Tony Tough Game Review

You know something? There just aren’t enough good cartoon adventure games out there. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good serious story as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just need to sit down and immerse yourself in rampant silliness. But where, I hear you ask, where can I go for some good old-fashioned point-and-clicking cartoony goodness? Well fret no longer, dear reader, for there is Tony Tough and the Night of Roasted Moths.

Recently, Got Game Entertainment has appeared on the adventure gaming scene seeming almost hell-bent on producing quality adventure games, and who are we to stop them? Tony Tough is their second adventure game, and the level of quality is clear. You can tell the production team is a fan of the classics, Lucasarts in particular. The whole game seems at times to be an homage to Lucasarts classics (in-jokes about three-headed monkeys and purple tentacles abound), and it does borrow heavily from many of the elements that have made their games so successful, such as interface, screw-ball humor, bizarre characters, and pirates.

STORY

The City. Halloween night. For ten years, private investigator Tony Tough has been pursuing the nefarious Jack O’L, a swollen-headed maniac who steals candy from the hands of children while they trick and treat the night away. Through numerous eyewitness accounts and exhaustive research, Tony as concluded that the culprit is an alien from another planet, who is collecting the candy for some nefarious cause, and surely he must be close to the truth, or else they would not have kidnapped Pantagruel, his purple pet tapir. Tony now knows that he must explore the horrifying Halloween Park in order to get to the bottom of this, and to rescue his companion, but is he up to it?

At times the story does seem a little forcedly silly, as though they’re trying too hard to be zany, but overall it is serviceable and amusing. The dialogue too seems to be trying too hard to make every line funny. For every laugh-out-loud joke, there’s another that just falls flat. But hey, maybe that’s just my sense of humor. At any rate, it’s constant fun, even if it’s inconsistently funny.

GAMEPLAY

Interaction with the environment occurs through a verb coin, similar to Curse of Monkey Island, with the four key actions being Examine, Use, Take and Talk. Later in the game a fifth verb appears on the coin, but it isn’t really for solving any puzzles. A small problem I had with the coin is that most of the verbs are grouped very closely together. Use, Take and Talk are crammed together in about two square inches of space, which frequently caused me to click the wrong verb. A minor problem to be sure, as there are no really “wrong” moves in the game, but a frustrating one nonetheless, made all the more confounding by the amount of empty space remaining on the verb coin.

The puzzles are, for the most part, familiar adventure game fare. Most are fairly logical and reasonable in a cartoony sort of way, at least on the “beginner” level they are. The “advanced” difficulty level is nearly impossible to solve without a walkthrough or two. I don’t want to spoil the discovery of any of these gems for you, or ruin the fun of solving them yourself, but I leave you with two words which I am sure will serve you well in your journey through the game: Frozen Worn. There. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

GRAPHICS

The backgrounds and characters are hand-drawn in a very nicely done, high-resolution cartoony style, which fits the game’s atmosphere. The cinematic cut-scenes are in the same style, but seem to be of a slightly lower quality. This is not really an issue however, as there are very few of them.

The only notable issue graphically is that often the characters in the game are, for some reason, colored differently than the background. Different brightness levels, different degrees of shading, it’s as though the backgrounds and the characters were drawn in completely different styles. Not a glaring defect exactly, though it can make some of the characters, Tony in particular, appear slightly out of place.

SOUND

I had some problem with the game’s music. The tracks were constantly skipping and sounded garbled all the time. I contacted technical support and they were unable to help as, evidently, this is a very uncommon problem. I ended up having to turn it off as it started to get irritating. From the little I heard, however, the music sounds fine, and sets the appropriate mood for the scenes.

The voice acting is very well done throughout, though a few of the voices do seem a bit overly stereotypical. Tony’s for example, is extremely nasal and high-pitched. Sure, this fits the character, but it can still get a bit irritating after a while. A small black child who sounds like an extra from Amos and Andy, a pirate who can’t stop saying “Arr”, and an obnoxious chain-smoking children’s clown all seem a bit overdone, and over the top. I’m seriously surprised that the Swami didn’t end up sounding like Apu from The Simpsons.

CONCLUSION

Though it falls just short of being a classic, Tony Tough is still a marvelous game that “old school” adventure players are sure to enjoy, and new players will appreciate too. By paying their respect to the classic format for Adventure games and excelling in the presentation, Got Game has given us a terrific game sure to entertain.

Incidentally, if someone could please explain to me what Roasted Moths have to do with anything, I would greatly appreciate it.

STATS

Story: 90

Gameplay: 95

Sound: 80

Graphics: 85

Overall: 89