.

The Good
Great graphics, some fun puzzles and mini games lift this game above some others in the genre.

The Bad
The controls, the lack of a hint system and no way to highlight interactive objects lets the game down hugely.

This game doesn't really work on a handheld system, and probably not on a console at all. It will work much better on a PC with a decent sized screen. You can find the game on Steam.

If you are a fan of point and click games, and want to add another to your collection, then Lone McLonegan is a perfectly decent one to add.

I score Lone McLonegan : A Western Adventure a generous 7/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

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